September 11th, 2016
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Entire dissertations could be written about rolling coal. Even more than Trump’s ascension, it seems to perfectly capture a moment in time, an inarticulate yawp of protest from angry white men. They feel disdained and overlooked and they will blow thick black smoke in your face until you pay attention.
There’s no faux nostalgia involved. Unlike with, say, hunting, there’s no tale of rugged rural self-sufficiency to draw on. This is not some sturdy heartland tradition with which meddlesome elites want to interfere.
Rolling coal is new; it just caught on a few years ago. It does not improve the performance of a truck. It has no practical application or pragmatic purpose of any kind. It is purely aggressive, a raw expression of defiance: I can pollute your air, for no reason, and no one can stop me.
It is what it is. And now lawmakers are cracking down on it.
Which brings us to our quote.
But to diesel owners like Corey Blue of Roanoke, Ill., the very efforts to ban coal rolling represent the worst of government overreach and environmental activism. “Your bill will not stop us!” Mr. Blue wrote to Will Guzzardi, a state representative who has proposed a $5,000 fine on anyone who removes or alters emissions equipment.
“Why don’t you go live in Sweden and get the heck out of our country,” Mr. Blue wrote. “I will continue to roll coal anytime I feel like and fog your stupid eco-cars.”
The core of the ethnonationalist perspective is that a country’s constituent groups and demographics are locked in a zero-sum struggle for resources. Any government intervention that favors one group disfavors the others. Government and other institutions are either with you or against you.
…From an ethnonationalist perspective, government overreach is when government tells people like me what to do. The proper role of government is to defend my rights and privileges against people like them.