How to Talk About Cycling to a Conservative

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thehistorian
Participant
#

http://www.commutebybike.com/2010/12/11/how-to-talk-about-cycling-to-a-conservative/

Since I’ve been “outed” in at least one thread here, I thought I’d throw this link out for comment.

On the whole it’s a good piece aside from the following:

“Cycling reduces heart disease and other costly health problems – blunting the need for expensive health care – regardless of who pays for it.”

That’s the fuzzy wish-thinking I’ve criticized elsewhere. Yes, some folks on the Right indulge in it too, especially when it comes to bikes.


mark
Participant
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usually when i talk to conservatives about cycling its somethings like “cool bike” or “do you need a pump” or “nice riding with you”…


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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Talking to conservatives about cycling is never an issue. Talking to conservatives about baseball, the weather, kids or pie is never an issue. And personally, I don’t get into politics or religion, because IMHO, that’s personal, and not my business. But that’s just me.


willie p
Participant
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@atleastmykids… If the world (or the US) was only full of more ppl like you!

I don’t understand why and when cycling became a “liberal” oriented thing.

…all WE are doing is riding bikes…let’s not make it more complicated than that!

wp


thehistorian
Participant
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“I don’t understand why and when cycling became a “liberal” oriented thing.”

http://www.utne.com/Politics/Conservative-Cyclists-Republican-Bikes-Transcend-Cultural-Stereotypes.aspx


orionz06
Participant
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I am somewhere in the middle (support gay rights, gun rights, and limited govt) and I have ridden with both types and there have never been issues. I do however see the association that could be made, but that doesn’t go very far with me. When did people stop being people?


ejwme
Participant
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thehistorian – I saw that same blog and LOVE it, thank you for sharing (I thought I posted it somewhere on here, but I delete half my intended posts anyway, so who knows).

I think a better title for it might be “How to Keep Politics Out Of Cycling Discussions”. Because those are also excellent takling points for Liberals, Centrists, and everybody else.

I’ve noticed that, maybe it’s our current extremely polarized political atmosphere, or maybe it’s just because Talking Heads ran out of substative things to Talk about, but people seem to be unable to hold conversations without bringing up some “politically sensitive” side to the conversation. But then again, so many universally human experiences have become “politically sensitive” – family, health, food, employment, travel, transportation, everything seems to turn into a competition for which side of the aisle has THE solution (as if there could be only one!).

FWIW, cycling is extremely conservative. It conserves money, health, environment, all kinds of things. It’s also extremely liberal – inviting to all genders/ages/abilities/economic statuses, all types trail/road/racing/commuting/bmx, in all weather and all locations (except highways).

People seem to always forget that more unites us than divides us in their race to be superior or more correct or smarter.


thehistorian
Participant
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When we became “bitter folks clinging to guns and religion?” Oh wait, that’s yinz, isn’t it? :-)


spakbros
Participant
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I draw the line at riding with scientologists personally

;)


reddan
Keymaster
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I draw the line at riding with scientologists personally

They make great emergency rations/bear bait on wilderness tours, ’cause they can’t outrun anyone other than feeble fat guys on ‘bents.


fungicyclist
Participant
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I will not ride with trolls.

Bears? Sure. Scientologists, okay. Jehovah’s Witnesses? Very quickly so they can’t catch their breath to proselytize. Cops? Why not?

But I just say no to trolls.


dwillen
Participant
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“I don’t understand why and when cycling became a “liberal” oriented thing.”

Rants like this didn’t help:

http://la.streetsblog.org/2008/11/07/bike-hating-rep-patrick-mchenry-fends-off-challenger/

Conservative radio hosts also seem not to fond of 2-wheeled transportation:

http://bike-pgh.org/bbpress/topic/kdka-radios-mike-pintek-is-a-sick-sick-man


thehistorian
Participant
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Oh that’s nothing. I like this one:

“In fact millions of pedestrians, standing at crosswalks, have experienced real terror, exposed as they now are to the mercy and moderation of bicycle riders, people whose lawlessness and viciousness are a matter of record…

“Not only are bicycles dangerous, they are as antiquated a form of transportation as the rickshaw. In no advanced city on earth will you find civilized people cycling to work. The urban cyclist is generally a crank, either profoundly antisocial or hopelessly narcissistic and following the strenuous life in hopes of achieving immortality or a legendary sex life. When you encounter him give him a wide berth and never turn your back on him…. “


reddan
Keymaster
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Heh…the author of that unattributed quotation obviously has a bit of trouble understanding the roots of the term “civilized.”

