Wednesday, January 04, 2017


if you don't know what it's like to drive a truck, you ain't a real U.S. male, sez tough guy Sean Davis of The Federalist. Davis' angle is that "A Bunch Of Journalists Freak[ed] Out After Being Asked If They Know Anybody Who Drives A Truck." In this case "Freak Out" means they asked, upon being questioned as to whether they owned a truck or not, what owning a truck has to do with anything. This Davis interpreted to mean that reporters are "the most cloistered and provincial class in America" and live in a "liberal media bubble." Davis neglected to mention what sort of truck he drives, what sort of loads he hauls, or if his rig is equipped with a CB and a jaker breaker.

Actually, turns out he's not talking about big rigs, but about Silverados and Tacomas and other such Canyoneros one sees driven by accountants and middle managers all across the fruited plain. But I suspect that is, as the saying goes, central to his point. Davis also lists a bunch of Twitter responses which he portrays as evidence of his thesis; in one of these, Jose A. DelReal says yes, he has a truck "b/c I'm from Alaska. Do any friends own one in DC or NYC? No, because they're unnecessary here." Davis' response: "This person writes for Washington Post and just missed the entire point." That point, apparently, is that in order to be unbubbled and in touch with the Real America you must have a truck, not because you need it, but because lots of Americans have them whether they actually need them to do actual hauling or not, just as many Texans wear cowboy hats whether or not they ever rode herd, or many conservatives revere the Confederate flag whether or not they ever faced the Union Army in battle.

In other words, it's purely symbolic, like a weekend boho's beret or a hipster's lumberjack threads. The only reason to treat the Chevy Silverado with more respect than a lumbersexual's duds or any other fetish object is to communicate to other pencil-neck types that you, and not they, are In Touch with the Common Man. Davis, his bio explains, is a former economic policy adviser to Gov. Rick Perry, CFO of Daily Caller, and chief investigator for Sen. Tom Coburn, and holder of an MBA in finance and entrepreneurial management from the Wharton School, so maybe he needs a truck to put it over. If that doesn't work, maybe he can add a pair of truck nuts. If that also fails, maybe he can resort to other traditional imagery. But doesn't all that posing get tiresome after a while?

UPDATE. Tweaked this to make clear that Davis is talking about suburban-dadmobiles. "I thought he was talking about driving a tractor-trailer!" says Frank McCormick in comments. "Shoot. Does he know that a Ford F-150 actually has automatic transmission and, other than a slightly more of a challenge in parallel parking, drives just like a car? What a sissy!"

Also in comments (which are well worth a visit) are several suggestions for a Wingnut Bubble Test, which might be worth formulating sometime, notwithstanding that such scams are much easier to put over on the other side. Questions might include: Have you ever...

  • taken public transit to work?
  • met a Muslim (protesting at a mosque doesn't count)?
  • "strolled through the alleged 'no-go' zone of east Dearborn so feared by the wingnut community for its demonic Shariah law and roving bands of swarthy terrorists?" (h/t trex)
  • Eaten a vegetarian meal because you were in the mood, not because you were too sick to keep meat down?
  • Read a book for pleasure?

 I could use some more suggestions in comments.

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