Opinion: Freedom Convoy Truckers Hurt Their Own Cause

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
opinion freedom convoy truckers hurt their own cause

Whether the truckers who’ve shut down parts of Ottawa, Canada and the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Canada, are winning the debate over vaccine mandates or not, I suspect they aren’t winning the hearts and minds of some people they might otherwise be able to convince to support them.

To be clear, I am in favor of vaccine mandates — I think they would help end the pandemic by getting more people vaccinated as well as ease the strain on the healthcare system, and I think the “my body, my choice” argument rings hollow here since a person’s choice to not get vaccinated could lead to potentially deadly consequences. Meanwhile, our own Matt disagrees with me, and that’s fine — reasonable people can disagree reasonably.

But this post isn’t an argument in favor of or against mandates. Instead, I’d like to point out that if you want to get people on your side of a debate, perhaps choking supply chains, delaying the shipment of goods, and pissing off the locals isn’t the way to do it.

Especially if you’re pissing off small-business owners who have already struggled due to the pandemic and the restrictions that are meant to slow the spread of the virus. While I’ve generally been in favor of restrictions, as long as they are grounded in science, it’s undeniable that restrictions have hurt businesses. So, too, has the mere presence of the virus — even in places where restrictions are few, people may choose to stay home for safety.

So, if you’re goal is to get people on your side in a protest against mandates, you might not want to shut down their city so much that they can’t serve customers. Or shut down a bridge that is used to ship auto parts across the border, thus hurting supply chains at a time that those same supply chains are already hurting due to the semiconductor-chip shortage.

Yes, it’s true that the NYT piece linked above can’t possibly represent the opinion of every Ottawan who’s dealing with the convoy. After all, the piece only quotes two business owners, and one seems angrier at the Canadian government for not managing the protests than he is with the truckers.

A cynic might suggest that the NYT might have only quoted those who supported its premise or that the reporter just didn’t make an effort to talk to enough people. I doubt the former is the case — the linked article is just a short blurb in a blog that’s updating different aspects of the situation in something like real-time, and it’s possible no one else wanted to talk to the paper.

Whatever the case may be, at least two Ottawa business owners are pissed off that the protests are hurting their business. Seems to me that if I was an anti-mandate trucker, I’d not want to anger those who might otherwise support me against the government.

To be clear, I am all for protesting — even if I don’t agree with the ideology of the protesters — and I am glad that in America, at least, the right to peaceably assemble is enshrined in our Constitution. I’m just saying that there’s a way to protest that persuades, and a way that pisses people off.

I wonder if the truckers who are causing the worst trouble are aware of the difference.

[Image © Darryl Barton/Shutterstock.com]

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  • Jebby Jebby on Feb 16, 2022

    Reading these two opposing opinion pieces and then scrolling thru the comments makes me weep for our future. Remember back when we could disagree about car companies and still get along? The rabid hatred for one another in a group of alleged car lovers is depressing.

  • 08Suzuki 08Suzuki on Feb 21, 2022

    Of course Matt would disagree with you, Tim. Matt's a legit self-outed Neo Nazi. I'd link you to one of TTAC's own articles where his profound ignorance and lack of self-awareness ended up outing himself as a Neo Nazi (it was the one where he was whining and complaining about why Germany doesn't respect freedom of speech and, therefore, release actual legit Neo Nazis from jail) but apparently Matt had an iota of a moment of self-awareness where he realized being a Neo Nazi isn't cool, despite his clear love of being one, and nuked it from the Interwebs. I strongly suspect this comment will likewise get nuked with a strong possibility of me being banned because, well, with Matt being such a stringent defender of people's unequivocal, uninhibited right to freedom of speech and all.

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
  • Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.