Monday, November 19, 2007

In response: Bask in (conservative) bumper stick wisdom

I stumbled across this little gem from Atomic Trousers the other day. Apparently that post saw the site's highest hit count, as it was spread far and wide across the conservative blogosphere.

Now, I'm no fan of jingoistic bumper stickers. I'd rather someone actually did something about the problems they see in the world than just slap a sticker on their car and feel good about themselves. I'll even admit that I have been guilty of this in the past, but no more.

Regardless, the reasons given for hating the stickers in the AT post are what really disturb me. There's enough self-congratulatory back-patting in the comments section to make a thoughtful person start to believe that the world is full of selfish pricks with no sense of compassion for their fellow human beings.

Anyway, because I believe in turnabout being fair play, I've decided to list a series of jingoistic conservative bumper stickers that I have, amazingly, seen around Madison (and beyond).

1) "Don't believe the media, conservatives are the good guys!"
Yikes. Way to paint the world in black and white there, buddy. There's so much wrong with this one that it's hard to know where to begin. First off, the "media" isn't any one thing, conservative or liberal. There are networks and organizations that fall on all sections of the political spectrum, and to continue with this pained battle cry that conservatives are somehow largely discriminated against in this country is disingenuous at best and disgustingly self-centered at worst.

2) "Allah know of Islam, I learned on 9/11."
Holy mother of yikes, this one about made me swerve off the road when I saw it. How ignorant can one person be? Has this person ever met a Muslim? Been friends with one? Bothered to even just read a non-biased account of Islam? This sort of attitude makes me think the answer is a resounding "no," because otherwise how could a person still come to the deluded conclusion that all Muslims hate us and want us dead? Yikes, it's people like this that help us end up in religious wars without end.

3) "Nuke Iran Before Iran Nukes US!"
Ah yes, the time honored tradition of thinking nuclear war will solve all of our problems. Point some of those missiles at you and your family, then tell me how gung-ho you are for a nuclear holocaust.

4) "Anti-War = Pro-Terrorism"
Here we have another shining example of blanket stereotyping and complete fallacy. Didn't we learn this back in, like, 5th grade? Y'know, that whole "all eagles are birds but not all birds are eagles" thing? Of course, that barely even applies in this instance, because equating "anti-war" with "pro-terrorism" is so absurd as to render it completely moot.

5) "Abortion Clinics: Keeping Choice From America's Parents Every Day"
This one is just so what-the-fuck. So these abortion clinics, they're going out and forcing people to have abortions? Where are they getting this shite? The clinics that offer this service do so because it's legal, it's important that people have a place to go to have it done safely, and they provide counseling before and after to help people make informed decisions as to whether or not the procedure is right for them and then how to cope with what is, without a doubt, a deeply unpleasant experience. No one likes abortion. Sometimes it's just necessary, and the decision should always be left up to the pregnant women, not the government, not some conservative who knows nothing about the individual's situation. Get over yourselves.

I could go on, because there are just as many wacky right-wing bumper stickers as there are wacky left-wing bumper stickers. It's just that, for me, most of the right-wing jingoisms make me want to vomit, so in the interest of not blowing chunks all over my computer, I'm going to stop the list here.

Point is, if you want to make a difference in the world, have real, constructive debate with people of all political and social stripes, etc., then stupid slogans are not the way to go. This applies to everyone. Drop the stereotypes, open your friggen mind a little bit, and for heaven's sake, get out a little more. It'll do you good.


Anonymous said...

"Everything I learned from Allah..." shouldn't surprise you considering trousers says this about the Coexist bumper sticker, "If some of the followers of the religion represented by the crescent moon “c” on your cute little bumper sticker would stop hijacking planes and blowing up buildings, coexisting would be a little easier."

ellie said...

I think it's better to have a bleeding heart than none at all.
At the root of all modern conservative thinking is a lack of empathy and a simplistic mindset.
When you're a pants pissing chickenhawk it's easy to talk tough and be sarcastic, but get one in a conversation these days in the real world and they shut right up.

John Foust said...

Just to tie two threads together, the same Christian Schneider "Atomic Trousers" wrote perhaps the most inept and misleading assessment of the video competition bill for the WPRI several months ago.

As you may have seen by now, the "Coexist" kerfuffle continues with this version that's made its way to Milwaukee hate radio.

Neo Tuxedo said...

Within the past year or so, I've seen stickers 2 and 3 on the same bumper, of a guy who sometimes parks at the hotel where I work part-time. (Not long ago, he changed from an Alberta to a Florida license plate.) In fact, I got here by googling the content of #2, in an attempt to find out who's responsible for it and the other stickers he sports, which I won't degrade the English language by posting here. (I also found out that he posts as "obc" at an Alberta libertarian blog.) If it was the same yipyop with both stickers in your path, you have my pity.

Emily said...

It's fascinating to me that the Libertarian party seems to attract the fringes of both hardcore liberals and hardcore conservatives.

And unfortunately, there are several small businesses (with web presences) that sell those stickers.

Anonymous said...

Abortion clinics rip infants into recognizable little pieces. This is unconscionable and almost never necessary. I wish the bleeding hearts would extend as much sympathy to these poor human beings as they do to criminals.

The Lost Albatross