Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm an urban liberal who just can't seem to fit in with urban liberals

I'm currently a supporter of Mike McGinn for mayor of Seattle. I follow his campaign on Facebook [].

Lately I've had some intellectual friction with postings from McGinn. Let's start with this entry from McGinn: "Cary Moon of the People's Waterfront Coalition has written an excellent article on HAC detailing the many reasons why the deep-bore tunnel should not be constructed." >

I posted this response in the Facebook thread:

Read the posted article. Phrases like "vibrant urban street" and "incentives to not use cars" shouldn't be part of the discussion. This is a state highway, for throughput of relatively fast traffic in route from one point in the state to another, e.g. West Seattle to Shoreline.

A few days ago I weighed in another issue, McGinn agrees with the Mayor Nickels effort to ban guns from public property such as parks.

I don't encourage the carrying of firearms as a solution to anything, so I'm not pro-gun. But I think this ban is going to fail at the legal level, and end up costing money for the effort. I'm voting for McGinn regardless of this one issue, but feel it is playing the identity politics card for votes. McGinn doesn't need to do that, he's got many fine points.

Back to the Anti-Deep-Bore-Tunnel article. My family should be held up as the most model citizens when it comes to progressive transportation lifestyle. We walk or bike everywhere. Especially to work and for grocery shopping. We've located our residence so as to not need a car. But even as we are committed car-less, I see a certain kind of anti-car stance as a bad thing. I want to call it punitive identity politics. The Alaska Way Viaduct replacement as example, we have so-called progressives who want to sabotage the effort. They want to make something that isn't a state highway. To get to a final point of reference: I don't want to live in a city that isn't a city. A city absolutely must have some conduits of high speed intercourse with the globe. I agree that into the future we should have less or no cars, and "high speed intercourse" may all be online. I embrace that. But today, and in the next several years, we have a large constituency who need to drive, in a timely manner, from West Seattle to North Seattle, at hours when buses do not run. We have a democracy, those people should be served by city and state services. It is slightly fascist for a portion of our constituency to dictate a car-less agenda to those who rely on cars for employment and their paycheck.

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