So I saw this the other day on the Reddit social media site. The OP, Leicina, drove their Tesla car to a designated charging station at a Sheetz. (Some background, Sheetz is a chain of convenience stores.) The problem was that when they arrived, they found the station blockaded by a number of pickup trucks and their teenaged owners—who, it seems, greeted Leicina with glad cries of “Fuck Tesla” and refused to move.
Leicina said that the kids finally left after a Sheetz employee forced them to.
There are a couple of ways we could interpret this unhappy incident. The first, and probably the most probable, is that it was simple knuckle-headed teenaged bullying at its finest. It is, alas, the kind of thing you see every day.
But the second interpretation is more interesting… and more disturbing. You see, you have to ask, where did these boys get this idea? Who told them that it would be fun to block the charging station? Who gave them the impression that Tesla drivers can be bullied, and that they are somehow un-American (not to mention effete) for driving something other than a truck with an internal combustion engine?
I don’t know it for a fact, of course, but I’m sufficiently paranoid that I suspect that it wasn’t an accident. I am guessing that these young idiots got their ideas about Tesla and Tesla owners from the same place that taught them that climate change is a myth, that liberals (excuse me, “libtards”) are snowflakes, and that a wall a thousand times more massive than Hoover Dam is an intelligent use of national resources.
I mean, I’m guessing they heard it from the Right.
And why would the Right teach them (directly or indirectly) such a thing? Well, again, just guessing, but …we know that among Trump’s most ardent billionaire backers are people with large holdings in oil and gas. We know, too, that these people are a bit upset (to put it mildly) about the rise of inexpensive renewable energy sources—for example, wind and solar. We know, finally, that rather than compete with renewables, our else shift their holdings to include them, such individuals have done their best to use the powers of government to force Americans (and the world) to use fossil fuels, even when something cheaper and cleaner is available.
So…maybe…just maybe…such people might, as well, target Tesla.
And maybe, just maybe, they’d do so by trying to convince every excessively hormonal and acned adolescent in the world that Tesla owners are weaklings…ineffectual un-men…genuinely ball-less wonders who can be and maybe should be intimidated.
Because, of course, it is so much cheaper, and so much easier than actually, well, you know, out-competing your rivals. Why bother to produce cheaper fuels or more efficient cars when you can just strong-arm your competitors’ customers? Just bully them out of the market.
It is a lot more fun, and a lot less effort than actually earning your money. That requires you to sweat a bit, and to genuinely be the bootstrapping, job-creating libertarian that you claim you are.
Which nobody wants…
For, naturally, it is one thing to quote Ayn Rand…when it is in your interest to do so.
But to actually act like John Galt and Dagny Taggart…?
Don’t be ridiculous.
That’s what you tell the suckers. And the young thugs in trucks blocking the charging stations…
Who are too damn dumb to notice you’re using them as a weapon against the very people who could be their allies…