Democrats & Liberals Archives

Hot Rodding Your Prius For Votes And Giggles

Living just outside Boulder, I see my fair share of those funny little Toyota Prius hybrids. In fact, we probably have the highest per capita ownership of them outside Berkeley.

Naturally I respect the people who have made the choice to pay a little extra in return for feeling good about their contribution to the environment.

But respecting their intentions is one thing. Respecting their driving is quite another. See, Prius drivers are the worst drivers in the world.

"Goddammit! Get your ass in gear, you damned hippie! Move that piece of junk into the effing slow lane if you’re going to sit at 55mph in a 75 zone!"

These are, sadly, all too common outbursts of rage and dismay on my morning commute.

No wonder us poor environmentalists are castigated mercilessly by the right-wing. That’s because the right-wingers all drive ¾ ton extended cab trucks with lift-kits and a moose (or other indigenous mammal) plastered to the grill.

And as you know, they all drive like maniacs. A redneck isn’t happy with his driving unless the only thing you can see in your rear view mirror is a blue oval.

Meanwhile, since the Prius is inextricably associated with bleeding heart liberals, the incredible annoyance caused by their imbecilic drivers just reinforces the pick-up drivers’ view of liberals, and the environment. They’re basically both things to drive over at will.

Please… please… if you own a Prius, get a picture of Calvin pissing on a Honda logo for your rear window, drive at 90mph, scrape the ‘Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For Kerry’ bumper sticker off your car and start giving anything with a Hemi the finger.

Believe it or not, you, the cute little car you pootle around in, and we tree-hugging environmentalists, might actually get some respect that way.

Posted by Jon Rice at July 16, 2007 8:50 AM
Comments
Comment #226527

Jon,

Cute…very cute.

But the only reason conservatives don’t drive a Prius is there’s NO DAMN PLACE to install an Easy Rider Rifle Rack. :-)

Also, we Bubbas of the world simply CAN’T be seen driving no GIRLY car.

Now, make a Prius look like a ‘76 shark nose Corvette…or a ‘69 Hemi Cuda, and you’ll not be able to keep ‘em on the lot! Hell, even make ‘em look like an MGB or a Triumph Spitfire…we’d buy ‘em by the gross!

Toyota…get your act together! We don’t want no GIRLY-MAN cars! :-)

Posted by: Jim T at July 16, 2007 11:07 AM
Comment #226529

This reminds of an incident a few months ago.

I live in a very conservative state. The only bumber sticker I have on my car is a Kerry/Edwards one that’s been there since the last presidential elections. One day on the highway I had a flat. My jack decided to break so I was stuck waiting for someone to stop and help. I waited for over three hours, my faith in humanity ebbing away. Finally it dawned on me. I took my spare tire and propped it up against my back bumper so that it hid the bumper sticker from view. Within 20 minutes someone stopped and let me borrow his jack.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 16, 2007 11:12 AM
Comment #226537

I drive a Prius myself and have never thought of it as being “cute” or “little”. I do not drive slowly and haven’t noticed other Prius drivers being obnoxious on the road (although I haven’t been looking for it).

My purchase of a Prius wasn’t just a financial sacrifice on behalf of the environment. I am making money off my car’s longevity and fuel efficiency in addition to being friendlier on the planet. This car is badass and has crazy-nice features that many luxury cars don’t have. It is roomy, fast and the smartest purchase on the market by far.

I’ve also been flipping off Hummers for years now, even before I drove a Prius.

Posted by: PaulD at July 16, 2007 11:54 AM
Comment #226538

You Prius owners — every try the Pulse and Glide technique? Supposedly you can get mindboggling mileage under special circumstances.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 16, 2007 12:10 PM
Comment #226539

Thats the problem witht he hybrid cars… they look silly.. American frivers overall care alot more about their car than much else (epsecially men) Myself, I see one (a prius) pull up and am waiting for 20 clowns to come piling out, thats the mindset the body shape puts me into. But yeah I admit i’m a “redneck” in most of the defination I drive a old CJ7 on the weekends for fun and a Plymouth Horizon for day to day driving sicne i am getitng about 32 MPG out of an old ‘89 car..

