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Sep 12, 2022
As the saying goes, “no good deed goes unpunished.” A recent good deed has turned into an internet meme in a way that I don’t think makes West Virginia look good.
A picture of several coal miners pushing an electric car that went dead on a coal access road near Corridor H in Tucker County back to their mine to charge went viral last week.
From what I’ve been able to read, the driver of the electric car was coming from the Washington, D.C., area and heading to the popular tourism destination of Davis for the three-day Labor Day weekend. The person nearly made it too, but alas, the person ran out of juice.
State Sen. Randy Smith, R-Tucker, is a coal miner and took a picture of his fellow coal miners pushing the electric car to their mine. You could see the conveyors, silos, and mounds of coal in the background. It was a very good deed of which I’m sure the driver was eternally grateful.
Smith — the chairman of the Senate Energy, Industry, and Mining Committee – probably couldn’t help taking the photo. The image is indeed impactful. It is certainly a reminder to not take for granted where the power comes from to charge your car, cell phones, and other devices. But some have taken that photo and used it in a pretty ugly way.
There are some assumptions out there about the person who drove the car and why they bought the car.
“While electric vehicles have recently symbolized an elitist shift away from natural energy resources such as coal, natural gas, and oil to renewable energy sources, that narrative was set aside on Friday as the coal miners were more than willing to help the unfortunate traveler,” Breitbart, a self-described “alt-right” news outlet reported.
Do we actually know WHY this individual bought an electric car? I’ve not seen any news outlet that has reported on this incident reach out to the driver. Only Smith, the photographer, has been interviewed.
There are many reasons to own an electric car, some of which I’m sure are political. But I’m a fan of Occam’s razor, a scientific rule that states that the simplest theory is likely the most accurate. Gasoline prices may be coming down, but they are still high and could start inching back up again. Is that not all the reason needed for owning an electric car or electric anything?
I own a battery-powered lawnmower. I don’t use it in the hopes that a coal-fired power plant inches closer to being obsolete. I use it because I don’t have to fill it with gasoline. It’s easy to stereotype electric car owners. I remember when that happened constantly with Toyota Prius drivers based on the types of Hollywood leftist types that drove them.
Nowadays, all sorts of people drive electric cars, including several West Virginia conservatives I know. At least one Republican lawmaker owns a Tesla (which given Elon Musk’s politics these days, I’d imagine that would be a cool car for Republicans to drive now). Of course, you can’t buy a Tesla in West Virginia due to a law (introduced by a Democratic state senator a few years ago) that protects the dealer franchise system in the state.
Again, I have no idea why the stranded individual bought their electric car. I imagine one thing for sure is the person wasn’t expecting to be the butt of jokes. He was coming to Davis to spend money, eat at restaurants, possibly stay in a hotel, and simply enjoy the beauty of our state for a few days.
I have to wonder if this person knows they are part of a meme being used to “own the libs”? I really hope the person remembers the kindness of the miners who helped versus the ugliness of over-politicized people on social media and the internet. I hope this person isn’t turned off from returning to West Virginia in the future.
S. Marshall Wilson, the former Republican member of the House of Delegates from Berkeley County who switched to independent at the end of 2019 and ran a Don Quixote-like campaign for Governor in 2020, is at it again.
This time, Wilson is running for Governor in 2024 (and apparently for House again in November) under the banner of a new proposed political party: Americans Coming Together, or the ACT Party. Wilson is seeking signatures to get on the 2024 ballot. He will need more than 7,800 by my count since he has to collect at least 1% of the number of total votes for governor in 2020).
Just to recap: Wilson had to run as a write-in for Governor in 2020 after not collecting enough signatures to get on the 2020 ballot by deadline. He received 15,120 votes, or 3% of the 497,944 votes Gov. Jim Justice received in 2020. I don’t begrudge anyone wanting to run for office, but sometimes voters give pretty clear hints about who they prefer.
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