Sunday, November 27, 2005
Innovators, not ideologues
While on the road Friday, I thought I'd check in with the world's least accountable drug addict. Oxy-con Rush Limbaugh was in the middle of a familiar rant, blasting critics "who are trying to bring down this great country of ours." In this case, the targets were those who favor more fuel efficient cars, which is somehow vice to the big guy.
When did great big cars become symbolic of the American way, and how did those who favor hybrid technology become automatically tagged as liberal haters of democracy?
I'm not sure how this dynamic came to be (and it certainly exists outside of the world of Rush), but it's doing plenty to hurt America. Witness the recent announcement by General Motors that they'll be cutting 25,000 jobs by 2008. The reason: GM was slow in recognizing the future (less big cars, more hybrid technology), continuing to pump out behemouth SUV's even as the market was evolving.
Meanwhile, Toyota has become the top seller in the U.S., partly because they're making more fuel efficient cars. Even (shudder) "hybrids." America used to be ahead of such manufaturing curves, but no longer. As a working member of the lower middle class, I've bought nothing but imports over the years, with no apologies. I'd prefer to "buy American" but haven't been given much of a choice.
For ideologues like Limbaugh, it's apparently better to be "right" than viable. Besides, when did conservation become a left wing value?