By Maureen Dowd
The Wall Street Journal had an article last week reporting that, now that gas prices have gone back down, almost half a million fuel-frugal small cars are piling up unsold at dealers around the country.
“I don’t think Americans really like small cars,” Beau Boeckmann, a Ford dealer in California, told The Journal. “They drive them when they think they have to, when gas prices are high. But we’re big people, and we like big cars.”
That’s the big nettle we’re grasping. How big do we need to be to still feel American? How big can our national debt grow? How big can our cars be? And how big is our clout abroad these days? Will Michelle’s style in Europe make as big a splash as Carla Bruni-Sarkozy’s?
The cowboy push by W. and Dick Cheney to be a hyperpower and an empire left America a weakened and tapped-out power, straining to defend its runaway capitalism even as it uneasily adapts to its desperation socialism.
How do we come to terms with the gluttony that exploded our economy and still retain our reptilian American desire for living large? How do we make the pursuit of the American dream a satisfying quest rather than a selfish one?
For more on the subject, see America's cultural mindset.
P.S. This "reptilian brain" business may unfairly stereotype reptiles, but that's beyond the scope of this blog.
Below: "Yee-haw! We're gonna rootin-tootin' rule the world for eight years!
"After that I don't care what happens. Let the pointy-head guy fix my mess."