Friday, October 10, 2008

Sticker-Free, For Now

I've never been much of a bumper sticker person, especially since I worked for so long in a field that discourages displays of political preference. But I'm excited about my candidate of choice in a way I haven't been in years. I'm not a newspaper journalist anymore, so if I want to slap a "Geek Moms for Obama" bumper sticker on my humble station wagon, I can. Except, I'm afraid to.

Because I spend my time with sane, clear-thinking people, I don't spend a lot of time worrying about wingnuts. I just don't have the energy. But the "Kill him!" madness that went down during a recent Sarah Palin campaign appearance is bothering me. Not just in a "Wow, that's fucked up" way, but in a "There are still people who want to put a bullet in uppity black folks" way. It forced me to consider the fact that there are people who are quietly (and not so quietly) seething that a man of color is well on his way to the Oval Office. They're dressing it up in rhetoric about his "radical" connections, but anyone who thinks race isn't the issue here is delusional. I watched a CBS reporter ask some McCain supporters about whether it was fair to refer to Obama as "Barack Hussein Obama," and their outrage was palpable: "That's his name isn't it?" one woman spat back. "We're just calling him by his name."

There are plenty of people riding around with Obama (and McCain) bumper stickers, and their cars don't appear to be keyed or have broken windows. We're used to enthusiastic displays of partisanship in Tallahassee, but it is getting ugly out there. The last thing I need with two kids in tow is a confrontation in the Shell parking lot, or worse, on Capital Circle. On the wrong day, I might engage, and that wouldn't be good for anybody. So for now, I'm keeping it sticker-free. It's my vote that really counts - I hope.


The Irredeemable Shag said...

I wish the world was beyond confronting people for their choice in bumper stickers, however, you may be right. This particular election has many people worked up.

I think some of it has to do with how the media is portraying this campaign as a sporting event. They even make comments about the debates as "game changing". This just gets the competitive urges worked up in many nut jobs.

Speaking of bumper stickers, I'm amazed at how many people still have their Kerry/Edwards bumper stickers displayed.

The Irredeemable Shag

EDP said...

Plus, doesn't it feel like the election has been going on since 1998? There's a new poll every 15 seconds, and I think the whole cycle — plus the horrible economic climate — has people on edge. You're right about those Kerry/Edwards stickers! I was mad, too, but I had to let it go.

downtown guy said...

When I was a kid, my hippie parents had a bumper sticker that said "The Moral Majority is neither." I still remember - I must have been 4 or 5 at the time - coming out of a fast food joint somewhere in Central Florida to find our car with spit all over the windows, antenna bent, and that sticker ripped off. We got out of there mighty fast, I tell you what.

EDP said...

Oh, Jesus. See, that is exactly what I'm talking about. That must have been such an upsetting experience - especially for you as a tyke. You just never know what is going to set some angry, crazy person off. Funny that in defending the "moral majority," the vandal displayed the most thuggish, nasty behavior. Nice.

downtown guy said...

It was definitely a little scary/freaky. I remember my folks not really talking about it, even at the time. dad cussed a little bit, they wiped off the windows and we got the hell out.

And I fear that there are even more crazy, angry people right now.