Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Breaker 140 - This is Democracy

This makes me grin from ear to ear. I remember going on long drives w/ my Dad, who was the proud owner of a CB radio, and talking to these guys as we cruised over "Jugtown Mountain." They always had something interesting to say (although not always suitable for young ears) and even then I realized the stereotype of the "dumb trucker" was WAY off base. This proves that the men and women who move our goods from coast to coast have a lot going on in those brains of theirs. Big massive shoutout to our truckers!

"Truckers Protest, the Resistance Begins"

More importantly, the activist truckers understand their protest to be part of a larger effort to “take back America,” as one put it to me. “We continue to maintain this is not just about us,” “JB”-- which is his CB handle and stands for the “Jake Brake” on large rigs-- told me from a rest stop in Virginia on his way to Florida. “It’s about everybody – the homeowners, the construction workers, the elderly people who can’t afford their heating bills… This is not the action of the truck drivers, but of the people.” Hayden mentions his parents, ages and 81 and 76, who’ve fought the Maine winter on a fixed income. Missouri-based driver Dan Little sees stores shutting down in his little town of Carrollton. “We’re Americans,” he tells me, “We built this country, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to lie down and take this.”

But the larger message of the truckers’ protest is about pride or, more humbly put, self-respect, which these men channel from their roots. Dan Little tells me, “My granddad said, and he was the smartest man I ever knew, ‘If you don’t stand up for yourself ain’t nobody gonna stand up for you.’” Go to, run by JB and his brother in Texas, where you’re greeted by a giant American flag, and you’ll find – among the driving tips, weather info, and drivers’ favorite photos –the entire Constitution and Declaration of Independence. “The last time we faced something as impacting on us,” JB tells me, “There was a revolution.”