You know, don’t you gentle readers, what the self-imagined intellectual and moral elite think about you? You know they don’t think kindly of you, nor do they see you, as Dickens put it, as fellow travelers to the grave? You realize they think of you as barely human, racist, sexist, _____________ (fill in your favorite “ist” here), and unable to properly use a toilet without their enlightened guidance? But you know what really convinces them you’re complete morons and degenerates? You own and drive pickup trucks.
Here’s an example dated 21 May 2007, from CBS News:
Watching the president welcome NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer to the Bush ranch yesterday, it drove home one of the reasons Mr. Bush loves the place so much.
He gets to drive there.
Like a teenager showing off his first car, President Bush proudly drove up to the helicopter landing zone on his ranch in his honking big white Ford F250 pickup truck.
Hmm. How, pray tell, does one drive “proudly?” What does that look like exactly? Is it so common and well known one can, at a glance, identify it and remark: “see how proudly she’s driving!” And notice the terminology: “honking big white Ford F250 pickup.”
The Ford F250 is one of the most common vehicles on American roads. It’s merely a bit more heavy duty than the F150. Few in the least familiar with pickups would think to call it “honking big.” So what’s up with that? I’ll explain shortly.
For six years as Texas governor, and for the last six and a half years as president, Mr. Bush has been relegated to the back seat of any vehicle he’s in. For someone who likes to drive, that produces a strong yearning to put one’s pedal to the metal.
And how do the CBS reporters know Mr. Bush has a yearning to put his “pedal to the metal?” Did they ask him? And if so, why didn’t they simply quote his reply? Surely no professional journalist would merely make assumptions and put them into print?
He gets to do that at his ranch. He gets to drive the bouncy, unpaved roads all around his 1600 acres. And he gets to do it wearing the clothes he’s most comfortable in. Yesterday, he was in cowboy mode wearing blue jeans, a short sleeve shirt and western boots. The NATO chief seemed positively overdressed as he arrived at the ranch wearing a european-cut blue blazer over an open collar dress shirt.
Oh that hick Bush! Look at him in “cowboy mode,” wearing jeans, a short sleeve shirt, and western boots, on a ranch, of all places! What kind of moron would dress in “cowboy mode” like that? Well, actually, a substantial portion of the American public dresses like that pretty much every day, and many of those don’t own pickup trucks. The breathless quality of the article continues with this:
Mr. Bush escorted his guest and his wife over to the pickup. The spouse joined First Lady Laura Bush in the back seat of the expanded cab, and the NATO chief took the passenger seat next to the President.
Neither of them were seen to buckle their seat belts.
Where people sat in the “honking big white Ford F250 pickup” is news because…? And the seat belt issue is of news value only in that CBS felt it was sufficiently important that this was only one of two articles featuring that bit of breaking news released on the same day. CBS did not note that traffic laws do not apply on private property. Anyone can erect a stop sign on their own property and run it 50 times a day with their seatbelt unfastened if they please. Yet CBS was clearly trying to suggest Mr. Bush was an idiot–and certainly not one of the elite–because he dressed in cowboy mode, drove a pickup truck, and didn’t wear a seatbelt.
Obviously, CBS is preaching to the progressive choir. They know what their audience thinks of George W. Bush and anyone so crude and uncivilized as to drive a pickup truck, particularly a honking big pickup, and they don’t care that such unwashed subhumans might not appreciate such caricatures.
This is actually how the elite think. It’s what they think of us. What’s that you say? You think I might be exaggerating a bit, reading something into this single article? OK then. Consider this Sean Davis article of 04 January 2017 from the Federalist:
Even after a presidential election in which scores of media personalities were shown to be entirely disconnected from the country and people they report on, the liberal media bubble is alive and well. All it took to reveal the durability of that bubble was a simple question about pickup trucks [skip].
Rather than answer with a simple ‘no,’ the esteemed members of the most cloistered and provincial class in America–political journalists who live in New York City or Washington, D.C.–reacted by doing their best impersonation of a vampire who had just been dragged into the sunshine and presented with a garlic-adorned crucifix.
