Ask me why I want Bernie for President. I’m a woman, pro-choice, and I ride a bicycle for transportation.

Let me start by saying that I am perpetually shocked by cyclists who maintain a conservative view of women and their bodily rights.
Rights aren’t for a privileged few. Rights are for everyone. Yet, it appears the greater majority view personal rights as a privileged status.

You have rights if you can buy them.
You have rights if you can fight for them.
You have rights if you can defend them.

If you don’t fall into any of those categories? Oh well!

Bicycling as transportation; effectively destroying the stranglehold that the wealthy have over the poor.

I don’t mean people like “Make America Great Again,” (hereafter referred to as MAGA) I mean people who make up agencies such as your local DOT and Auto Manufacturers. Though it also includes those who make up MAGA as well as the after mentioned DOT ruling class.

Bernie Sanders understands these institutions do not MAGA and will never and have never MAGA’d. He also understands political lobbying and why institutions like DOT, FHWA (Federal Highway Administration), and the Auto Manufacturers, which breathe life into them, use your tax dollars to effectively lobby politicians to pass legislation against your best interests.

I’ve spoken to transportation employee’s and heard them refer to cycling advocacy groups as “special interest” groups. These people are completely unaware that the very departments they work for are Government sanctioned “special interest” groups. And they lobby for laws which effectively restrict any of your tax dollars being spent on infrastructure which is not auto centric, I’m talking about sidewalks and public transportation.

Tennessee is currently trying to pass legislation which prevents your tax dollars from being spent on any infrastructure that doesn’t benefit autos. Click here to read about it.

HB 1650 (with a companion in the Senate), as originally introduced and intended, would entirely ban the use of state gas tax revenue for building any sidewalks (even as part of a larger road project), bike lanes and trails, or other similarly cost-effective and popular projects to help make traveling on foot or by bike safer and more convenient.

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Sidewalks would be useful here on Nolensville Rd, a state highway that’s also a local street through Nolensville, TN southeast of Nashville. A new Tennessee law could prevent state gas tax dollars from being used to add them.  Photo and Caption by: Stephen Lee Davis

Want to know something really scary?

Your state already has legislation like this and it’s most likely written into your state’s constitution. Lobbied for by special interest groups and paid for with your tax dollars.

You need to understand that these people are serious about taking your rights away. Look at what they did to women in Tennessee.
Tennessee amended their state constitution to guarantee a woman does not have any legal rights to abortion. Click here.

Tennessee voters reversed that decision last fall by adding language to the state constitution that denies abortion rights protections.

Wouldn’t it be amazingly powerful if we could get all people who respect Civil Liberties of Women and all people who respect Civil Liberties of Pedestrians and Cyclists to come together and promote the election of a President who will fight for all of our Civil Liberties?

Minorities have the most to gain from a President who defends everyone’s Civil Liberties.

You don’t have to be a cyclist to respect cyclists and you don’t have to be a woman to respect women. But you do have to be a decent human being who values others Civil Liberties so that your own Civil Liberties aren’t taken away.

Bernie Sanders understands the bigger picture.

Have you read any articles about how auto owners spend 30% of their income on transportation?

Imagine if you could break up with your auto. Yes, “break up” because it really is that emotionally fraught for some people.

By dumping the auto, you would effectively increase your income by up to 30%. That is 30% which becomes flexible income.  You would have money to spend on your dreams, your family, a hobby, and really anything which tickled your fancy.

That is the real difference between those who have and those who have not. Those issues have consistently been highlighted by Bernie Sanders.

The ability to spend money on items which produce happiness and have money to spend on those things which bring us joy is empowering. If you aren’t enjoying living are you really living? I suspect not.

Bicycles have been the great social equalizer. Historically providing women the means to travel outside their narrow confines, elevating the poor to independent, and giving minorities a chance long before it was “cool” to do so. Though not without the threats from racists in the organization. Read about Major Taylor.

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And that is what I want to highlight now.

Cycling is a great equalizer, and yet! There are those within who would exclude and ridicule anyone who is different from their perceived notion of cycling. Just as there are women who will harass and ridicule women seeking abortion care. I’ve volunteered as a clinic escort and the vitriol which comes from women is shockingly disturbing.
So again, I emphasize that you must respect others Civil Liberties so that your own may be protected.
I personally believe that if Major Taylor had been fully and unconditionally accepted more minorities would have given the cycling community the oomph they so desperately needed to fight back the destructive “special interest” auto lobbyists.

Your auto isn’t freedom, if you are poor and middle class. It is the illusion of freedom.

Bernie Sanders has promised to give power back to the American people, that is a Republican value, and why I, as a Republican, will be voting for Bernie Sanders.

Read: “Why we drive” by Andy Singer

If we should fail to elect Bernie Sanders in the primaries then I would ask you to consider the following.

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Before I leave you, I want you to consider this, I’m writing this article as someone who has spent a great deal of time reading and studying this issue. If you disagree with something, first ask  yourself “what does she see that I’m not seeing?”

Being arrested for legally and safely cycling on a public road tends to give you 20/20 vision on a lot of social issues surrounding car culture. It is this knowledge that I am trying to impart to you. Without you having to first experience the drama of being arrested and having tea party libertarians assault you for safely and legally cycling. The Republican party has greatly sidestepped their original values. Values which first inspired me to join the Republican party back when I was in middle school.

Living in a town which is the epitome of tea party libertarian agenda, I have first hand experience and can confidently tell you that their idea of liberty doesn’t include yours.

With a Democratic establishment we can hold off the impending apocalypse but we won’t fix it. Which is why my first choice is Bernie Sanders and I hope yours will be too.

 

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