If they would make hybrids more attractive looking, they would prolly sell a lot more of them, they just all look BAD no matter the company who puts them out.. Somethign that small and ugly can;t be that durable in an accident… and myself I definatly “wouldn’t be caught dead” in one. They should be able to make at least a semi sporty looking one.. so one can keep their manhood and conserve fuel ; p

Posted by: Rhancheck at July 16, 2007 12:22 PM
Comment #226542

Rhancheck,

The interesting thing is that the sales numbers say the exact opposite of what you say. The Prius is the most distinctive hybrid, but it’s also by far the most popular hybrid. For shoppers that want a hybrid that blends in, there are many choices from Honda, Toyota, Ford, and others that are externally virtually indistinguishable from their gas-only brethren. Heck, there are even hybrid SUVs.

So, if you dislike the styling of the Prius, that’s fine - there are many other hybrid options. The odd shape, though, is driven by aerodynamics, and it is one of the reasons the car works so well.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 16, 2007 12:53 PM
Comment #226549

Yep, nothing gains respect like racist generalizations and inciting road rage.

Posted by: kctim at July 16, 2007 1:28 PM
Comment #226555

Really?

Here in the North East, where the liberals are the ones with the money, it’s the libs holding up traffic in their gas-guzzling SUVs. The conservatives buy more sensible cars.
A North East liberal would laugh at the thought of buying any small car, no matter how environmentally friendly. There’s hardly a Prius to be found up here.

Posted by: Mark at July 16, 2007 3:05 PM
Comment #226556

I live in Berkeley…when I first moved up here four years ago I stayed with a friend who knew the area really well. My first night in town we were driving on the north side and I noticed a peculiar spike in the number of certain car models.

“Mike,” I said to my friend, “Is there a Toyota lot down that street?”

He didn’t even glance over. “Nope,” he said.

Priuses parked symmetrically as far as the eye could see down Sacramento Street. Well, no, that’s an exaggeration. One of them might have been an Altima…

Posted by: Vin at July 16, 2007 3:16 PM
Comment #226562

I own a Prius but never seriously considered getting one until the tax credit kicked in 2006. In California’s SF Bay Area one had to wait at least 3 months then to get one. So, January 2nd, 2006, I went to the Central San Joaquin Valley where there were six 2005s on the lot and they were offering $1,000 off each one. Nothing like conservative, truck-lovin country to get a deal on a hybrid.

I considered getting the 2006 Honda Civic hybrid but I actually think the Prius is cool. It looks different and the lines aren’t half-bad, but that is the point. The Prius really took off when they completely redesigned the look of the car after the first Prius came out. They made it bigger, more fuel-efficient, more practical, and better looking all at the same time. Glad I waited. I really enjoy my Prius.

BTW, Prius drivers drive no less like morons than anyone else, they just stand out more. However, the real-time gas mileage gauge should be standard on all cars as it has changed my driving habits to be more fuel-efficient. I can’t resist calling it a Pius sometimes as South Park is just to funny to resist.

Posted by: chris2x at July 16, 2007 4:01 PM
Comment #226582

There are some Prius drivers here, Cooper minis were pretty popular for a while after that Italian Job movie. The gas mileage on any of these is not enough to impress me into taking the money out of my bank account to buy one.

On the way back from work today, I saw a VW driver cursing out a Mustang driver. I was above them in a bus which costs me $45 a month to ride in suburban Chicagoland, and I get reimbursed for that, in addition to getting a much larger quarterly travel stipend. It costs an additional $2 each way when I have to go into the city on the L, or $3.30 each way on the railroad.

Public transportation will always be necessary, since everyone can not drive a car. I noticed about 20 years ago that drivers were becoming too agressive, impatient, and unreasonable. I stopped driving regularly about 10 years ago, and now I do not even own a car. I tried bicycling, but it is too dangerous, since you end up on the streets with the wolfpack mentality drivers.

