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.