I present to you this photograph, taken near the 9/11 memorial on Capitol Hill. There was a gentleman nearby smoking pot who was probably its owner. I tried to sharpen the focus so you could read the bumper stickers better, but I’m unsure I succeeded.
Now before I start analyzing all the bumper stickers on this VW bus as a way to point out problems with our current political discourse, I want all of you to know: I am a big fat stinkin’ liberal. “Liberal” is the best word in the universe! (Take that, all you liberal-bashers. Actually,
is the best word in the known universe. I volunteered to spell that in front of the class in elementary school and got it wrong. I’m still too lazy to check the spelling in the dictionary.)
My heart bleeds so much it’s a wonder I’m not dead, but as a copyeditor, I also have an ear for inconsistencies.
Let’s start with “If we kill the innocent, we become the enemy.” OK, well, unborn babies/fetuses/children/zygotes are innocent, aren’t they? So are all women who’ve had abortions “the enemy”? That would mark out 30% to 40% of the US female population as the enemy.
The sticker on the bottom left, under “Jail Bush,” is an old chestnut that reads, “It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.” I’m all in favor of the first part. The second part? I think we could simplify our military by restricting combat to the surface of the ground and the surface of the water. All planes would be for fun or civilian transport. All submarines would be for science. Don’t even waste your breath telling me it’s a crazy idea. I already know that. These kinds of attitudes come from having no military in my immediate family.
Living near Boulder, Colorado, I’ve seen the “Coexist” bumper sticker so much recently it annoys me. I agree with the principle, but the bumper sticker seems cutesy.
“War is terrorism with a bigger budget” (above “Coexist”): Yes, at times, that is true. At times it isn’t.
The “If History Repeats…Will We Notice” sticker has Hitler on the left and Bush on the right. Why is it that just when the WWII generation is dying out, Hitler comparisons are suddenly everywhere? Please…stop!
“W is for War Without End”: Remember the Vietnam War? It lasted from the 1940s to the 1970s, in some form or another. Democrats and Republicans kept it going. On another note, I’m in favor of staying in Afghanistan as long as we need to defeat the Taliban. I was following the abusive behavior of the Taliban in the 1990s when most Americans had never heard of them; most of that information came from feminist publications like Ms. (See, conservatives, there is something to be learned from feminists!) I don’t believe in negotiating with the Taliban and I don’t believe in incorporating them into the government (looks like it’s going to be Karzai again). It’s possible that conditions on the ground in Afghanistan make the latter necessary, but I hope not.
The best quote in the bunch is from author Sinclair Lewis: “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” That, I agree with. I also realized I have never read him. Here is a quote from Wikipedia: “In his Nobel Lecture, he praised Theodore Dreiser, Willa Cather, Ernest Hemingway, and other contemporaries, but also lamented that “in America most of us—not readers alone, but even writers—are still afraid of any literature which is not a glorification of everything American, a glorification of our faults as well as our virtues,” and that America is “the most contradictory, the most depressing, the most stirring, of any land in the world today.”
And if you don’t share my opinions, here’s someone who will keep you in line: