A New, But Old, Brand of Patriotism

Lynne Keisling at Knowledge Problem pointed to an article in The New York Times that reported that the $4 plus gas has led to a move from gas guzzling SUVs to fuel efficient compact cars.  While I am happy that consumers are going green, I think it’s sad that it had to take high gas prices to convince them.  Wasn’t it enough to know that they were wasting precious resources?  Were they really so self-centered that until it was about them and their wallet, they couldn’t understand why someone might choose to drive a smaller car?

We need a new brand of patriotism in this country, one with its roots in World War II, the kind of patriotism that encourages people to give to the community all the time, not just when it is in their economic interests.  Rather than quibbling over lapel pins, let’s really be patriotic.  For a start, encourage people to both buy fuel efficient cars AND drive less.  Maybe give employers who implement tele-commuting a tax break.  Gas rationing during WW II was seen as a patriotic thing to do; let’s bring back that sense of pride.  Second, how about getting people to grow victory gardens again?  With the price of food rising and the scare over salmonella, having people grow some of their own fruits and vegetables would certainly be a patriotic thing to do.