Pickup Trucks Should Not Be Mass-Market Vehicles
Close your eyes and picture “The American Automobile”. What color pickup do you see?
Probably Ford’s F-Series, the unofficial chariot of our nation. It’s been the country’s top-selling
vehicle for over 40 years, and this year the Chevy Silverado and the Dodge Ram joined it on the
podium. These figures suggest a flourishing union of farmers, carpenters, and other handymen
(always men.) If only that were true.
You don’t have to be particularly attuned to our current zeitgeist to recognize why
trucks are increasing in popularity despite a decades-long decrease in manual labor: Millions of
citizens—especially ones capable of spending over eighty thousand dollars on a car—feel as
through America as they know it is disappearing, and they’ve identified truck ownership as a
road to ensuring its survival. Most of these drivers don’t haul lumber from the yard, tow their
boats to the shore, or even leave their house for a living. They’ve become five-thousand-pound
vehicles for status and virtue signaling, and it’s destroying our planet.
Enacting policy that restricts the ownership of pickup trucks to people who can prove
that they’ll use them for their promoted purposes—like farming, construction, trade work, or
even heavy-duty leisure—will ensure two positive outcomes. First, it will result in less trucks on
the road, which is good for the planet and for pedestrians. Second, this newfound exclusivity
will reinforce the original perceptions of a truck driver, which is good for truck companies’ long-
term image. Fewer Chevy Colorados parked at Chevy Chase Country Club, more ranchers
hauling haystacks in F-150s. Fewer middle managers driving to and from Target in supped-up
Tacomas, more brick masons filling the bed of their GMC Sierras. Less pretending, more doing.
Isn’t that what real Americans are all about?
Critics of this plan will first say that it’s fundamentally un-American (or, more likely,
“socialist”) for the government to choose what its citizens can and can’t drive, but that’s
obviously not true. Our government doesn’t allow the average accountant to drive a tank or a
bulldozer, nor would we want it to. This policy simply moves trucks into the tank category. If
you want to drive a tank, join the troops. If you want to drive a truck, start a farm. Other critics
will say this unfairly attacks trucks and not SUVs, which emit just as many harmful gasses and
would likely become the new vehicle for many former truck drivers. To them I say “Yes. Good
job.” SUVs are harmful to the world, and their already outsized role in our society would likely
increase. I just haven’t figured out a way to restrict SUVs without hurting the families that
depend on their ample seating. Someone else can solve that problem. The final wave of
criticism will concern electric trucks, which will in theory provide all the benefits of truck
ownership without the environmental concerns. To them I say “Sure, let’s waive the
prerequisites for electric truck owners.” Maybe that will motivate manufacturers to build them
Now, if you agree it’s time we take trucks off the general market, call your local representative
and tell them to subscribe to Morning Moot.
*For each moot, we generate a cover image using DALL·E, an AI art platform that generates images using natural language processing. This image on the right was generated using the title, 'Pickup Trucks Should Not Be Mass-Market Vehicles' in the style of George Booth, Reese's artist of choice.*