This year promises to be another tug of war between the haves and have-nots in the United States. We may be sending the sons and daughters of the lower classes off to fight in Iraq to preserve the right of the upper classes to fuel their SUVs.
There's a growing movement to curb the mightiest of the sports utility vehicles, 10-mpg monsters like the Hummer or 11-mpg hogs like the Lincoln Navigator. Thanks to Congress, these behemoths are exempt from federal rules regulating the gas mileage standards for cars--that is, the little cars for the little people.
Motorists are beginning to get fed up with sharing the road with these pigs, too. Keith Bradsher, author of the new book "High and Mighty: S.U.V.'s--The World's Most Dangerous Vehicle and How They Got That Way," points to a study showing how self-centered SUV drivers are.
The death rate for those driving SUVs is higher than for those driving cars, Bradsher writes. But when it's an accident involving an SUV striking a car, the car passengers are 30 times more likely to die. And you know what? SUV drivers don't care. They think they deserve to drive a tank that is more likely to kill others.
No doubt SUV drivers won't mind killing a few Iraqis to keep fueling their pigmobiles. And they'll have the American flag decals on when our troops start dying overseas.