Idiocy Knows No (Political) Bounds

I hereby renounce my earlier resolution to stay away from political discussion. There’s just too much going on for me to keep my big fat mouth shut.

Sometimes the noblest of intentions can go horribly wrong. Syndicated columnist Arianna Huffington has long crusaded against the evils of gas-guzzling SUVs, with specific jabs at both the Detroit auto industry and the Bush administration’s policies. Okay, fair enough — I can see her point. Detroit is way behind on the development of hybrid gas-electric vehicles, and the current administration is by no means a friend of the environment.

(I have to put in a disclaimer here: I drive an SUV. Not one of the giant behemoths crowding our streets, but a so-called “mini-SUV,” a Honda CR-V. A couple of reasons for this. One, with two small kids, I needed something big enough to carry the whole family on our frequent driving trips to visit family; two, I could no longer see around all of the minivans and SUVs enough to drive safely on my daily commute into Washington. It’d be nice if people would all decide to stop driving them, and I wouldn’t have to join them, but I’m not willing to risk my own safety for that little crusade.)

Ms. Huffington also shares my disdain for the ONDCP’s drugs-supporting-terrorism ad campaign. Unfortunately, in a shockingly feeble-minded attempt to fight back against such stupidity, she decided to sink to their level, making the exact same claims, only substituting “SUVs” for “drugs” in the equation. She launched The Detroit Project, a group dedicated to running the same kinds of ads the Bush administration is running. Just as insipid, just as filled with specious logic. That the ads are intended as “parody” is made clear in Huffington’s own statements, but is less so in the ads themselves; the satirical intent would be easier to swallow were there not such a glaring agenda item in the forefront.

Her argument is that there is a more direct link between oil purchases and terrorism funding than between drug purchases and such monies. Maybe so, but by that logic, any use of foreign oil is supporting terrorism (an argument ONDCP is all too happy to make). Should we not target commercial drivers, who use far more gasoline than SUV drivers? One of the ads even makes the implicit statement that the gas mileage is irrelevant — SUVs are just plain evil. By producing and running (or attempting to run, as many stations won’t air them) these ads — and, as does ONDCP, flagrantly exploiting Americans’ genuine hurt at the terrorist attacks — Huffington is, in a way, successful in her stated intentions.

She is showing us the true evil.

“Classic” reader comments:

William R. Coughlan · Fri, Jan 10th 2003, at 12:58PM

I hereby inaugurate yet another feature of Prometheus Unleashed: Reader commentary. Let me know what you think!


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