A query by Maynard

I’m not inclined to put out a flamboyant display. My natural urge is to keep a low profile. This makes for awkward feelings about public displays of politics or anything else. I salute the brave spirit of the person that drives a car like the one pictured on the right, but I hesitate to follow suit. Am I a coward, or just tasteful and discreet? Well, whatever it is, I bet a lot of you are in a similar situation.

Aside from temperamental inclinations, there’s a degree of pragmatism here. Even if they’re not of a mind to destroy my car, I’d rather have strangers regard me as a blank slate. For example, if I ever need a tow, I wouldn’t want to challenge the guy who comes to assist me. Sure, he’s supposed to put up with silly customers. But why tempt the angels?

So…can I make my point in a way that I’ll be comfortable with?

At home, I fly the flag. Anyone that objects to that is a complete jerk. (It seems to me that, these days, flying the flag is something of a protest against Washington overreach. Which says a lot about the times we live in, when a flag becomes symbolic of protest against your own government.)

I’m slightly tempted to bump up the heat by a notch and replace Old Glory with one of the “Don’t Tread On Me” banners. This is more controversial. Is it a step up, do you think, or just a step sideways? I liked the look of this original Navy Jack. (This design caught my eye when, during a stroll, I was granted a surprise audience by an ambassador from the Council of Cats. The Navy Jack was flying across the street, but I can’t say whether this was to honor the visiting Cat or just a matter of happenstance.)

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I hang a teabag from the rearview mirror of my car. I’ve also got a small American flag decal on the back of the rear window. Subtle stuff, but I think it makes the point.

But what of bumper stickers? What would I do for a bumper sticker? My cleverest notions would get me shot, this being an enlightened state. For example, here’s a fantasy that amuses me: A pair of bumper stickers. On the left side, it will say, “Repeal and Replace”. On the right side, a matching sticker will display “Impeach and Deport”. It’s not subtle, but the balance takes a moment to grasp. I like that.

More seriously, I might consider a sticker that would push the focus to where it belongs. Maybe “The National Debt is Child Abuse”. That’s serious but appropriate. We’re paying off today’s cronies at the cost of penury for tomorrow’s children. If that’s not an egregious assault against basic decency, and worth marching on Washington to stop, I don’t know what is. One of the rallying cries of the American Revolution was “No taxation without representation!” Which is exactly what the national debt is.

To make that point in a lighter (and perhaps less effective?) way, this design came to mind. It’s so much more polite to accuse the politicians of having “issues” rather than being child abusers. And, as has recently been revealed to us by our elite guardians, careless speech makes us all complicit in murder. (There are websites where you can build your own bumper stickers, such as this one.)

I’m not sure what to do, if anything. This is an exercise in contemplation. And it’s something of an academic exercise, because I don’t drive much; I actually live something of an Al Gore-approved lifestyle…and much more so than Al Gore, I might add.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tammy Bruce, Linda Zumpano. Linda Zumpano said: RT @HeyTammyBruce: Flags and Bumper Stickers http://bit.ly/ia4Nd5 #tbrs […]

  2. JLThorpe says:

    Maynard, there’s something to your point about bumper stickers. I have three bumper stickers on my car (picture here: http://twitpic.com/36kt1l ). One for Sarah Palin, one for Reagan, and one for Opie and Anthony (probably my second favorite radio show next to Tammy). But of the three stickers, the Palin one gives me a bit of unease. I want to show my support for Palin and not be afraid to be public about it, but having that sticker makes me worry. When I go to work, I sometimes worry about someone seeing the sticker and making an issue of it (for example, I work with people who, while we’re all close friends, also suffer from PDS). Likewise, when I go to the mall or go to a party, I sometimes worry about where I park, because of what might happen if someone notices it. Now, so far, nothing negative has happened (I once had a neighbor start a conversation with me about Palin because of the sticker, but it wasn’t confrontational), but I wonder what the future will bring. I suppose the safest thing for my peace of mind would be to remove the sticker, but I worry that I would be giving in to fear (isn’t that one reason why conservatives tend not to be as vocal as liberals – fear of the deranged ones?). Perhaps your point about being a blank slate is right (after all, my friends with PDS were alright by me – until they opened their mouths).

