Bikes & Democracy?

BIKES AND DEMOCRACY? – Give me a Representative Government


May 21, 2012

Direct Democracy. What is it?
James Madison defined it as  “…a number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community“.

According to the Direct Democracy Project’s definition of democracy it states that  “there are no spokespersons or representatives; everyone represents only themselves”.

As a result, we have the Direct Democracy Project representing themselves. In so doing, they have organized a bike rally and have issued a mass, city-wide call to bicyclists to rally and gather to, in their words, “support bike lanes and bike infrastructure (as far as I know bike infrastructure consists of little else than painted lines on pavement) to ride up the Main Street Corridor once a month on a Friday at 5:30 pm – right during the week-ending drive home during rush hour traffic.

This undoubtedly is this minority’s effort in response to the majority objections to the implementation of a complete transformation of the Main Street Corridor’s transportation components, which just happens to include plans for bike lanes.

But, this is more than a bike rally. This is an exercise in interference.  Let me explain.
The Democracy Project’s modus operandi includes, among other things, what they term as intervention, stated like this:

Directly intervening in the functioning of the system to increase the cost of the status quo (blockading roads or buildings, disrupting meetings).

  Their actions are no less an attempt to bully and interfere.  And while some may even attempt to dismiss this or to justify this as civil disobedience, such is far from that accepted, liberty-minded proctive and passive act of resistance. This form of intervention, or interference, while they claim to be non-violent, is an aggressive show of force intended to and with the objective of disrupting and  creating and causing potential hazard to not only themselves, but to motorists, as well.
Take a close look at the objective of their method:  it attempts to disrupt the smooth functioning of the entire system and inflict an intentional cost to that  system by blocking roads, driveways, entrances to public buildings and private homes, just to name a few that they have. How much farther could it proceed? I am certainly not trying to imply anything but are some of these tactics tantamount  to municipal terrorism?
And, do we even have mention the potential safety hazard this creates? And while their actions tout a non-violent nature, the potential hazards inherent in their objective patently has the potential to create the very injury they dismiss.  In fact, they stand to  potentially jeopardize the entire community.
All this for painted lines on the pavement?
   A bike rally?
This is nothing more than an attempt to manipulate the process; to try and illustrate the desire, and even a need, for bike lanes where this is no support by the majority.  First, the bike lanes are not necessary on the busiest corridor in the cities, and second, they are not desired by the majority.  Unfortunately, that concept doesn’t fit into the skewed definition of this minority groups’ vision of democracy.
So, the need to revert to extreme measures and acts to achieve their desired end finds the bike rally more than a harmless group of cycling enthusiasts gathering for some extra-curricular activity.

Allow me to characterize this action in application after the fact of Madison’s genius definition of  direct democracy:
A perverted and deceitful attempt to undermine and manipulate constitutional principles and sacred traditions of representative government, to jeopardize the rights of the whole, and to taint the outcome and best interests of the majority citizens.

It is, in a word, unacceptable.
It is time to infuse some integrity into the democratic
process, and it is time to maintain that which we have left.
A bike rally?
Direct Democracy?
I want neither.

Of the people, for the people,
and for the good of the community.

One thought on “Bikes & Democracy?

  1. We know how the majority of the community feels – we hear it from them.
    It’s time for the local city officials and elected city council to start to hear it from you.
    Its your responsibility, Bloomington, and it’s their job.

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