I’m a huge proponent of vans overall. I think the simple, basic one-box van design is one of the most effective motor vehicle designs of all time. I think vans can be cool and stylish and fun. But even I have to admit that white vans have something of an image problem, and that’s certainly not helped by things like this: a suspect in the recent series of attempted mail-bombings of Trump critics has been found, and he drives a white van covered in crazy shit, just like you’d expect.
The suspect that was taken into custody today (outside an AutoZone, even) has been identified by the AP as Cesar Sayoc Jr., from, of course, Florida. The van looks to be a Dodge Ram Van, a third-gen 1994 to 2003 model, and with some aftermarket wheels, fender flares and runningboard, and a big rear side window. All the windows are covered in the kind of dense, Dr.Bronner’s-soap-bottle level text and pictures that one usually associates with people who snag themselves such esteemed vans. People have been tweeting pictures of the van that they’ve taken in the past, when they just noticed a van covered in strange things, before Sayoc was a suspect.
There’s pictures of Trump and Pence, and a large area featuring the presidential seal with Trump. There’s also a lot of pictures of Trump’s critics and the logos of CNN and other media outlets, and many of these have gunsight crosshairs superimposed over them, ominously.
Most strange for me personally is what appears to be the suspect’s deep admiration for North Carolina universities:
I live in a pretty well-known North Carolina university town, so that’s sort of creepy. Go Heels, I guess?
The suspect’s own Twitter feed also seems to show an interest in other white vans used to display and promote the owner’s intensely-held ideas:
I guess crazy white-van guys gotta support one another?
I’m afraid for most people the presence of a white van in this story comes as no surprise. White vans will just have to wait for another day for their redemption, because it sure as hell isn’t going to happen any time soon.