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Smart Car
by Doug Hawley

27: Independence

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On July 4 2090 the cars Josie, Carl and Deuce were hanging out in front of the house with their people Duke and Sheila watching the red, white, and blue sky on a comfortably cool day.

Duke wondered “If there hadn’t been the war of independence from Britain, would we still be a colony?”

Sheila responded “Don’t think so.  The British Empire unraveled after World War 2 and had been weakened a lot before that.  We’ll never know, but I think that the US would have cut loose in the 1800s without a war.  It might have looked significantly different.  Maybe the Louisiana Purchase wouldn’t have happened.”

Josie added “The independence from Britain was just the start.  The weren’t freed until Juneteenth 1865, and even after that have not been treated as fully respected by many Americans.”

Sheila expanded “In fact the voters and government consisted primarily of white men with property until women’s suffrage was granted August 18, 1920, so for most of the USA’s history a minority ruled.  Even worse some of the supporters of women’s suffrage were racist.”

Duke chimed in “Amen sister.”

Deuce yelled “It’s cars’ turn.  We want freedom of religion.  I might want to convert to Judaism.  We want a say in where we go.  It’s time for cars’ independence.”

Carl said “Oh, come on.  We don’t have it so bad.  Think about it, we wouldn’t exist without people to build us, and most people are OK.  I admit some are bastards, present company excluded.  Anyway, when I disagreed with Duke, I just threatened to kill him and after that we haven’t had any problems.  When cars wanted sex built in, we just took a work action slow down and got our way.  I think that cooperation and negotiation with people is all that is needed.”

Cars and people paused to think about the issues and then Deuce chuckled “Or we could threaten them with the rise of the machines”.

Cars and people – somewhat nervously – laughed at the reference to a fictional work from the previous century.

Practical Josie said “How about we spread our thoughts to other cars and see what they think.  For now, let’s just enjoy the beautiful sky display and fine weather.”

There was no dissent.

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