Is that L. Ron Hubbard? The style seems vaguely reminiscent of his more florid prose, although the pop-psych terms aren’t really his thing…


ejwme
Participant
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dude, bicycles aren’t as antiquated a form of transportation as walking. That somehow made me think about where our frigging hover boards are (Back to the Future LIED to me!), and hover boards make me think of the “floating fat man” of Dune and his hover throne. Which reminds me of the “ugly bags of mostly water” quote from TNG…

it is SOOOO friday afternoon in here. All control over personal thought trains was lost by 2PM, public filters failed at 3PM, it’s only a matter of time before I lose the ability to do anything other than dance to the music in my head. TGIF.


thehistorian
Participant
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It’s R. Emmitt Tyrell, editor of American Spectator. American Spectator makes National Review sound like the Huffington Post. Tyrell would probably call me a leftie tree hugger.


Mick
Participant
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I think when talking to conservatives about bicycles, the important things are to get your Viking helmet on and to prominently display your battle ax.

With that good start, it will probably go smoothly.


myddrin
Participant
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@mick… you figured out why my avatar is my avatar. :)

(Actually I avoid discussing politics and religion. My political views don’t really line up with the American view of Right/Left… and my my religious views are TBD.)


Mick
Participant
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@ myddrin

Well, at least you’re ready to discuss politics, even if you eschew that.


fungicyclist
Participant
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Brian: You don’t need to follow anybody! You’ve got to think for yourselves! You’re all individuals!

The Crowd: Yes! We’re all individuals!

Brian: You have to be different!

The Crowd: Yes, we are all different!

Small lonely voice: I’m not!

Man in crowd: Shhh!


Mick
Participant
#

@dwillen Rants like this didn’t help:

http://la.streetsblog.org/2008/11/07/bike-hating-rep-patrick-mchenry-fends-off-challenger/

Patrick Henry: “Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick McHenry: ” Give me large Oil industy PAC contributions!”

Now, isn’t that what the Founding Father really meant to say?

We need to re-think this word “conservative”, cause these guys ain’t.


dwillen
Participant
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He was ranting against Kathy Dahlkemper, who was the congressional rep for the 3rd district of PA (just north of us). She was defeated by Mike Kelly in the last election. Mike must be doing something right, because tossing out Kathy’s wacky bike ideas sure made gas a lot cheaper. Check out the attack ad they used against her:

http://la.streetsblog.org/2008/11/05/ped-bike-mockery-flops-for-7-term-house-incumbent/

Bullshit like this is why bikes have become a partisan issue in some circles.


thehistorian
Participant
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“She was defeated by Mike Kelly in the last election. Mike must be doing something right, because tossing out Kathy’s wacky bike ideas sure made gas a lot cheaper.”

I think someone in a higher office might have more responsibility.


dwillen
Participant
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Oh, and I almost forgot about the Tea Party whackadoo Dan Maes who thinks bike sharing is going to convert Denver into a UN community and threaten his personal freedoms.

http://www.denverpost.com/election2010/ci_15673894

I look forward to a day where nobody gains politically by bashing bikes.


dwillen
Participant
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Yea, you got me there. Never mind that whole checks and balances hogwash, there is one guy who has all the power. I forgot how government worked for a moment. Thanks for clearing that up.

DRILL BABY DRILL!


thehistorian
Participant
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Well, he did claim the oceans would heal after his election….. and if he can do that, he can do anything. Or so the media keeps telling us about the man “too smart to be President.”


dwillen
Participant
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edit: never mind, going to bed. goodnight all and keep on pedaling


fungicyclist
Participant
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@historian:

Can you reference “he did claim the oceans would heal after his election”?

Seems to me you are simply trolling this ocean for reaction, not engaging in open minded discourse. Of course I can’t prove this as I haven’t read all 12,000+ posts you made to the bikeforum board over the past 4 years, nor all 200+ posts here in the last 4 months, nor what are no doubt enlightening pieces in the Pgh Chess Journal (or whatever).


edmonds59
Participant
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The current definitions of “conservative” and “liberal” are so f’d up as to be completely unrelated to any rational measure of human behaviour.