    • Maynard says:

      I’m not advocating a particular course of action. I’m conflicted over what is the proper form of public expression. I think decent people tend to be tolerant and non-confrontational when faced with a situation that doesn’t demand aggression. Sadly, this puts us at a disadvantage in dealing with an unscrupulous opponent. Tammy has described in detail how, in old left-wing strategy meetings, the leaders overtly planned to use our decency against us. And what do we do about that? A warning by Nietzsche: “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster!” Is that the choice we face? To either be stomped out of existence, or else develop the monstrous attributes of our opponents in order to stand them down. I’m thinking of, for example, of the NAACP, which has long since forfeited any legitimate claim to holding the moral high ground; this has all been swapped for political power. So the NAACP has “won” its war, but at the cost of its soul. Or, on the flip side, the political shifts that, in 2000, gave Republicans control of the presidency and both houses of Congress. Victory, but what good came of it? How do we win, and at the same time maintain the meaning of our victory? Is it even possible in this fallen world? I wonder.

      Ha ha, never mind the foregoing; it’s all just a rationalization for my timid and retiring temperament.

  3. varmint says:

    That original Navy Jack is just what I had in mind as an improvement on the regular “Don’t Tread On Me” in yellow. Thanks Maynard.

  4. elleb says:

    No third hour today 2/8/11?

    • Artgal says:

      There will be a third hour – it comes later in the evening. Not sure if you’re on the west or east coast (or somewhere in between), but Tammy gathers the happenings of the day and reports in the evening. Since she’s on the west coast, it will be late for some in other areas.

      Hope this helps : )

  5. Artgal says:

    BTW: LOVE your avatar!

  6. KatieSilverSpring says:

    “Still With Obama” is the new mini-bumper sticker slapped over the election one for him that looks like the Pepsi symbol; it is popping up all over the nuclear free zone here in Maryland’s bluest-blue county. It is a point of sheer bravery that I decided to put the Gadsden flag in my back window, large enough to be noticed at a distance. My car hasn’t been keyed yet. I have a “Women for Palin” button on my visor which I make sure is visible when I park the car at Whole Foods. When I get the looks from aged hippies or the new Anarchists, I just take on the attitude, facial expression and near-reenactment of Evelyn Couch in “Fried Green Tomatoes” played by Kathy Bate (Towanda …). Even Depends can’t help them at that point.

    • Shifra says:

      Brava to Katie for her courage! I guess, Katie, you win the “whose state is bluer” contest, because I do not see any Urkel bumper stickers anywhere in Manhattan or any of the other four boroughs in the city. And the “St. Urkel” banners that were hanging on lampposts in Harlem are now all gone….

  7. JuanitaDugas says:

    Cudos for your courage Katie given the very liberal territory of Montgomery County, MD. I live in a conservative county in VA, but travel to nearby Fairfax County (Obamaland) where my son lives. I have “lost” a CAP AND TRADE CONGRESS 2010 magnetic bumper sticker leading up to the elections. Replaced it with a magnetic I DON’T BELIEVE THE LIBERAL MEDIA bumper sticker; the message can be read while I’m on the road and can be removed when I park in “iffy” territory. Also have a Tea Party Patriot sticker in my back window. So far, so good. Oh, and an old George Allen sticker that I’m leaving up til he wins back his old US Senate seat from Webb.

    • JuanitaDugas says:

      Webb announced today that he will not seek re-election.

    • sandyl says:

      I watched the townhall meeting in Wash. D.C. yesterday on CSpan. They had Steve King, Allen West, and Mike Lee answering questions. At the end they revealed a woman tea party patriot that is going to run against Webb. Then today I hear Webb isn’t running again. It will be interesting to see another fight between GOP establishment (Allen) and a Tea Party Patriot.

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