Best bumper sticker I have seen:
Hang up the phone and drive!

Posted by: ohrealy at July 16, 2007 6:39 PM
Comment #226593

Jon

Thanks for the laugh! I don’t know about your area but my arch nemacis regarding hated vehicles is the Buick Century. I often will divert to a side street to avoid them when I spot one in front of me. I think that here in my area it is a requirement that anyone over 75 years of age must own one. And I am not sure if anyone under senior status is even allowed to purchase them new. They are great cars to buy used if you can find one. They often have the original tires that look like new and you know they have never been driven over 40 mph. The only problem is that they have probably been backed into every dinged up car in the county. I watched a senior lady back into the same car twice while trying to pull out of a parking spot at the local grocery. And what was hilarious is that she acted very casual as if this were normal operating procedure. Needless to say I won’t park within 5 stalls of one.

I live in a college town so we probably have more than our fair share of the prius. To date I have encountered no problems with the prius owners. So long as the seniors don’t decide they like them it shouldn’t be a problem.

Posted by: ILdem at July 16, 2007 8:13 PM
Comment #226595

Ohrealy

Hang up the phone and drive. I agree totally. I saw this one for the first time a few weeks ago. I gave it an immediate thumbs up. I think it is only a matter of time before evolution kicks in and people will be born with a cell phone attached to the side of their head.

Posted by: ILdem at July 16, 2007 8:18 PM
Comment #226597

my arch nemacis regarding hated vehicles is the Buick Century…. I think that here in my area it is a requirement that anyone over 75 years of age must own one.

I know just what you mean. And I think the “Olds”mobile is called that for a reason!

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 16, 2007 8:32 PM
Comment #226610

I own a Honda Civic hybrid. It looks just like an ordinary Honda Civic. The Prius is made to look different so that owners can brag about their choice. It is a dopey looking car and they can expect some ridicule.

My Honda can go as fast as the reasonable traffic will bear. It starts to lose gas mileage at around 70, so that is about as fast as I drive. I do not care if people in bigger cars look down on me.

I take the bumper stickers off after the election. It is just silly to keep on pushing the lost cause, or bragging about the winning one.

I like the hybrid because it gets good mileage and it is very quiet. It is enough car for me. Nearer home, I usually ride my bike anyway and every bike rider looks down on any driver, no matter what they are driving.

Re the guys in trucks, I know lots of them too. A guy in the country driving a pickup is not the same as a guy in the city driving a Hummer. In some places you need a truck. Prius owners who think these guys care about them are just being arrogant. Most of the pickup drivers assume the Prius owners are wimps who enjoy the smell of their own flatulence, and they usually are right, but they do not give it that much thought.

Posted by: Jack at July 16, 2007 9:46 PM
Comment #226617

Eh, I don’t care if someone thinks an old political bumper sticker is silly. The day I’m ruled by someone else’s snap judgment is the day I let someone else cast my vote.

I keep the old sticker on my car because I’m proud that I, at least, don’t bear any responsiblity for Bush/Cheney.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 16, 2007 10:36 PM
Comment #226618

I drive a foriegn model 4-door that gets 33/23 but I get less because I like to get where I’m going. I don’t notice makes of cars just poor drivers, maybe I’ll start a list to see if hybrids are the majority. Hummers do piss me off a little. They are the ugliest boxes on the road.

I don’t understand the need for political bumperstickers. I put one on once just to get a rile and a laugh out of a liberal friend and took it off. If they are from the right I just think your silly and if it’s left, a little anger and I’m not letting you in. I have noticed most stickers on Dems. cars, don’t know why.