There were basically three types of hysterical response to a simple question about truck owners: 1) shut up, 2) you’re stupid and/or sexist and/or racist, and 3) whatever, liar, trucks aren’t popular (far and away my favorite delusional response to a simple question from a group of people who want you to believe they’re extremely concerned about “fake news”). It turns out that people who are paid large sums of money to opine on what Americans outside the Acela province think get very upset if you demonstrate that they don’t actually know any of the people about whom they pretend to be experts [skip].
Well why shouldn’t they be upset? After all, they’re the intellectual and moral elite? How dare those “cowboy mode” wearing, pickup driving, non-seatbelt wearing knuckle dragging droolers suggest the elite don’t know what they know very well they know!
For those who might not be aware, trucks are really popular in America and have been for decades. The Ford F-series, for example, has been the most popular line of vehicles in America for 34 years in a row. Ford F-150’s are basically the jeans of vehicles: it’s nearly impossible to find a person in America who either doesn’t own one or doesn’t know someone who owns one. The top three best-selling vehicles in America are not cars, but trucks: the Ford F-series, Chevy Silverado, and Dodge Ram. The top-selling sedan is but a distant fourth. According to a 2014 survey conducted by IHS automotive, trucks were the most popular vehicles in a whopping 34 states. A separate 2015 study found that the F-150 was the most popular used vehicle in 36 states.
Why is this important? Because research has shown that vehicle preferences and political preferences are linked. According to a 2016 survey of 170,000 vehicle buyers conducted by market research firm Strategic Vision, what you drive can reveal a great deal about which political candidates you prefer.
Of course, one needs to be careful about such generalizations, but let’s continue
The five most popular vehicle models among Republicans, for example, are all trucks, with the ubiquitous Ford F-150 leading the way. Among Democrats, the Subaru Outback is the most popular choice. If you drive a truck, you’re probably a Republican. If you drive a Subaru, you’re probably a Democrat. Donald Trump won every single state in which the Ford F-150 is the most popular vehicle (even Pennsylvania). He won all but four of the states in which the Chevy Silverado is the most popular vehicle, including Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Hillary Clinton handily won the states where people prefer Subarus.
Here we see the dripping condescension of the elite. How did everyone in the media get the election of 2016 so completely, badly, baldly wrong? Because most, if not all, of their assumptions about most Americans are disastrously wrong. Because they cannot imagine why anyone would want to own a pickup truck, and they think those that do are intellectually inferior, deplorables, if you will. Oh yes, gentle readers, I’ve met such people. Not only do they have no idea one can easily spend $50,000–and more, much more–on a pickup as luxurious as anything they’re driving, they refuse to believe it, and would ridicule anyone spending that kind of money on a pickup, of all things!
George Bush was relentlessly attacked and accused of being a moron. His ownership of a pickup was, to the self-styled elite, merely another bit of unassailable proof. If Barack Obama owned a pickup, one can be sure the elite would have praised him for his brilliance and practicality, but of course, that–Mr. Obama owning a truck–would never have happened.
A bit off topic: Mr. Obama promised to buy a Chevy Volt when he left office. Let’s keep an eye on that one, shall we? I suspect it’s in the “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” class.
As I already noted, one must be careful not to take such analyses too far. There can be little doubt the journalists that responded so defensively to an innocuous question really doth protest too much. They understand all too well the underlying political, philosophical significance of pickup ownership. The very real differences in progressive and conservative outlooks must be understood and taken into account. Too many of the “elite” really don’t like most Americans. Too many actively hate them. This can cause progressives to make terrible, even potentially deadly, miscalculations.
At the very least, keep in mind what Octavius said in Julius Caesar when progressive neighbors stare as you drive by in your “honking big” pickup while dressed in cowboy mode: “and some that smile have in their hearts, I fear, millions of mischiefs.”