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Amid Cancel Culture, Now Academics Have Their Next Target: Pickup Trucks

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

We have watched our society slide into a disturbing trend of permissiveness when it comes to assaulting and removing aspects of our culture. Between evictions of historical monuments, the eradicating of entertainment properties and the condemning of commonplace practices, we have almost become conditioned to accepting these efforts. Now we may be seeing the effects of this movement metastasizing.


The Wall Street Journal delivered a lengthy treatise that looks at a normal aspect of American life, one that almost nobody looks at as being a nefarious component in our existence, with contempt: driving pickup trucks. Using "almost" is the qualifier here, as we have come to learn that the learned elites are capable of looking at the most mundane characteristics of society and sneering. In a display of abject elitism, writer Dan Neil has managed to take an isolated personal experience and elevate his near-trauma to a need for bans on the venal vehicles.

It turns out Dan was in a Costco parking lot and had a close call with a GMC Denali. To suggest he was affected by an event that a large swath of America has probably experienced is an understatement:

"As that chrome grille closed on me like a man-eating Norelco shaver, time slowed. It seemed I was watching myself from afar, being nimble for a man my age, darting from the path of a towering, limousine-black pickup with temporary plates, whose driver barely checked his pace."

Yeah, we can say he was affected:

"It was huge! The domed hood was at forehead level. The paramedics would have had to extract me from the grille with a spray hose, like Randall Jarrell’s ball-turret gunner."


Mr. Neil then goes on to list a number of safety features that these trucks could be outfitted with to ensure the safety of others, and he tips his elitist hand by employing the tired argument involving the supposedly more-evolved souls on the continent: "such systems are not mandatory, as they would be in Europe." Yes, we need to follow the guidance of those who are outlawing butter knives and look askance at pedophilia scandals for fear of being labeled as intolerant.

What we have here is the familiar practice of leftist elites who encounter an inconvenience in their personal life and immediately conjure up a way for the government to remedy their discomfort. This was the mentality of a San Francisco Board of Supervisors member who tired of his young child pestering him for Happy Meals to get the toys. Rather than be a parent he decided to pass a law forbidding the restaurant chain from giving away free toys. Now we have a grown man who saw a scary truck and thus wants to impose European neutering standards in order for him to feel protected.

Dan Neil of course found an ally in academia. Well ... sort of. He cited as a fellow pickup truck opponent an associate professor of design at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. You have to wonder just how many phone calls had to be placed before getting someone this far-flung to latch onto his paranoia. But hey, now he can back up his impotent argument by stating that anyone who opposes his efforts are not among the educated set, and they probably hate science too. 


Then, sensing a true movement among the elitist minds, Ryan Cooper over at The Week decided to take up the pitchfork and torch and join in on the flatbed fussilade, and of course, he had to take things a step further. Not content to merely lobby for EU truck standards, he went so far as to "expose" what pickup trucks are designed for in reality: running people over.

The ability to run people over in a large truck is a "marketing gimmick." Later in the thread, of course, Cooper mentioned this appeal is to conservatives and then details the likelihood of running over your own child in one of these unneeded trucks. He declares this is an advertising tool employed by Detroit, the selling point being that you could crush your progeny under the tires of your Ford Raptor.

These are the kind of people I absolutely adore. The supposedly learned who cannot use pragmatic thought and whose self-serious pronouncements induce loud laughter. The main problem with these lofty ruminators is that far too many in government actually listen to them. This is the kind of "thinker" who both despises President Trump and then fears that people will start injecting Clorox--the kind who lectures others about disregarding science but then quotes Bill Nye the Science Guy.


They do not pose an immediate danger, as every normal person who hears them wailing about the scary Dodge Ram laughs at them accordingly. But when the next "Karen’’ or Sammy Sobstory on a city council listens to their elevated gripes and takes action, suddenly we all pay a price.

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