April 15, 2006
Bumper Stickers and the Angry Left
Posted by Gordon Smith

WaPo is featuring bloggers on the "angry left," including Maryscott O'Connor of My Left Wing. I visited Maryscott's blog and had a good chuckle that her main concern about the story was the photo of her gnashing her teeth: "There have been worse pictures taken of me than the one in the paper... but I can't recall any at the moment. Sometimes, I actually look pretty." Of course they didn't run a pretty photo! You are supposed to be angry, remember?!

This quip really had me in stiches:

I have become one of those people with all the bumper stickers on their car. I am this close to being one of those muttering people pushing a cart.

That certainly is my impression of people who plaster their car with bumper stickers. The only bumper sticker I have ever had on my car is one of those country stickers from Europe (Austria for me and Sweden for my wife), but that was a long time ago. We were young and impetuous. We have been sticker-free for years.

Having stickers with political messages is like driving with a hat. It marks you as someone who is unstable. I try not to drive directly behind such people because who knows what they are going to do? It starts with stickers, but what's next? Screeching stops to start a spontaneous protest?

Kerrycar Campaign stickers featuring failed candidates look especially silly. Kerry stickers are all over Madison. (No, I didn't take this photo, but it fits.)

Cars with lots of bumper stickers in this part of the country are almost exclusively anti-Bush, anti-war, anti-corporate, pro-abortion rights, pro-environment, etc. Is that what you would expect? I mean, it's not like people with such views are in the minority here. Why are they screaming?

If memory serves, you see roughly the same pattern in Utah, the most-pro-Bush state in the Union. Sure, you also see lots of pro-Mormon stickers of various kinds (preaching to the choir, so to speak), but the cars plastered with stickers? Almost always liberals.

Why is that?

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