Especially our dominant stripe of "conservatives."
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the kind of radicalism I'm talking about like this:
b : favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions
c : associated with political views, practices, and policies of extreme change
Like many of their party cohorts, a couple of "conservative" Republican candidates for mayor of Omaha never got the memo about the limitations inherent to the human condition. Apparently, Dan Welch and Dave Nabity think Almighty God has decreed that Americans have a limitless right to burn limitless amounts of petroleum in a limitless number of automobiles on a limitless expanse of concrete and asphalt.
IN A political culture as deeply silly and shallow as our own, this inevitably leads to an assault on . . . bicycle lanes. Do reporters at the Omaha World-Herald even try to keep a straight face when covering politicians exercised over the Civic Menace of Bicycle Lanes? God, I couldn't.
The Omaha mayoral candidates were all over the road Tuesday on those two big-city issues, with several questioning the wisdom of Mayor Jim Suttle's decisions to hire a bike czar and to develop bike lanes downtown.I GUESS nothing screams "raging irresponsibility" like making an effort to reduce the amount of complex hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide we daily spew into the atmosphere over our fair city, save a bit of money we'd otherwise be dumping into our gas tanks, conserve a limited natural resource and burn a few pounds off of our limitless backsides.
Republicans Dan Welch and Dave Nabity both criticized Suttle for parts of his bike initiatives, including the hiring of a czar from California for $65,000.
“Not wise,” said Welch.
“Out of touch,” said Nabity.
Both men questioned the bike lanes. Welch said he drives Leavenworth Street every day and believes that the lanes are tough on traffic.
“I haven't seen a bike yet, but we're backing up traffic,” Welch said.
Nabity agreed: “It was a lot of energy about something that wasn't really moving the ball down the field.”
Suttle, the only Democrat in the race, stood by his bike-friendly initiatives.
He said that when he became mayor, he decided to adopt an all-inclusive transportation policy that took into consideration all modes of movement, including foot traffic, trolleys, buses and bikes.
For the sin of championing conservation, Jim Suttle has earned the ire of self-proclaimed "conservative" mayoral candidates, pontificating from their political towers of Babble and apparently as in love with the notion of the human ego unrestrained by notions of excess or modesty as the most committed utopian revolutionary.
All you need is gas.
Make cars, not bikes.
Power to the Porsche.
Because that's how we roll.