It would be a mistake for Democrats to mess with pickup trucks

Ronnie Shows:
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To people not from rural parts of the country who are reading this, let me assure you that the truck is a very important part of our lives. I have a truck, most of my friends and neighbors have trucks, and they are integral to a culture that cherishes a lifestyle more closely tied to the land and sea. In many ways, the love of trucks is similar to the love of firearms in rural America. Trucks and guns are both deeply ingrained in my community.

Historically speaking, environmental votes have proven hazardous for rural congressional Democrats. Many people consider the Obamacare vote to be the reason why dozens of Blue Dogs lost their seats in Congress in 2010. But part of the reason was a vote Democrats took to curb climate change, which alienated many working-class and small-town Americans. That vote — in addition to Obamacare — cut the Blue Dog coalition in the House in half, with 22 of them losing re-election. This vote was particularly painful because I clearly remember Republican campaign operatives framed it as an attack on the energy and agricultural industries, which are critical components of many rural economies across the nation.

Should Democratic leadership in Congress attack the Trump decision on fuel standards, it won’t be hard to imagine Republicans telling voters that their Democratic opponent and Nancy Pelosi want to take away their trucks. That ad will be false — no different from the ads saying that Chuck Schumer wants to take away your guns. But Democrats must not kid themselves -- those ads are effective because they make rural Americans believe that Democrats are hostile to their way of life.
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... Progressives must not forget that the top-selling vehicle in America is the Ford F-150. I know that neither I nor anyone else I know wants to read about Democrats’ wanting to make their next truck more expensive.
When I retired and moved to the country I eventually bought a used Ford Ranger thinking I would keep it about six months and trade it if I no longer needed it.  I wound up keeping it for about 10 years and it was one of the best vehicles I have ever owned.  During the financial crisis in 1968 when dealers were having trouble moving vehicles and some were in bankruptcy I traded the Ranger in on a Ford F-150. 

While I liked the truck, I had trouble accessing the pickup bed because it was much higher than the Ranger.  I solved that by trading it on on a 2009 model with folding step to help you access the bed.  I still have that truck.  Because I got such a good deal on the 2008 truck when I traded it on on the 2009 the trade value was $2000 more than I originally paid for it.  I am constantly using the pickup bed as well as occasionally pulling trailers.  In the area of Texas where I live, there are probably more trucks than cars.

Shows is a Democrat, but he is not politically suicidal like many in that party.  In that, he is a rare commodity.

Comments

  1. Drove a 1971 Ford pickup, 31 years, only put a new 302 block in it after twenty two years, kept driving it. When I finally sold it I damn got used what I paid for it!

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