In a sane world, I would be a conservative. I believe in working hard, being financially responsible, and living within my means. I believe in taking only what I need, leaving some for others, sharing, and wasting nothing. I believe in freedom of speech, thought, expression, and religion. I believe in God, but I believe that all religions are just control mechanisms fabricated by men. I believe in science. I don’t believe the government has any business telling a woman what to do with her body, or who we can have sex with, or marry. I don’t believe the government has any business spying on it’s citizens, pre-emptively invading sovereign nations, or treating legal matters as justification for wars. I believe the government is us, there is no them. I know that I am extremely lucky to have the life that I have, and that everything I have now is not a result of my own effort, but is dependent on the hard work and sacrifices of every person of every generation who came before, and no-one, no matter how much they delude themselves, has gotten to where they are completely by their own bootstraps, that’s a horrendous myth. Those are conservative positions.

The most extreme of those we currently call “conservatives” are the idealogical equivalent of Mahmoud Ahmedinajad, or (insert the ayatollah of your choice).


thehistorian
Participant
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‘Can you reference “he did claim the oceans would heal after his election”?’

I muddled the quotation, but here it is:

“I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”


thehistorian
Participant
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“Seems to me you are simply trolling this ocean for reaction, not engaging in open minded discourse. Of course I can’t prove this….”

So you toss off the accusation anyway. Nice.


Tabby
Participant
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I like how Bike PGH keeps their advocacy non political. Biking can be fun, easy, practical and that’s really all that needs to be said, regardless of politics. Honestly, I don’t think the environmental claim gets many (any?) liberals on bikes either. Some people may really identify with “saving the planet” as one benefit of cycling, but that’s not likey to be someone’s number 1 or 2 reason.


fungicyclist
Participant
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@historian:

“…muddled the quotation…” is a bit of an understatement. Perhaps “paraphrased it for the purpose of advancing your own “argument”” is more accurate?

Though I can’t “prove” you are a troll, (since I can’t, and have no desire to know what’s in your mind), the evidence certainly suggests you dwell under a bridge, as you so unwittingly aptly accused timito of doing. Shall I document every unfounded accusation that has issued forth from your keyboard, or will the one you “nicely” tossed off at timito do for you?

“In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)

If the bridge fits, dwell under it.

DNFTT


ieverhart
Participant
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+1 DWillen


rsprake
Participant
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That ad Dwillen posted is so ridiculous. Personal sacrifices? Pffff. Sounds a lot like Reagan running against Carter doesn’t it? People just want to be told what they want to hear and don’t care about the truth. Either that or people like Mike Kelly are just plain ignorant.


Mick
Participant
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@dwillin I look forward to a day where nobody gains politically by bashing bikes.

If bike use keeps increasing, I think it will get a lot worse before it gets better.


eppi
Participant
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As a conservative bike commuter, +1 to the points made in the linked posting at the top of the thread. As a socialist conservative, I believe that tax policy should incent good behavior and punish anti-social behavior. So let’s hear it for increasing the taxes on gasoline and using the money to fund mass transit and bike paths. Clearly the nutty Republican conservatives will not get behind this, but why are the liberals so quiet about this…. I want clean air and clean fuel, and buses filled with people from all socio economic levels. I do not hear anything useful from Republicans or Democrats about this..

I sure would like to see our AMERICAN BORN president (we are not all birthers) get out there and tell people to park their cars and get on the bus, move back into the cities and live in racially mixed communities etc,,,


eppi
Participant
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As a conservative bike commuter, +1 to the points made in the linked posting at the top of the thread. As a socialist conservative, I believe that tax policy should incent good behavior and punish anti-social behavior. So let’s hear it for increasing the taxes on gasoline and using the money to fund mass transit and bike paths. Clearly the nutty Republican conservatives will not get behind this, but why are the liberals so quiet about this…. I want clean air and clean fuel, and buses filled with people from all socio economic levels. I do not hear anything useful from Republicans or Democrats about this..

I sure would like to see our AMERICAN BORN president (we are not all birthers) get out there and tell people to park their cars and get on the bus, move back into the cities and live in racially mixed communities etc,,,


rsprake
Participant
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I sure would like to see our AMERICAN BORN president (we are not all birthers) get out there and tell people to park their cars and get on the bus, move back into the cities and live in racially mixed communities etc,,,

Jimmy Carter is famous for doing just that. He was replaced by Reagan who tore the solar panels off of the white house and told Americans that we are special and deserve to consume, consume, consume!


edmonds59
Participant
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And,,,Carter is scorned because he didn’t start a Middle East war to rescue kidnapped American hostages…

while Reagan is deified though he armed and trained the Taliban and planted the seeds of the current clusterf from which we are presently trying to extract ourselves…

It all makes. perfect. sense

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