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Monday, March 13, 2000

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On a email list for pedestrians someone posted a column from a lady who was driving along a backroad, at 50 MPH, came over a hill and nearly hit two cyclists who were riding side by side. She had to hit the brake as she couldn't get around them. I said they were stupid. Everyone else on the list acted as though I suggested getting rid of all bicyclists. I get so irritated at stuff like this.

The lady even said she was in favor of bike lanes and had gotten their daughter a bike to get around at college, etc. She just said that what the bicyclists were doing was dangerous. The other people on the listserve seemed to think it was her fault for not crawling along at 20 MPH in case someone else happened to be on the road. Come on!

There is such an adversarial mindset in activist groups. Why can't they see anyone else's point of view. It's like the environmental groups that want to get rid of all ranchers so we can protect the west. Ranchers are also part of the west and citizens with rights also. Why can't people just talk to each other?

So many of these people who want to get rid of cars, drive one themselves, but they want other people to stop driving. They would scream bloody murder if someone suggested they get rid of their car. Why, they need it to go camping and hiking so they can enjoy all this nature they are protecting.

It's not just the environment, but also politics and education and drugs. Everything. There are some people at work I just don't discuss certain things with, even things I basically agree with them on because it becomes very adversarial if I question the slightest part of their position.

We will never have a perfect world because everyone's idea of perfection is different. I tend to be somewhat optimistic and figure we'll come up with something. It may not be as soon as it should be or as perfect as it might be, but we'll muddle through.

I am just such a lousy activist. I dislike being involved in shouting matches, especially when I know that no one is going to change their mind. I also have a problem in taking a stand because I know that my "stand" will change as I learn more facts or talk to more people or see a problem from a different point of view. I think I would also be a lousy politician.

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Biked 5 miles

(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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