If you regularly read the New York Times, you are probably familiar with one of my favorite journalistic genres: the “profile of exotic Middle Americans in their natural habitat” think piece. On New Year’s Eve, the Times ran a rather delightful example, set just a hop, skip, and a jump from where I live: “Rodeo Offers a 90-M.P.H. Glimpse of Texans’ Truck Mania.”
Before you scoff, it’s actually an endearing piece, in which the author admits that he might be a terrible driver, confesses that he “smacked into a deer” on the way back to his hotel, and gamely notes, in a tone with a touch of Eddie Haskell, that he enjoyed his “stuntman-style” ride in a Ford Raptor “a whole bunch.”
Could this 875-word article have been replaced with “Hey, a lot of Texans really like trucks”? Perhaps. Would the New York Times display a similar wide-eyed innocence when profiling an acclaimed off-Broadway performance in which the main characters are an old sock and an immobile, day-old rotisserie chicken? Probably not.
Either way, it’s 2017, we’re mere days from the inauguration of you-know-who, and many of America’s journalists and other “elite” thinkers have pickups, guitars, guns, hillbilly music, and the like on their minds. After all, “Real America,” as some like to call that enigmatic swath of flyover country, voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump — and all things considered, coastal elites seem pretty darn touchy about it.
Witness the case of Decision Desk Daily’s John Ekdahl, who made the mistake of asking a fairly innocent question about pickup trucks on Tuesday night. It was a mistake because he asked his question on Twitter, that seething digital hive populated by various goofballs, a few ardent pun lovers, hordes of the easily enraged, most prominent American journalists, and Donald Trump:
The top 3 best selling vehicles in America are pick-ups. Question to reporters: do you personally know someone that owns one?
— John 'pro-norms' Ekdahl (@JohnEkdahl) January 4, 2017
Man oh man, were people irritated. The tweet went viral, boosted by dozens of huffy replies from journalists at various august institutions — places such as the Washington Post, Vox, and the New York Daily News — insisting that the question was completely irrelevant, vaguely offensive, or personally insulting. One automotive writer huffed that “plenty of heartlanders are opioid addicts” who shouldn’t be imitated in their life choices; others took the question as a jab at subway-taking city folk and a questioning of their “realness” as Americans.
Whatever your stance on pickup trucks, one thing is clear: The much-vaunted concept of “Real America,” particularly as it relates to the election of Donald Trump, remains a sore spot for many in the press. It’s been a minor obsession on both sides of the political aisle for a long, long time. What’s less often discussed, however, is this: For the left, the “Real America” stereotype has also become a comforting, well-worn crutch, and a great way to avoid looking in the mirror when it comes to assessing political loss.
Pick-ups carry gun racks often and no thug is going to car jack a pick with a gun rack unless they want to end up on a marble slab with a tag tied to their big toe
What can we in the flyover say
I live in semi-rural Georgia. I’m surrounded by rednecks, good ol’ boys and a scattering of yuppies. We all get along jus’ fine. Most of my neighbors drive pickup trucks. Quite a few have college degrees. Those that don’t are intelligent and well educated in their fields.
An example of the type of people in “flyover country”:
A few days ago, My car died on I-16. No water. Within minutes, a pair of good ol’ boys in a pickup truck stopped, filled the cooling system and went out of their way to follow me home to make sure I made it safely.
I’m glad I live here.
And no, I’m not worried that they know where I live now, because they’re coming over this weekend with their families for a bar-b-q.
I love the South.
When I took my car to the shop to get the water pump replaced, another customer gave me a ride home. That’s what life is like down here. We’re all neighbors, and act like it.
@Petercat: I was born an raised in semi-rural Georgia and now live in semi rural Louisiana. Love both of them. both have people like you described. Oh yeah, drive a pick up truck and a cadillac and have BS in two majors
Glad to hear it!
I drive a Cadillac, too.
A 1987 Hearse.
My neighbors think I’m weird.
Loveable old fart, but weird.
I just cannot imagine being without a truck, my favorite bumpersticker I saw on 1
YES THIS IS MY TRUCK, NO I WONT HELP YOU MOVE
Its sweeties truck I drive my 6 speed Nissan Maxima.
People that live in larger cities gain a fear of pulling over to help others, you just never know, They also stereotype rural people as moonshiners or chainsaw killers, of course I am both isnt that diverse.
But you will not see a posting like this from anyone but a lefty
I prefer my hearse to a pickup. It will hold more, it’s all locked up and out of the weather, and no one asks me to help them move!
Plus that Cadillac ride.
How else could I buy a 25-year-old car with less than 50,000 miles that had been perfectly maintained with all of the service records for $2500?
Coastal democrats(east coast/west coast) have on inclination as to the make up of America. They are sequestered in their utopic confines of liberal think where an opposing view is not welcome. Their flawed candidate who won enough votes to be governor in any one of those coastal states did not win enough to become president and they do not understand why.
