I may be cynical, but it seems to me that if your political philosophy can be summed up in a bumper sticker it might just be a little superficial. Here are some of my favorite examples:
GOP health care cuts are the Axes of Evil
- This refers, of course, to the Republican administration which has done more to gratuitously increase Medicaire funding than any other in history. This is something they should be slammed for, not criticized for doing too little of.
Hate is Not a Moral Value
- You know, no one ever says they hate some group or some action. Yet there are an awful lot of people who are eager to accuse others of being haters just because they don’t believe in the same set of ideologies or the same platform of government programs. I wonder if the people with these bumper stickers have considered that pinning the ‘hater’ label on a broad group of people who as individuals have almost all never done anything hateful to anyone, is an act of hate in and of itself. So while hate may not be a moral value, it is apparently a value of some people with bumper stickers on their cars.
Let Oil Companies Send Their Own Troops
- I actually rather like this one, but the implications are horrendous. The reason we send our troops is because if nations didn’t have armies then corporations very well might have them. And do you really want your safety being defended by the Exxon Army? Can you imagine how the Shell Stormtroopers would treat Iraqi civilians? Of course, this might be a great deal for our trained veterans. I bet the corporate legions would have much better pay and benefits than our current military.
No One Died When Clinton Lied
- Well actually, quite a few people died during Clinton’s two terms, including a lot of soldiers who died mainly because of his unwillingness to handle foreign conflicts in a serious and responsible way, perhaps because of his oval office distractions. The deaths include 53 soldiers in Somalia among others. And as for Bush lying and causing people to die, Clinton actually committed perjury in court, a clear and documented lie. Bush has merely been accused of lying because his predictions of WMDs in Iraq did not bear fruit. To date there is no evidence that any deliberate lie was ever told.
Real Patriots Don’t Take Away Freedom. Reject Radical Republicanism in 2004
- This one is clearly aimed at the Patriot Act. After all, it was all the doing of Republicans, right? In actuality 69% of House Democrats and 96% of Senate Democrats including John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Dick Gephardt voted for the Patriot Act. Those numbers aren’t just in favor of it, they’re high enough to override a presidential veto or pass it on as a Constitutional Amendment. The Democrats apparently just loved the Patriot Act at the time they voted for it. So why doesn’t the sticker say “Deny Disastrous Democrats” instead of or in addition to “Reject Radical Republicans”? The Patriot Act is evil, right? So anyone who voted for it is a bad guy. So I guess the Democrats are going to dump their whole party leadership except for Dennis Kucinich, right? Can you say ‘hypocrisy’?
Not Rich Enough for a Tax Break
- This is the sticker I saw today which actually sent me off on this diatribe. Exactly what kind of person isn’t rich enough for a tax break? It would seem to me that the poorer you are the less you can afford to have the government leeching money out of your paycheck. In fact, the poorest people in America – well into the lower middle class – receive the largest tax break of all, they don’t pay any taxes in the first place. If this refers to Bush’s specific tax breaks it makes even less sense. They took two forms, the tax rebate and the tax rate reduction. The rebate was a flat amount paid directly to taxpayers. Because it they were done as amounts, the two tax rebates benefited poorer taxpayers enormously more than rich ones, because they were a much higher percentage rebate. $600 means very little if you make $200,000 a year, but if you make $35,000 a year it’s most of a mortgage payment and that’s real help. And of course, the rate reduction helped everyone exactly equally. It was the same percentage reduction in the tax rate for every income level, so if Mr. Millionaire saved 2%, well so did Joe Average. The only people it had no impact on were those who were paying no taxes to start with. Though it will eventually benefit even them when their income increases to actually pay taxes.
I guess you can tell me that I shouldn’t look to two lines on the back of a moving vehicle for wisdom, but I do wish I could find something there a bit better than arrant idiocy. These are only a representative sampling of the offensively ill-conceived position papers of the witless you can find pasted on chrome around any city.
Bumper stickers like these make me worry about the decision making abilities of the drivers in the cars that bear them. They wouldn’t put them there if they didn’t believe them, right? If they haven’t got a strong enough grasp on reality to see the fallacies of a bumper sticker, then how do I know they believe in the authority of stoplights or that turning right from the left lane is a bad idea? Actually, based on the way I’ve seen some of these people driving they actually may not be able to grasp the basic rules of the road. They’re worse than the notorios “Old Men in Hats”.