Friday, January 23, 2015

Bumper sticker politics

On Wednesday, I found a parking space out of the snow and pulled in next to a truck. I could see one sticker on the cab, which was a Confederate Stars & Bars flag with the words "Second Amendment Supporter" (or maybe "Rights"). The conflation of the Confederacy with gun rights seemed pretty bad to me, until I saw the one below it.

"A million people went to Obama's inauguration. 14 missed work."

Although a Republican at the time, who had voted for John McCain in the primary, I did end up voting for Barack Obama. McCain's choice of Sarah Palin had initially, for a few minutes, struck me as an interesting running mate. Once I heard a few things from her, I was quickly turned off and very disappointed in McCain for kowtowing to the religious right of the Republican party. Also, I believe Joe Biden as our Vice President provided much foreign policy expertise, as well as numerous comedic moments.

I was and continue to be disgusted by the assumption that everyone who supports our first African-American President is a lazy welfare recipient. (Am I reading too much into it?) The other narrative that could be supported is that the eight years of the Bush administration had caused a recession. (I believe the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999, under Clinton, had a lot to do with it.) But I think that's giving this guy way too much credit.

The people I know who went to the inauguration were NOT on welfare. They did have jobs. They do have jobs. They are a diverse group of people. I did not go because I was probably working on a press release for 3rd quarter financials. It was also freezing and I hate dealing with crowds during DC events.

When I returned to my car after shopping, the guy was getting something out of his truck. He was one of the guys clearing snow from the parking lot.

I wish I could have said something, but I was a fraidy-cat. (Although he could have had a gun on him...). And I probably couldn't get him to change his mind by reminding him that Fox News viewers are the dumbest of all TV viewers (actually people who don't watch TV did better in this study than Fox viewers).

Listen, I don't have the Choose Civility bumper sticker. I view driving as a sport, so I don't think I should be hypocritical by having it. But those two bumper stickers struck me as hate speech and I can't get them out of my mind. People are choosing to be hateful and support a narrative that suits them despite being a lie.

I guess that's American exceptionalism.

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