There Is a “Truck Line” Tearing America Apart

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


A few minutes ago, President Obama’s former “car czar” Steven Rattner tweeted the map below. Marcy Wheeler tweaks him for calling Hondas and Toyotas “imports” even though most of them are made in the US. I’d tweak him for saying the map shows the best-selling “cars” in each state, since it also includes trucks. Trucks aren’t cars.

But that’s enough tweaking. I’m willing to cut people a lot of slack on Twitter. Here’s what I’m curious about. You’ve no doubt heard of the famous “soda line” in America: in New England and the West, most of us call fizzy sweetened drinks soda. In the South, it’s coke. Up north, from Washington to the Ohio Valley, it’s pop.

Apparently we also have a truck line in America. In the Midwest and Mountain states, people buy Ford F-series trucks. In the Great Lakes region, the Chevy Silverado reigns supreme. Out West, we seem to prefer Dodge Rams.

What’s up with that? Is this just a weird coincidence? Or is there some genuine historical reason that different trucks are popular in different regions?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest