Eric Peters: What’s a Clover?

By Eric Peters

I get asked – what’s a Clover? Definition herewith:

* Clover (noun):

The root cause of every affront to liberty. The spoonful of poo that ruins a gallon of ice cream.

Clovers are instinctive authoritarians. They can be found on the political left and the political right and eveywhere in between. They do not believe in live and let live. They believe in telling others how to live.

Clovers can’t abide the organic society, voluntary interaction or free exchange. The are driven to control and regulate and micromanage.

Clovers think individual dictators are bad but the dictatorship of the “majority” is acceptable.

Morality for a Clover is a function of numbers.

You are not free to disagree with a Clover.

Clovers equate legal and illegal with right and wrong. If an action is legal than it it is morally right. And if an action is illegal then it is morally wrong.

Clovers believe the state can be a “victim” and that the greatest sin is to affront the authority of the state.

Clovers always have “plans” and speak in terms of “we.”

Clovers reflexively presume the right to speak for you.

A Clover will speak of “our children” when he really means your children.

Clovers believe that their feelings about what “someone” might do justifies punishing people who haven’t actually done anything to anyone.

Clovers believe that you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent.

Clovers believe the ends always justifies the means.

Clovers believe “there ought to be a law” whenever they see other people doing something they happen not to like. Or aren’t doing something they believe other people ought to do.

Clovers think it’s ok to take your money if it’s called “taxes.”

They like to “help” others… with other people’s money.

Clovers think people are too irresponsible and foolish to be trusted to govern themselves – but put limitless trust in people with special titles and costumes such as “officer” and “senator” and “president.”

Clovers measure everything according to their standards – which must then be imposed on others. If Clover thinks 80 MPH is “too fast” then driving 80 MPH must be made a punishable offense.

Clovers suffer from a Parent Complex. They insist other adults be compelled to “buckle up” for “safety.”

Clovers are also terrible drivers. Read more about road-going Clovers here. Also here and here.

Most rank-and-file Clovers are, at bottom, bullies and busybodies – but also cowards who hide behind euphemisms (see above regarding “taxes”) and proxies like the ballot box. They are not bold enough to actually take other people’s things themselves and shy away from telling other people what to do – such as personally telling their neighbor to “buckle up for safety” – but are eager to vote to have others perform this work on their behalf.

Clovers are generally only dangerous in herds.



Eric Peters is the automotive columnist for the Southern Arizona News-Examiner. Visit his website for all things automotive at



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