Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bumper Stickers

Have you ever seen those bumper stickers that just say "26.2"? Sure you have. They indicate that the person inside the car has run 26.2 miles, which equals a marathon. Yesterday I saw a car that had--no joke--five of these bumper stickers, plus a couple "13.1" stickers. Conceivably, the person (or persons) inside were putting stickers on their car for each marathon they had run. I wonder what they will do when the run out of tailgate...possibly cover up the other stickers that indicate their children are football players, cheerleaders, swimmers and that they "heart" their dog.

I also saw a bumper sticker a few months ago that made me want to get out of the car, stick my head through the window of the car in front of me, and start an argument. This one said "RESTORE THE FOUNDERS VISION." Instead of hauling the driver out of the car and lecturing him on Constitutional politics right there, I had to settle for banging my head against the wheel. The Founder's Vision, eh? Would that include slavery and the subjugation of women? Jefferson's agricultural ideal or Washington's strong federal vision? The Founders had no united vision...they started a conversation, one we are continuing today. Oh, am I holding up traffic? My bad!

Generally speaking, I'm pretty anti-bumper sticker. Except for the Packer stickie that's managed to hang onto my window ever since I got Chi-Chi. I am a fan of car-magnets however, and plan to purchase something funny and dog-related when I see one that I like. But bumper stickers are so...permanent. Even the bumper sticker indicating support for Obama was merely placed in my back window, not attached permanently to my bumper. And then, about six months after the election, it blew out the window. That pretty much sums up how I feel about the President: I have withdrawn my unconditional support, but continue to support the office of the president and hope he'll go for some of his larger goals in future.

Anyway. Segueway time! What the hell is going on in Wisconsin? I have been following the bill/fleeing of the Senators/three week protest/last night's skullduggery/today's storming of the Capitol with decided interest, since this is democracy in action in all it's most naked form. I am horrified by how far the conservatives* of the Wisconsin body have gone beyond the "ideals" our Founders laid down. Majority rules...but since they have to rule the minority you should at least listen to them. I am incensed at Governor Walker's insistence that "our constituents told us what they wanted in November, and we're just following through." No--the conservative voters (some of them members of the unions you disenfranchised!) put you in office to sort through money woes, not take away their rights. Let me hit the caps on that: TAKE AWAY THEIR RIGHTS.

Voters are also fickle beings. I should know, I am one! And we change our minds all the time! This is why I don't stick political stickers directly to my bumper but change them according to mood! If the sight of thousands of constituents camping out in the Capitol aren't enough to at least convince Walker to listen, to be open to the idea that maybe he's gone too far, then I seriously have to question his dedication to the democratic process. We are willing to sacrifice. (raise your hand if you haven't gotten a raise in the past two years) We are willing to make shared tough decisions, do more with less, make it over or do without, but we are not willing to have our rights un-recognized by an elected political body. Because we're not talking about the right to buy car insurance here, we're talking about the right to be heard.

But guess what? We can still be heard. We can still scream and shout and go on strike and demand to be heard. We can bring this country to a standstill and force those in charge to acknowledge that we are not voiceless and we will not sit meekly by while politicians--wait, "politicians"--decide that they know what's best for us.

Forget bumper stickers. It's time to start laying down in traffic and starting cars on fire.

*I use the word "conservatives" here, noting that four Republicans in the Assembly voted against the bill.

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