Posted by: andy at July 16, 2007 10:41 PM
Comment #226626

andy,

Where do you live? In East Tennessee, most bumper stickers are Republican. I have no idea whether liberals or conservatives are more likely to slap political bumper stickers on their cars. I will say that I was worried my car would be vandalized because of my sticker, but thankfully that hasn’t happened.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 16, 2007 11:12 PM
Comment #226632

Gerrold,

St. Louis (mixed) but 90% of my life was Indy (red state). I mean during elections it’s about even but the Dems seem to stay on through to the next election, and any political phrase (save the whales, don’t blame me I voted for…) almost always seem to be from the left. It doesn’t really bother me just a little annoying. Think I’ll propose a fairness in sticker act.
But there is a car with Tenn. plates I’ve been wanting to put a key to though, lol. I don’t think many vandals even know who the President is so your probably safe.

Posted by: andy at July 16, 2007 11:57 PM
Comment #226756

Jon,

Very nice! Your post was just too funny.

Posted by: Kim-Sue at July 18, 2007 4:31 PM
Comment #226883

This post actually reminded something I’ve often thought. Democrats and progressives really need to start toughening up and fighting back. It might even help to start using Republican-type good/evil rhetoric, however in an ethical, truthful manner. Point out the fascism, greed, corruption in the government and start a “war on fascism.” They’ve already set up America for this by causing us to think in those terms. Basically, don’t act like a hippy, be more like FDR.

My point is Democratic politicians should stop worrying about not offending anybody and start telling the truth and doing what’s right, instead of doing everything possible to appear “bipartisan.”

Paradoxically, if liberals started acting like this, it might even appeal more to stereotypically soutthern/socially conservative voters. I mean, look at the things and rhetoric such people often admire. They hate the appearance of “wimpiness” and thus slurs like bleeding heart liberal, hippie, etc. What they really like, for lack of a better term, is toughness (real or perceived), and things like independence, not worrying about offending someone. I guess the idea is to use that sentiment but instead of using it for partisan domination and propaganda, to turn it around and use it for good, such as holding Bush co accountable, cracking down on corruption, and sticking up for (real) freedom and justice against corporate domination gone insane.

Posted by: mark at July 19, 2007 1:58 PM
Comment #226901

Mark,

Nuttin’ wrong with tough talk. I think if we can do it without hyperbole or gratuitous insults we have a better chance of not turning off those we need to persuade. Tough talk, yes, but on the principles.

There are conservatives here that agree with much of what we say, but the sometimes wild way in which we say it causes them to reflexively resist. We need them.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 19, 2007 5:40 PM
Comment #226917

Heck, if a car has 5 wheels, and an enginne, I’m happy. Seriously, I see nothing wrong with buying a Prius, or Honda, etc. If one can afford the payments, more power to them. I can’t at this point in time, so I’ll keep driving my ‘91 Saturn until it finishes rotting through and through.

As for bummper stickers..well I shocked my family when they realzed I’d put one on my car. It reads:

“Minds are like parachutes, both work only when opened”

I’ve never seen another one, so maybe that’s why I hang on to my Saturn. (wonder what the other drivers would do if I broke down…knock on wood)

I admit though, the big Caddies, Buicks, Lincolns and the like do seem to be driven by the senior of senior citizens. Fortunately I’ll never be able to buy one of those either!

Posted by: Linda H. at July 19, 2007 11:34 PM
Comment #227257

Been my personal expirence that virtually ALL drives from Colorado are crappy drivers. Even the cops. My wife and i see a COL license plate and we have instant flashbacks to the nightmare of driving around in Granola Valley II. Your State license plate moto should be “We love nature, but we’ll damn sure kill you and maybe 5 or 6 other unlucky drivers in the way too”

Posted by: John in Texas at July 24, 2007 9:52 AM
Comment #251636

I am a born and raised southerner,I have owned a truck for about 8 years.I love my truck and don’t want to get rid of it,but i can’t get rid of it fast enough, with a gallon of gas at $3.50 and rising to stop at a unknown price.I won’t give the oil companies the quality of my life so they can give there execs 400 million dollar retirement packages.For me it has nothing to do with politics but it has everything to do with having the freedom to do what I love to do without having to go in to gas debt,every american deserves that, men and women throughout our history have given their lives to keep us free.

Posted by: sean at April 28, 2008 11:30 PM
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