The U.S. presidential-election day is on November 8th; you’ve registered to vote, right? Tensions are running high, as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton inspire gossip and groan-worthy headlines. If your car or truck sports a political bumper sticker, chances are you’ve inspired the occasional gossip or groan from your fellow road-goers, too.
Do bumper stickers change minds? Who knows, but during this election, the few, and the proud bumper-sticker sporters are upsetting plenty of road-goers and passers-by. Surely some parents have wanted to shield their kids’ eyes from many of bumper stickers’ offensive language, or hoped to avoid having to explain the abhorrent graphics. The days of camp, century-old campaign-button reminders, like t”Keep Cool-idge,” are long gone. Instead, it seems bumper-sticker vendors are looking for splashy, share-worthy, provocative messaging.
These days, a political opinion may get you “unfriended” on social media, and that same intolerance has made its way to the roads. Drivers with bumper stickers must be aware that others will judge — and might even aggressively block — their every move, based on political bumper stickers. Don’t believe us? We recently played “fly on the wall,” to search for Twitter users’ reactions to political bumper stickers.
Some folks casually dismissed rude gestures, tweeting “#SoMature,” while others expressed concern about whether one’s public political stance should influence a hiring decision, or serve as a warning sign of potential unfair treatment by an employer. And road rage, another reaction, should be taken seriously — aggressive driving injures or kills at least 1,500 men and women in the U.S. each year, according to AAA.
Regardless of your opinion on the political bumper stickers you encounter on the roads, please drive safely. And, as Steve Almond recently wrote, “Nobody wants to make an enemy at 70 miles per hour.” We can all agree on that, right?
Whether your reaction to political bumper stickers is rage, indifference, or a laugh, remember: the only reliable way to express your support for a candidate is by voting. So please mark your calendar, and do your part to drive the vote on November 8.
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