Most of us do not go out of our way to look for trouble. Trouble seems capable enough of finding its way to our doorstep without our having to solicit it. But occasionally, something that is so important is presented to us that we have no choice but to take action – even if that poses a threat to our safety.
In my view, the election of November 6, 2012 is just precisely that kind of an event.
This election may be the most important in my lifetime because it will shape the way America functions, not only for the next four years but, possibly for decades to come. By that I refer to the implications of President Obama’s making appointments to the Supreme Court during the course of a second term should he be re-elected. That is the gravest concern should Mr. Romney lose his bid to defeat the incumbent this November. Of course, it is not the only reason for concern.
The immediate implications of an Obama second term are that we will continue to muddle along in the same way that we have now for three and a half years with rising deficits, continuing record high unemployment and nobody at the helm to offer positive programs, guidance or encouragement. We both need and deserve better as individuals and as a nation.
In fairness to the President, he has a willing partnership in ineptitude which he shares with the Congress. One of the bumper stickers I created, referring to members of that august institution reads, “Never before have so few done so much to screw so many.” Even the most partisan of us have to admit that there are many members of our party serving either in the House or the Senate who haven’t had a creative idea since Moses was a pup. Those people should be replaced by We The People.
Well, the subject of bumper stickers brings me to the title of this quote. Late last year I wrote up more than one hundred slogans for them and found a local graphic designer who did the artwork. The subject matter covered President Obama, the Congress and our need as a people to take responsibility for our actions – whether in terms of healthcare or driving, among other subjects. These are issues about which I have written frequently on this blog.
Of course, every writer would like to think that all of her work is brilliant, but pride of authorship often belies the truth. So I asked some friends and neighbors to review these slogans and see which ones had the most appeal to them. They were very courteous in doing that for me.
One of the comments that was made was, “Oh, you’re not going to put these on your car, are you?” That seemed a curious statement to me as, if the appropriate place for a bumper sticker weren’t on your car, well then, where exactly were you supposed to put it? So I said, “Of course I am.”
“You know, you may get your car ‘keyed’ if you do that.”
Notwithstanding their warning I displayed four of my favorites on my car and have done so for the last five months. If we are not free to express our opinion in the United States – we might as well move to Iraq. There has been no “keying” done during all that time – until last night.
A friend invited me to join him at a restaurant in North Las Vegas. The restaurant was located in an area where during the 2008 election, according to election statistics, ninety-five percent of the residents voted for President Obama. As I started for the dog park this morning, I noticed that both on the driver’s and passenger’s side of my vehicle there was evidence of scratches made by someone’s key.
I cannot say definitively that this property damage was done by a supporter of President Obama – but I think that there is a high probability of that being the case. I do not believe the President would endorse this sort of bad behavior. In fact, I’m sure he would not. This speaks not to the President but to a hooligan who happens to support him and who has little respect for other people’s rights or property.
Well, cars can be touched up and re-painted. In the ultimate scheme of things this is not a big deal and both my car and I will survive this episode. My car, however, will potentially be subject to yet more damage in the months ahead because, if anything, this has simply firmed my resolve to display my bumper stickers and to voice my opinion.
I mentioned in an earlier post that when I was in college I was ambushed by three thugs who kicked me unconscious and stole what little I had on me. I spent five days in the hospital with a concussion – and came close to losing the sight in my left eye. The worst part of this episode was breaking this news to my parents. I made a full recovery and the incident lingered with me only as a bad memory.
My parents wanted me to transfer schools – or at the least – find an apartment away from school and commute to classes. I thought about that suggestion and realized that their only motivation was concern for my well-being. But I felt they were wrong and I told them why I thought so.
“There are good people and bad in the world. They come in both sexes; they come in every color; they subscribe to every religion or lack of one; they are young and middle-aged and they are old; the are rich and they are poor. But if all the good people run away and try to hide themselves from the bad ones – those people will eventually find them. No, I refuse to change where I live because a few cowardly thugs mugged me. I won’t give them the satisfaction of scaring me into moving.”
I stayed and lived in that neighborhood for many years until moving out west – and I am grateful that I never had a repeat performance of that grizzly encounter that winter night.
So I will continue to display my bumper stickers on my wounded vehicle until the election this November. I am offering up my car as a willing sacrifice.
But it does make me wonder…
If some of the President’s supporters are willing to engage in this sort of activity before the incendiary and divisive rhetoric of the campaign has even begun, what will they do should their candidate lose his bid for re-election?