Tesla’s cars are the most patriotic car an American can buy

In some circles Patriotism is a big deal, and it seems Patriots are routinely bashing electric vehicles, solar power, and this sort of thing. The video below is by an American living in North Carolina, who makes YouTube videos about hunting with guns and arrows, and presents himself as a Patriot. And he has a message for his fellow Patriots, that the Tesla is not something they should be bashing but instead embracing because it is the most Patriotic vehicle that Americans can purchase.

I have mixed feelings about what’s presented in the video. But he makes a great point.

The core of the argument can be summarized as so:

  • The electricity an American consumes to drive their electric car is inherently produced in America
  • Tesla overwhelmingly sources parts and materials in America
  • Tesla is advancing the state of the art of American expertise
  • As Tesla expands sales outside the USA, that is a large amount of export dollars flowing into the USA
  • The Gigafactory in Nevada is expected to be an economic engine producing hundreds of billions of dollars of economic benefit in America – and that factory is just the start – ditto with the other factories Tesla owns between Fremont and the Central Valley
  • The Gigafactory Tesla is building in China will be a huge facility, and owned by Tesla
  • Tesla is leading the way in advanced technologies in critical areas – including Artificial Intelligence
  • Tesla is building their own AI neural network chips and AI software expertise

All of this is true. There are many glowingly positive things one can say about Tesla’s vehicles. Readers of The Long Tail Pipe might think I’m a Tesla Basher because I am frequently writing articles critical of Tesla. I believe it is my role to not blindly accept everything Tesla does or say as if it is Manna falling from the heavens, but to evaluate everything logically.

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In the video we’re treated to an overview of the technology inside a Tesla car, the performance of the dual motor Tesla Model 3, what the Autopilot feature does and how it is a harbinger of fully autonomous vehicles in the future, and so on. Tesla has indeed developed an amazing car. I wish it were a proper hatchback – if it were I’d be more interested.

Here’s where I’m going to possibly turn off a few people. But there are some things in this video that are important to discuss. If the video had stopped with the above points all would be good.

Patriotism?

What does it mean to be a Patriot? Going by this fellow it seems a Patriot likes guns, and likes shooting guns. And that in the Patriot Community it seems Patriotism means burning gasoline and other fossil fuels. What’s Patriotic about America in the role of militarily dominating the whole world? And the last thing – why is the American flag on his t-shirt in the final scenes backwards?

We’re talking about the purchase and fueling of a car.

There are economic arguments to make about that choice. Buying a car made in another country funnels profits to that other country. Buying fuel manufactured in another country funnels profits to that other country. Therefore, buying cars or fuel that come from elsewhere weakens the country.

  • The Chevy Silverado – manufactured by a studly American company – how many of the parts are manufactured outside the USA? And don’t you Patriots realize that General Motors has a huge amount of operations outside the USA? GM’s biggest operations are in China.
  • Likewise, gasoline for the most part comes from outside the USA.

Just taking those two examples, purchase of either sends some dollars outside the USA, weakening the USA economy. One of the few areas where I have agreement with Pres. Trump is that NAFTA and the proposed TPP might not be good for America because of how it accelerates shipping jobs that had been in the USA to other counties.

Where I have a huge problem with this video is all the ways the presenter suggests that America should be militarily and economically dominating the whole world.

Yes, America can and should be in a leading position in the global economy. But does that mean America should be the only country in such a position?

Shouldn’t other countries also have a significant role on the world stage?

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

3 Comments

  1. David, let me start by saying that perhaps America’s most lovable feature is the opportunity to disagree. In that spirit, let me disagree. Pro-American patriotism is good.

    First, patriotism is not about being fetishizing guns or about fighter-planes buzzing football stadiums. It is about maintaining personal freedoms. To be clear, your freedom to swing your fist must be limited before it hits my nose, but the principle remains.

    Second, it is swimming very hard upstream to try to negate our atavistic desire for tribal connection. Sapiens root for our home-team. We just do.

    Third, and mostly, it is a question of unfortunate comparisons. Europe is better-regulated in many regards, but it can’t get out of its own way when it needs to actually take action. There is nothing technologically challenging happening in Africa, Australia, South America. That leaves Asia. You have excellent reason to be deeply questioning of American power. But the real alternative is Asia, and specifically China. And China is ruthless. It is run by a military fascist government. And it is plotting to destroy us. It figured out that it needs not do so with armaments, when it can do so with a combination of manufacturing, AI, and resource-aggregation. Our regulatory scheme is shoddy, but China’s is non-existent, and it will exploit, pollute, and otherwise lay waste to the world’s environment. Why should we support Tesla? So that we are not all solely-supplied by Chinese goods, including vehicles, within our lifetimes.

    • Did you watch the video? It’s very much “Guns are Patriotic”. Some of the so-called Patriotism borders on fascistic selecting minorities to squash because White America is the Master Race. This guy didn’t go there, but many so-called Patriots do.

      And yes I do understand what China is doing. We should all be alarmed by the Belt and Road initiative, but instead we’re alarmed at a President that is embracing the most fascistic elements, and is actively violating the law.

  2. I did not watch the video. Maybe it matters, or maybe it doesn’t, that the logic is kinda wrong. But often you need to take your support where you can, even if it makes strange bedfellows.

    Trump, more than any other single thing, is the biggest distraction for an unfocused, fearful, and distracted people who have little sense of history and seemingly no sense of perspective. Climate change, uh huh, population growth, sure, anthropocene, yup… Did you see the Kardashians? Squirrel!

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