As I take my short walk to class every morning, I get the privilege of seeing the bumper stickers on all the cars that drive by me. Bumper stickers are an amazing way for people to express messages for the mass public to see. I myself even have a few stickers on my car, so by no means am I attacking bumper stickers.
What bothers me about a lot of bumper stickers is that they are usually either too vague, or they convey a message other than what is directly worded on the sticker. For example, I saw a sticker the other day that said "Religious People for Kerry." What does that mean? Is that the politically correct way of saying that you are a Christian and you support John Kerry? Has our society become so wrapped up in political correctness that one cannot ever identify oneself as a specific religion or gender without being wrong? Is someone going to get offended if you say that you are a Christian male who supported John Kerry? I believe that sharing your political beliefs is your opinion, and that there isn’t anything wrong in sharing your opinion.
I have a sticker in the back window of my truck that states, "Marriage is Between a Man and a Woman." Is that straightforward? Yes. Is that politically correct? No. Does it proclaim my opinion? You bet it does. It makes sense to me to embrace a political philosophy where I can share exactly what I feel. No monkey business, no dinking around the subject. This is how I feel — my thoughts, right in front of you, politically correct or not. And I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.
Another sticker I saw that I must admit is direct, even though I do not believe in its message, is the one that states, "Bush is an Idiot." Whether you believe this to be true or not, I support the person who had enough guts to break out of that politically correct mold, and say what he believes! A round of applause for you, Mr. Bumper-sticker writer. I would shake your hand any day!
My other issue is with bumper stickers that say one thing, but convey another message. Today, walking back from lunch, I saw a sticker that read, "Make Trade Fair." What country do you live in? I know that a lot of people have forgotten about this, or have embraced this philosophy, but I believe this "fairness" is Communism. If everyone was on the same level business-wise, we would no longer live in a capitalistic society. Communism looks great on paper, but doesn’t exactly work. Plus, would you really want to own a business in an environment where everything was completely controlled and super-regulated by the government? Would you open a business based on the idea: "I’m going to start a business so I can be the same as everyone else"? I don’t think so. The reason we have business is to make money. If businesses did not make money and conquer other businesses, then America would not be what it is today. So for those who still believe that Communism sounds better, you’re thirty years too late.
What about the sticker that says, "Think, it’s Patriotic"? It seems to me that the left gives the right a lot of grief for doing just that. I think we should go to war. I think that we should have George W. Bush as the president. I think that there should be fewer taxes. It seems to me that the conservative right is doing a good deal of thinking. I’m just not thinking the way the left is thinking. Then, by this sticker, are people trying to tell me that by thinking conservative thoughts, I am unpatriotic? If that is what is meant, just say it!
The lesson I’m trying to get everyone to learn from all this is that we need to say what we mean. Please don’t put a sticker on your car that says something in which the meaning is open to interpretation. Just say what you mean. It is your opinion, and there is nothing wrong with that. God bless you, America, for giving us the right to put whatever bumper stickers on our cars and trucks that we want, no matter how wrong you are.
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Title: Say what you mean on bumper stickers | Author: Jake Montzingo | Section: Opinions | Published Date: 2005-11-30 | Internal ID: 4740