Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

February 19, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

THE TRUTH ABOUT LIBERALS?....Bill Sjostrom quotes Tom Smith at The Right Coast on the real reason all the tree huggers hate SUVs:

The real reason SUV haters hate SUV's is they can't stand the symbolism of it. 5000 pound Mercedes are fine. Have you ever heard anyone say, oh, those movie stars' cars are so long. Nope, limousines are fine. But if it's boxy or you can actually haul something in it, oh, dear, the masses are getting above themselves. Too many children. Why can't they just have one or two like Nigel and I. And those big dogs! What's wrong with a Bichon?

This is an unoriginal observation, but why are so many conservatives convinced that they and only they! have a direct pipeline to the internal psychodramas that truly drive liberals? We hate SUVs because we don't want regular folks to have big cars. Europeans hate Americans because they are insanely jealousy of our economic success. We favor progressive tax schemes because we hate the rich and want to pauperize them.

The angst! The self-loathing! Freud would have a field day.

I dunno, though. I can't speak for all liberals, but I don't really have any deep hatred of SUVs (except perhaps in the same way that Stephen Bainbridge does). On the other hand, I do think there are a bunch of good reasons for reducing our use of fossil fuels, so I favor public policies that encourage that. Sure, big SUVs get caught up in this, but so do Porsches and 5000-pound Mercedes.

And I've talked to an awful lot of Europeans over the years and they've never struck me as being especially jealous of our two-week vacations and nutball politics. They mainly just seem to wish that we'd calm down a bit, stop thinking that someone is always out to get us, and show a greater willingness to translate our software into their local languages.

As for progressive taxation, I'm a fan of that, but mainly because the rich have all the money. If the top 20% of the population has half the income then those are the guys you have to tax. Even aside from moral concerns, trying to get a bunch of tax revenue out of the poor schmoes making $30,000 a year is like getting blood from a stone. It's just not going to work.

Then again, maybe I'm just kidding myself. Is it time for some therapy?

Kevin Drum 3:46 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly