Liberal road rage…

George Will sees Prius-bound liberals in road rage outside Whole Foods. We sure are goofy Others.

This morning’s Washington Post includes an amusing piece of apocrypha, in which George Will recounts Prius-bound liberals locked in combat within the constrained parking area of a Bethesda Whole Foods.

 As someone whose secret shames include a succession of Subway cards, I have been inside Whole Foods precisely once in my life. I own an old subcompact rather than a Prius. I take no personal umbrage at any specifics of Will’s piece.

Will is a prolific contributor to a familiar genre: Liberals as Goofy Other. This should not be confused with several related Liberal Other genres: Liberals are Ungrateful Children, Liberals are Greedy Seniors, Liberals are Naïve Do-Gooders, Liberals are Hypocritical Rich People Sticking it to Working-Class People, Liberals are Envious Nonsuccesses Seeking to Exploit America’s Entrepreneurs, Liberals are Atheists or Jews,* Liberals are Anti-Semites, Liberals Hate White People,** Liberals are Implicit Racists Calling Other People Racists, Liberals are Libertines, Liberals are Anti-Straight-Sex Prudes, Liberals are Gay, Unless They are Named Clinton,*** Liberals are Cultural Elitists, Liberals are Enemies of Meritocracy, etc.

These genres are a tad inconsistent. That’s ok. Anti-liberalism is a big tent. Anyway, these stories are meant to be enjoyed rather than scrutinized or seriously believed.

*These categories are interchangeable.

**Republicans try to keep Liberals Hate English-Speaking People confined to the talk radio circuit, given political imperatives.

***Make that Bill Clinton.

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect,, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

4 thoughts on “Liberal road rage…”

  1. As someone whose secret shames include a succession of Subway cards

    Heathen! Everyone Knows that Good Liberals only eat three things: salads, organic produce, and Thai food.

    I have been inside Whole Foods precisely once in my life.

    I've been in a couple of times myself. The problem is that they're so bloody expensive, and none of the stuff really draws my fancy over the stuff I can get at the cheaper Smith's. As for produce, I can get that fresh from the farmers' markets that are packed every saturday around here.

    Liberals are Cultural Elitists

    This is one I've heard a lot of. It's ironic in its own kind of way, since conservatives are usually the ones touting America's superior and elite culture and nation over all other nations.

  2. I was shocked to read that 300,000 UK personal injury claims are filed by drivers who have had their vehicles damaged because of road rage, a road safety study exposed.

    The research found that tailgating was the most reported kind of road rage with 75% of drivers reporting it.

    Further statistics show that a massive 7.4 million drivers had confrontations with other motorists. The threat of violence has spurned car insurance firms to include protection for road rage incidents because of the rise in aggressive driving.

    For example, one major insurer now includes £1,000 cover for road rage victims. Shocking to think that it has to come to this!

  3. George Will of all people has no standing to say these things. I grew up one suburb over from his Chevy Chase home. His driving was always locally notorious. I vividly recall seeing his car — an injudiciously distinctive one — zigzagging through Connecticut Avenue traffic, heading south between Bradley Lane and the Circle, at about twice the speed limit. That was some time in 1978 or 1979. On another occasion, about five years later, he nearly ran me down coming out of an alley between townhouses in Georgetown (I was on the sidewalk). I have always been afraid that I would glance at the news wires some morning and see that he had pancaked somebody. There must have been other near misses. Any Washingtonians out there?

  4. Shorter George Will:

    I will criticize minor bad behavior by people I shall call liberals, without actually knowing if they are liberals or not.

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