Clearly, this is no longer a Jeepers Jamboree America. The swagger is gone. Its off-road capability is severely compromised, especially in the rugged territory of the Middle East, but also in Eastern Europe and Latin America. Its platform owes much to foreign influence. Its internal power plant generates scant oomph and impetus and little torque is sent to the wheels. Its cabin design looks like the bland and insipid template of the best-forgotten Trabant. Its shock absorbers no longer cushion the bumps even in city driving.
“There are always going to be bumps on the road to recovery,” Obama said to the workers at a Toledo Jeep plant. “We’re going to pass through some rough terrain that even a Wrangler would have a tough time with.” The more perceptive among his unionized audience did not appreciate the remark, obviously realizing the economy had stalled somewhere in the middle of entitlement hell. As Mark Steyn comments, “This is Main Street, Obamaville: All bumps and no road.” It’s all rut and washout. Another way of putting it: a country with lots of creepers but few Jeepers. This is only to be expected in a nation crippled by unqualified stewardship, high fuel prices, untapped reserves, rampant outsourcing, no sense of destination, and far too many hitchhikers thumbing a free ride.
The U.S. now resembles a political vehicle desperately in need of a makeover before it sinks unwinchably into the mudflats of history. Can it recover its patrimony and reclaim its mojo? Perhaps the coming election will start it on the steep and tortuous path to an on-camber destination, a ceremonial trailhead, from which it can reconnoiter, as Van Toorn writes, “good grass out front,/bad brush behind.” And given, of course, a competent driver behind the wheel. Americans can hope. Perhaps they can even change.
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