If you’ve ever wondered why it was so easy to get so many people to Stay Home – and “mask up” – when ordered to by government Safety Nannies, go for a drive and see for yourself. How many people do you see who Drive Scared – especially if it’s raining even a little bit?
And forget about it, if it looks like it might snow.
If so, hyper-caution manifests. Drivers that were afraid to drive the speed limit when it was dry and sunny reduce their speed by ten – sometimes 20 miles-per-hour. The slower, the safer.
Sometimes, they even put on their blinkers.
The irony is many of these “safe” drivers are driving vehicles specifically made to be safer to drive in wet and – gasp! – snowy conditions. SUVs and trucks with four-wheel-drive. Crossovers – which is pretty much all that’s left that aren’t trucks and SUVs – almost always have all-wheel-drive. If they do not, they almost always are front-wheel-drive. This makes them easier-to-drive in slippery conditions than the mostly (almost exclusively) rear-drive cars that used to account for something like 80 percent of the cars on the road circa 1995 and prior – before there was any such thing as a “crossover,” “SUVs” were 4x4s like the old Ford Bronco and trucks were exactly that and driven by people who usually knew how to drive them.
They did not Drive Scared, as so many do today – in vehicles that are so much safer to drive at much higher speeds, because they have more grip and much less slip. Modern vehicles are much more controllable and with far less effort. Yet they are driven as if they had less grip, were borderline uncontrollable.
It makes perfect sense when you think about it a little. Before cars were safer, drivers had to be better. There weren’t any electronic-assist get-out-of-the-ditch-free cards. If you had to drive in the rain and snow, you had to know how to drive in the rain and snow. If not, you knew to stay home.
Since most people had to get to work and do other necessary things they couldn’t do without driving, they learned how to drive – because they had to. It was an on-the-road elaboration of the Nietzschean dictum about that which does not kill you makes you stronger.
Having had to learn and so know how to drive resulted in more confident drivers. If you knew you could handle a little rain – and maybe a lot of snow – in a rear-drive car without any kind of “assistance technology,” you didn’t Drive Scared when it was clear and dry.
The reverse of Nietzsche’s dictum is in force today.
Vehicles are now much safer – and the average driver, far worse. It makes sense, doesn’t it? How well would any of us be walking now if our parents had “kept us safe” by preventing us from learning how? Toddlers are unsteady, at first. They almost always fall down. But – encouraged to keep on trying to walk – they quickly get their bearings and do it effortlessly and are toddlers no more.
It would be taken as silly – as insulting – to tell a child who can walk that he must wear one of those rigs used to help toddlers toddle without toppling over. But then, the child who has mastered walking is aware that he doesn’t need help to walk. Is confident in his walking. He cannot be returned to toddlerhood.
Such “parents” have done a capital job of keeping cohorts of drivers in a kind of toddlerhood behind the wheel. They have done so via the genius trick of “keeping them safe” – via cars and “technology” that encourage them to leave the driving to the car – and “technology.” Thus, they never learn how to drive, except in the most elementary sense – that of pushing a button to start the car and pushing down (ever-so-gingerly) on the accelerator pedal. Even braking is being done for them now.
Leaven in a steady background hum of injunctions about “safe” driving – the latter form of the word always being synonymous with hyper-caution and passivity. The message is that anything that isn’t hyper-cautious and passive isn’t “safe.”
Result? Many are understandably afraid of driving – especially of conditions are anything less than ideal.
Is it any wonder that such people were afraid to go outside when they were told it wasn’t “safe” to do so? That they had better wear a “mask” before doing so? That they had better get a Jab, too?
Ideas have consequences. So also training – and conditioning. If people are trained to be afraid, they will be.
Whether of a “virus” – or a little rain.
. . .
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