I’m seeing a lot of judgement on the part of people whe are quite smug about having a car that doesn’t guzzle gas. Here’s the thing, though — people who drive trucks are not all Trump-loving, mouth-breathing idiots. And even some of the Trump-lovers need their trucks.
Thing is, people who own old pickups aren’t going to trade them in for a Prius. They need them for work or they can’t afford a new vehicle, especially if the truck is 15 years old and paid for.
Nealry half of people in this country live in or near poverty, and higher gas prices are cutting into their food and rent money, and they don’t have a cushion. They can’t just run down to the car dealership and shell out $50,000 for a new electric vehicle. Forty-one percent of Americans say they can’t afford to pay a surprise bill of $400 without borrowing money, so how should we expect them to trade in their $2,000 truck and drive off in a $50,000 vehicle?
To go to social media and post a meme that says, “I’m better than you because I love the planet,” just reeks of privilege. Just because you can afford it doesn’t mean everyone can.
Poor people don’t get to choose whether they drive a gas guzzler or something with a lithium battery that will foul the planet later when you try to get rid of the battery. Poor people can’t cut back on going out to eat because they already can’t afford to go out to eat. They can’t cut back on rent, either.
Maybe you don’t know how expensive it is to be poor. Many haven’t had a raise in a decade or more. But rent and food and clothes and utilities continue to rise. You don’t have a great credit score so you can’t get credit, and everybody wants a deposit — the cable company (if you can afford it, and many can’t), the water and electric companies (because these are now for-profit companies instead of public utilities), and of course, your landlord. You don’t have enough money to have free checking, so you pay a monthly fee plus something for each check you write — and you write checks because your credit cards are all maxed out and you’re paying 26 percent interest because your payment six months ago was three days late. You shop for cheap food at the Dollar Store and you don’t have health insurance. But people think you’re a jerk because you drive a 15-year-old truck — if you can keep it on the road.
But sure, let’s criticize these people for being too poor to buy a hybrid or electric car. They must be stupid and willfully ignorant because they drive trucks, and some people who drive trucks are Trump supporters, so let’s lump everybody into that category so we can feel SOOOOO superior. I even saw someone tell a woman she shouldn’t have had so many kids (four) that she needs a minivan to transport everyone.
I was reported to an administrator in a Facebook group because I called someone out for doing this. I blocked the woman and left the group.
These memes are meant to divide us. They’re meant to get us sniping at each other so we won’t see the oligarchs picking our pockets and getting us drawn into their very profitable wars and foreign adventures.
So, with the cost of a barrel of oil having dropped in the last week, why is the price at the pump still rising? No, it’s not Biden’s fault; it’s greed. The oil companies know they can jack up prices, so they do, and there’s no consequence for them. Instead we attack poor people because we think we don’t agree with their politics.
This is how those in power control the rest of us — with propaganda that pits us against each other, with memes that over-simplify something quite complex.
So, please stop sharing these despicable memes. Sure, there are some folks these memes apply to. So what? Do you really need to feel superior that badly?