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View Diary: Cars Cause Republicanism (338 comments)

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  •  When I was in grad school (4.00)
    I was slightly too old to be able to tolerate living on campus. I went to school in the South, a city of about 100K, lived about 3 miles from campus, right on a bus line. I decided that rather than go deeper in debt (or spend a moderate amount on a vehicle I'd have to keep pouring money into), I'd go without owning a car at all. Most of the time I'd walk to where I needed to be (man, I was in great shape in those days).

    People literally thought I was nuts. People would pull over to offer me a ride because obviously something must be horribly wrong for me to be traveling on foot. On a couple of occasions, the police stopped to talk to me just to see what I was up to. Just because I was walking.

    I don't know if car ownership causes Republicanism, but in my experience it sure seems to go along with suspicion and paranoia. And, in turn, I've got a feeling that suspicion and paranoia are a part of what breeds (or at least helps promulgate) Republicanism.

    Insistence on car ownership -- and insistence on willfully moving to areas where car ownership is a virtual necessity (the exurbs) -- isn't the cause.

    But generally speaking, it sure can be a symptom.

    •  I"ve almost stopped and asked a pedestrian (none)
      if they wanted a ride.  There was a person who walked from near my home 5 miles each way to Penn State.  I'd pass her every day on the way to work, as did the bus.  So apparently it was by choice.  
    •  I've gotten similar reactions (4.00)
      from people when I tell them I don't own a car - and I live a quarter mile from a subway station!

      How can we get over it when people died for the right to vote? -- John Lewis

      by furryjester on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 07:30:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, you must be up to no good (4.00)
      if you're so poor that you don't own a car.

      Essential funk: 'Impeach the President' by the Honeydrippers

      by pontechango on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 07:56:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've had that experience! (none)
      Always in the south.  Where I live in the northeast, walking is pretty much taken for granted.  But the summers I've spent in the south, I've had SO many people pull over and offer me rides or check that I'm ok when I walked places.  And yes, once the police not only stopped me but ran my license because I looked so suspicious!

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