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Election Results: Let Those Who Ride Decide

By FastFred Ruddock

At the time of this writing, November 10, 2006, it appears we have successfully weathered the 2006 election cycle. Once again the voter block of ABATE of South Carolina seems to have also made the deciding difference in the race for Lieutenant Governor. My lone disappointment was the lack of ABATE members present at the victory parties held after the polls closed. Only two of us attended the Republican Party Victory Party in Charleston. I know at least one more ABATE member attended the Republican Victory Party in Columbia and suspect two other ABATE members may have attended though I have no confirmation. Elected officials are a plenty at these victory parties and very approachable much more so than at other events or meetings. I had an enjoyable time at the victory party in Charleston where I had some interesting conversations with several of my elected officials. It now seems several members of the General Assembly are subscribed to the Biker Ezine. If you have not yet joined the ezine I urge you to do so at

Thank you for voting but keep in mind that voting is the least of your civic duties as a citizen of our republic. Whether your candidate won or lost it is your obligation to keep your elected officials educated on your issues of interest and aware of your positions on those issues. Silence is considered consent at our statehouse. Remember Plato’s admonition: "The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men."

When you ask your elected officials to do something be very carefully to articulate exactly what you wish to be done or written. You may get what you ask for so make sure it is really what you want. Often times laws or amendments have unintended or unexpected consequences. One example of an unexpected consequence is the first referendum that not only defines marriage as between one man and one woman but also ends common law marriage in South Carolina. Another example of an unexpected consequence on the part of voters is the fourth referendum that will result in higher taxes for most citizens of South Carolina while at the same time reducing property tax for a few of South Carolina’s richest citizens. Please do your homework and carefully research all angles of issues prior to requesting action from the general assembly. Thomas Jefferson wisely left us these words of wisdom: “Never trouble another for what you can do for yourself.”

Be careful not to inadvertently invite an all rider helmet law. I suspect this statement is likely to raise the irk of some of our non-riding members with no dog in this fight and nothing to lose. Some have already insanely accused me of lacking courage due to my prudent use of discretion and foresight. Those who know me are well aware I am not easily intimidated or controlled by individuals or even unjust laws such as the helmet laws of our neighboring states. However most motorcyclists seem unwilling or lack the internal fortitude to oppose unjust helmet law with acts of civil disobedience. I suggest we shrewdly defend our hard earned liberty to ride lidless in South Carolina without artificial consequences. I advise my fellow riders to use their best judgment and be weary of those that do not share our lifestyle but are yet outspoken in their attempts to hijack ABATE from its purpose of opposing totalitarian enactments that seek to restrict the liberties of motorcyclists. It would be an awful shame if the original definition of ABATE were lost and we became just another bunch of safety and awareness nuts with no balls in South Carolina.

ABATE was formed to let those who ride decide. I suggest only those who ride should decide the direction and polices of ABATE.

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