September 24, 2008

Why I don't have bumper stickers

I don't wear t-shirts with political or religious messages on them.

I don't hold up signs at sporting events.

I don't even root all that hard for any sporting teams unless I know the people on the team (which pretty much limits things to Princeton teams at this point).

And I don't put bumper stickers on my car.

I want my governmental leaders to support alternative energy, not to bail out giant corporations when their leaders make horrible decisions, to protect our borders without selling out my privacy and freedom in the process, to fully fund schools, to tax me so that I can reap the benefits that they pay for, to promote America's good image worldwide, to foster peace and understanding in every nation, to allow the checks and balances to work the way they were designed, to be open and forthright about just about everything, and to let as many people as possible enjoy the fruits of the American dream.

And I'm not sure that any one of those issues is one for which I would be willing to sell out all of the others.

Education is important but not necessarily more so than the environment.

And because of that I'm not going to put a bumper sticker on my car that says that "Perfect World if Schools had Enough Money and the Military Had to Hold Bake Sales" or "Treehugger!" or "Compost Happens" or anything else.

My opinions are mine, and I don't feel the need to put them on my car because then I'd be "the compost guy" or "the abortion guy" or "the teacher guy", and I don't want to be that easily pigeonholed. I don't want to be the guy who cares about that one thing, who always wears the science shirts, who is always preaching about killing babies.

And I'll be honest in saying that anyone who considers one issue so ultimately important that it trumps every other issue scares me a little bit - no matter how much I agree or disagree with them on that issue.

Oh, I'm very much willing to spout my opinions on this blog and let those of you who care to read them do so, and I'll cover my garbage can in my classroom with chemistry bumper stickers (like "Wave if you know Schroedinger"), but I won't be putting any stickers on my car or buying any political t-shirts any time soon.

And I'd kind of rather that you didn't either.

If and when I want to know your opinions and beliefs, I'll ask for them.

Thanks, by the way, to Toothpaste for Dinner for providing today's imagry.


calencoriel said...

I love it when one of our conversations becomes a blog topic...nice work quoting my mom in there too...

joey said...

But what if I really will flick a booger on your windshield for tailgating me???

Nathan said...

That's why I have a bumper sticker from David Malki of Wondermark saying

"BUMPER STICKERS are an iffectual means of communicating my nuanced views on a variety of issues that cannot be reduced to a simple pithy slogan"

PHSChemGuy said...

It happens more often than most folks would realize, Calen.

Joey...if you're willing to be known as "the guy who's a booger flicker", then that's a cool thing to announce to the world.

I've seen that one over on Wondermark and really dug it. Good to know that somebody's got a sticker that nobody can ever read without causing an accident.

achilles3 said...

You don't want me to have a political bumper sticker but you'll read my ranting blog???

Amellia said...

This from the guy who wore a shirt in 6th grade saying "Sure I'm a Marxist".

PHSChemGuy said...

Lakes, you're free to rant and rave on your blog as much as you want...because I only read that when I come to you...if you put the bumper sticker on your car, you're bringing your message to me, and I often don't want to read it...that's the difference to me...

Yes, Jadis, this is that guy...also the one who had a "Nuke a Gay Whale for Christ" sweatshirt...