The motorcycling community in the State of Washington has the opportunity to come together and use the power of our numbers to make serious change in Olympia. Imagine if every member of the various Motorcycle Rights Organizations in the State of Washington took 30 minutes or more to contact the candidates for legislative office in their district, and asked questions on where they stand on our issues, we could make an intelligent vote in November and shift the power structure in Olympia. If the members of ABATE, the COC, NCOM, MRF, LAC, and others ALL contacted the candidates and spoke to them about our common issues, and voted upon the responses we were given. The legislature would soon begin to feel the pressure the motorcycling community could bring to bear. With over 219,000 motorcycles registered, imagine the effect if everyone who owned a motorcycle within the State of Washington contacted the candidates and based their votes on the responses to their questions on our issues.
At times, the motorcycling community can still be too fractured and splintered to actually act in a coherent and unified manner politically. Segments of the motorcycling community have been much more politically active than others. But with cultural differences within the motorcycling community as it currently stands, it will take something severe to successfully mold it into anything that truly resembles unity. Part of the trouble seems to be that the various segments of the overall motorcycling community visualize themselves as being separate and set apart. Many times the riders of the various types of motorcycles perceive themselves as unable to be accepted by the other segments of the community, or seem unable to accept. Whether that perception is real or not, it seems to be a factor in the slowly diminishing segmentation of the motorcycling community. But there is hope. As some segments of the population are reaching out to one another in an attempt to bridge some of the gaps in communications between the different subcultures of our community. Organizations like; ABATE, the Council Of Clubs, the Motorcycle Profiling Project, the National Sport Bike Association, and the Motorcycle Rights Foundation and others are beginning to make inroads. Spreading the concept that we must stand together to protect our Freedoms.
The realization is beginning to grow that the only way to end anti-motorcycle laws is to unite, and stand together. The motorcycling community is beginning to set aside their differences and stand together peacefully and supportively in the fight against the violation of our Civil Rights. From our First Amendment issues of freedom of speech and association, to our Fourth Amendment Right to security in our persons and possessions from illegal search and seizures, or our Fourteenth Amendment Right to equal protection under the law, and beyond.
There have been other groups in society that have set aside their differences and joined together to promote their common goals. They have affected great change in the government, and have had laws passed to protect their Rights. It took time, but as each group came to the realization that they needed to unify politically to survive, they set aside their petty differences and came together to fight for their common goals. What finally tipped the scales, and in many cases brought the various factions together all seemed to hinge on Civil Rights. As the realization spread that each community was having their Civil Rights violated, and that unifying to correct those violations, those communities fought back and to differing degrees changed history.
As other diverse cultures and communities have done before us, the greater motorcycling community is beginning to accept the idea that standing together in mutual self defense of our Civil Liberties is the only way we are going to survive. When laws are passed that affect the Rights of motorcyclists; it isn’t only the Club Community, or the Sport Bike Community, or the Independent Community. It is all the various groups within our community that are affected. We may not generally associate together on the roadways, but we must learn to stand together politically or we will all fall separately.
The motorcycling community of Washington State needs to come together and set aside our differences in order affect true political change that will allow all of us to be able to exercise our Rights without the paternalistic mentality of some government officials and agencies from subjugating us to their own political agenda. If even one hundredth (1/100) of the owners of the over 215,000 motorcycles in Washington State came together for a “public” event on the issues of discrimination and motorcycle profiling facing all motorcyclists in our state, can you imagine the political power we could have? Think about that for a bit. That would be over 2,000 motorcycles of all types coming together in unity, and peaceful protest against the anti-motorcycle laws that are discriminatingly forced into our lives.
As the Washington legislature stands at this writing, the party leaders have generally stood in paternalistic opposition to our efforts to secure the liberty to exercise our Rights, has a very narrow two seat majority in the House. That means; that if three less Democrats are elected, or some other combination of either Republican, Libertarian or Independent are elected that reduces the number of Democrats in the House by three, the entire political make-up of the House will change. This will cause a reshuffling of the current Committee Chairs. This would reduce the direct power some of the staunchest obstacles to exercising our Freedoms have to merely being a single vote among a group. Meaning that they no longer having the power to kill our bills simply by not allowing a hearing on them to be held.
By uniting to defend our Rights, and to elect those who support those Rights (no matter what their party affiliation). The motorcycling community would be able to affect great change in the political structure of Washington State. It will require effort, and respect for ourselves and each other. But there are examples that show it can be done. Before you say it “will never happen”, or “it won’t work”, take a look at what transpired on the first anniversary of the Waco Massacre on May 17th, 2016. Representatives of motorcycle clubs from around the U.S. came together. They set aside their differences, and stood in unity with each other at the Shamrock Cycles in Austin, Texas as part of a “National Protest Against Motorcycle Profiling and Discrimination. Members of the Outlaws MC, the Hells Angels MC, The Mongols MC, the Vagos MC, the Hessians MC, The Sons of Silence MC, The Devils Disciples MC, the Infidels MC, the Valiants MC, the Outsiders MC, and several other motorcycle clubs all set aside their differences and came together for the common good.
Perhaps the Washington State motorcyclists should take a long hard look at the example of the Club Community in this manner. Only by standing together, with unity of purpose, have we ever succeeded in protecting our Civil Rights. I truly believe it is the only way that we ever will. There are some tough fights coming up in November that will have a great affect on the motorcyclists of Washington State. It is for us, the motorcycling community to decide whether we will stand by as our ability to exercise our Rights to be limited by a few, or stand together and insure they are supported by many.
This cannot be done by simply voting for one party or the other. Isn’t that the same closed minded mentality that has made it difficult to unite in the first place? That you would totally exclude voting for someone simply because they belong to a different political party? Think about that for a few seconds. Isn’t that like saying you are going to vote for someone whether or not they support you Right to ride free from burdensome laws, and law enforcement, simply because of the party they belong to? Or is it better for you to vote for someone who actually supports your Right to ride freely and in the manner that you feel best protects you from all the other risks we face daily no matter what party (if any) they belong too? If we come together, and think of ourselves as ‘motorcyclists’ not Democrats or Republicans or Libertarians; then we can elect legislators who not only support us, but who also know the power we can wield when we desire to. We can achieve this simply by standing together for our own common goal of Freedom.
Let us come together and prune the legislature of nanny state politicians (they exist in both parties). This will allow the Freedom minded politicians (these too exist in both parties) to work together more effectively. Does it really make any sense to say you will only vote for candidates on the basis of the party they are in? That is like saying you will only purchase; a motorcycle, a car or truck, or a gun of a particular make and model. Does that make any sense? Why limit yourself to making a choice simply by brand? Does that really provide you with the best you can get? If you want the best government we can have, do your homework. Find out which candidates for the legislature (and that includes Lt, Governor and Governor) support our issues, and vote them into office. I mean really now, does it make any sense to vote someone into office that doesn’t support our issues, just because of the party they belong to? Let us all dump the party line, and actually vote to elect people who support us for a change.
If we stand together as motorcyclists; and respect each other within the community, even if we don’t necessarily like each other, we can accomplish great things. So let us show unity of purpose, and bring pressure upon the legislature to pass laws that allow us the Liberty to exercise Our Rights and live as we choose to. Freely
Catch you on the road sometime…