As has been commented on time and time again a famous quote here referenced by Jonah Goldberg:
It seems the coastal democrats of today think no different than those in the past….
Yeah I’ve got a truck as my daily driver. A truck just is just ready at all times to do the job. I’ve come out of stores and seen ladies trying to get that new piece of furniture in their dinky mobile and offered to load it up and follow them home more than once. They usually go for it.
I used to have a 5 speed manual Maxima for years and years. Wish Nissan would put manuals back in their cars again instead of the CVT’s. No one wants to learn the clutch anymore. I have 3 vehicles, all manual trans. Maxima got replaced with a 2016 Mazda 6.
Yes sometimes I get asked why I have 3 vehicles. I answer, because I can.
Our family used to have a late 40’s early 50’s chevy pick-up that was used by PP&L it had a searchlight on top and a little starter pedal on the floor along with the headlight dimmer switch
@Mully: I’ll replace the engine in the Max before giving her up she is loaded even a heated steering wheel. Best of all no car payment. Our 3rd car a Buick was sold to nephew as his starter car not stylish but reliable
@Spurwing Plover: The only car we ever had with a spotlight was 64 Dodge Polara was a squad 3 on the tree. You know back in the dinosaur days.
@Petercat: Bet your caddie is perfect for halloween too, but does sound like a nice ride I miss the old full size station wagons the roadmasters and electras the engine and capacity of a truck ride of a luxury car.
One of the difficulties with dealing with foreign people is that they tend to view everything you say through their own lens. They can not understand anything outside of their little bubble. An example would be that a street person would tell a liberal that he had no money. The liberal would likely say, “go use the cash machine.” because that is what they would do. I experienced this when I was a boy back on the farm in PA. Friends of my mother came down from NYC for a few days. They could not understand why we had to milk the cows twice a day and why we could not get more than 3 hours away from home since it would take 3 hours to get back home in time to milk the cows again. They didn’t understand that we didn’t have weekends off. You can see the disconnects between the liberal observation and the conservative solutions. The liberal ideology does not lend itself to analyzing real problems and finding solutions. Obama care is a good example.
Liberals explore every possible reason for their loss (or losses over the past 8 years) and will open their minds to any possibility except for the most logical and obvious:
Liberalism sucks, it is a failure, it leaves people in poverty and puts more there as well, it is intolerant, racist and bigoted.
@Randy: They will never understand farming and ranching isnt 9-5, DYI is a lifestyle not a 30 minute show on cable. When some ignoramus that has never stepped on a farm decides to make another regulation it can cost the loss of your family home.
@Spurwing Plover: I have ranted a few times on here about the stigma associated with the South and Hillbillies, so I won’t repeat myself. The only time I ever changed a tire was in my own driveway. While on the road, men, often in pickup trucks always helped me out. They always said they would want someone to do it for their wives or mothers. Once a nice fellow changed the tire on my pickup and dropped my kids off at school so I wouldn’t be late for work. He was headed that way anyway. I did know him but he was not a close friend. Would I do that in New York City? Of course not.
Too bad those coastal city people don’t recognize our fly over diversity and only the groups they choose. I think that makes us smarter than them. Now the Left is blaming the election on us! Ah swear ah never figgered that would happen.
I was on my way back from South FL (which is filled with people from god awful places like New York and Massachusetts) and I saw a t-shirt in NC that said “Country Girls Don’t Retreat. They Reload.” I wish I bought one. I could wear it with pride like my Lucky “Hillary for Prison” t-shirt. I am glad to be back home where there aren’t so many people who are always in a hurry and often rude. I recognize they have a different lifestyle than me. They (a generalization) are blind to anyone else’s way of life. I don’t think you could give me enough money to live in NYC. They can have it. Just leave me alone and stop trying to shove all your beliefs down my throat.
Trump’s election was about Jobs, Jobs, Jobs for most of us. It was also a big FU to the political establishment of both parties. They refuse to examine the many reasons why Trump won and Hillary lost. Just blame them damn hillbillies! or Russia. The FBI had a high level of certainty that Hillary’s private server was hacked. How quickly they forget. Putin must be laughing his ass off with all the credit he is receiving for the election result.
@kitt: Total agreement from me.
They are having a hard time trying to figure out how to park their bicycles. But then, it’s not the FBI that’s having the problem, it’s those liars that are trying to explain how they know who it was doing the hacking. I not even sure they ‘hacked’, it might have just been available on line. How does Obozo’s servants figure out how to tell the truth without calling their boss a liar? Hard task, which way will they go?
I have to cover it every Halloween. It’s an egg and TP magnet.
Not so much now that I live in the sticks.
@Petercat: lil bastids, just suppose to be tipping over the outhouse