When I was young, I remember my dad driving down the freeway. He justified speeding often, but only when following another car which was driving faster. He really thought this was okay. As a child, I kept my opinions (mostly) silent.
He told us (me and my brothers) that the police wouldn’t pull him over if a car was breaking the law more than him. Basically. Not quite, but close.
Basically the philosophy was that he could speed as long as somebody was going at least one mile faster than him and was in front of him. A strange argument in my head. But he definitely believed in his logic.
And he got pulled over one time. I believe that he was speeding and there was a car speeding in front of him. My dad asked the police officer why he didn’t pull over the car that was speeding in front of him. The officer replied simply, “I can’t catch them all.”
This morning I was driving to work. I take almost all back roads because I prefer it that way. The difference between back roads and the freeway may be a few minutes, but I can’t imagine leaving myself in a position where I would gamble on a few minutes.
See, the downside to the freeways is that they may cost you a few minutes if all doesn’t go well. Traffic is a horrible thing.
A pickup truck came speeding up behind me after the freeway on ramp. His lights beaming into my rear view mirror. The speed limit for this part of my drive is 25 mph. That’s what it is. I don’t care and have accepted it. I’m not willing to risk a ticket and there are police who wait on this road.
I look in front of me and see that there is not a car on this road. It’s too early on a Saturday. Have you ever done the math on this type of thing? Seconds. Not minutes, generally. Definitely not hours. The time saved is so minimal.
And since I was driving at 4:30 am, I decided to pull over at my first opportunity. I would let the one truck pass me and move on. He’s obviously more important than I am. This is something that I do when it makes sense.
The guy in the big pickup screams past me and then drives slower than I was driving. I know because I took my place behind him. We drove another two miles at a pace just below the speed limit. Apparently this very aggressive driver was only aggressive when somebody else would be the fall guy.
I encounter this often. It’s the society we live in. It’s not different than my dad’s attitude about driving 30 years ago.
We push those before us to take the chances we won’t take so that we won’t get in trouble.
Bullying from behind.
Let’s face it, we all want change, but how many of us are willing to create the change we desire? Not many. We all just fall in line.
Now, if somebody else pushes forward, we are all so willing to push forward. Be aggressive. This is the actual definition of twitter people. Seems we all need somebody to follow or else we are all so timid. As if we are all driving a gas guzzling F350. As if we all have construction to do.
My car gets great gas mileage. I’m not interested in beaming my lights into others’ mirrors.
This pickup didn’t drive aggressive anymore. We drove under the speed limit until he turned off the road. He even tapped on his brakes as we passed a police officer on the side of the road.
I can understand how a driver of a car can feel more empowered when another is paving the way. It’s like, fuck the police, we are getting where we are going. But you really can’t take credit for it.
I can’t understand when a driver of a car might wish to push the car in front of him to do what he is not willing to do himself. Cowardly. Honestly.
Let’s talk politics.
See, politicians like Trump and Clinton bully from behind. They determine the path by following others.
Some politicians are willing to do the work. To pave the way. And as soon as they do, some bully pushes as if that change is not enough. Take credit for what others have done.
But enough about Trump and Clinton. These cancerous lumps on our system.
America, you have created this bullying from behind mentality. You really have.
What we need to do is recognize the actual people who have pushed forward. Tried to enact change. Stop pulling over and cowering to those who have no new ideas. Nothing to add. Just siphoning the gas from the cars in front.
Just beaming their lights into the rear view mirrors of those who are actually driving.
Society is an interesting thing. Too many follow, but we act like we are leading when the risk seems low. And that’s the real tragedy.
This isn’t a Nelson Mandela piece. This isn’t about leading from behind.
This is an American observation. Our politicians truly are bullying from behind.