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.