Political enthusiasts, spare your cars

By The Columbia Chronicle

Politics and I don’t mix. This has nothing to do with the fact that every politician is slimy in his or her own way. That’s obvious. Politicians are just actors trying to play the role of hero to the basically clueless general public. Once elected, they can’t be trusted to do what they say in their campaigns.

It’s not because I am trying to rebel against my blatantly Republican father. Sure, he is adamant about impeaching President Clinton and, as my mom once said, “He doesn’t watch a television show unless there is a panel.” That’s not the reason.

It’s not that I don’t care about what is going on in the real world. I admit, I’m definitely immersed in my college experience and my future is still up in the air. But June is coming up pretty quickly and the politicians we elect this week will shape our future.

I mean, sure, all of this is part of why I’m not a political pundit, but it’s not the real reason. I can’t stand election years because of the bumper stickers. That’s right. I hate those damn bumper stickers that pop up everywhere as election day gets closer. They show up on telephone poles, bathroom walls, highway overpasses, garbage cans, traffic signs, sides of buildings and the list goes on and on. I’ve seen political bumper stickers posted over billboards that are advertising the same candidate!

The problem I have with placing these bumper stickers everywhere is that they are time-specific, yet they have lasting effects. When a bumper sticker is slapped up on a light pole or on a car, it does just that; it sticks. What happens after Nov. 3rd when the elections are over? The bumper stickers don’t peel themselves off traffic signs. They continue to stick there.

Over the past two years, I’ve gotten quite annoyed by one particular bumper sticker which I continue to see all over the city and suburbs. It’s retina-damage orange in color and it reads vertically in big, block letters. That’s right — “HOFFA.” Why is it that I am still forced to look at those every time I drive into the city on the Eisenhower? I’m beginning to think they ought to bury him next to his father in the Meadowlands.

Another of my least favorites are the “Dole-Kemp ‘96” stickers which I still see. They lost, but I still have to look at their stickers two years later. Or how about the rusted-out Buick I saw a few weeks back that had a “Tsongas ‘92” sticker still displayed proudly on its bumper? I feel somewhat sorry for that guy.

I just don’t understand the point of putting a political sticker on the bumper of your car. Is that your way of advertising to fellow motorists that you support Carol Moseley-Braun (even though she can’t pronounce Chicago Cub hero Sammy Sosa’s last name, among other things)? Well, after getting stuck behind you while you drive 50 miles per hour in the far left lane, who do you think I’m going to vote for? Why deface the bumper of your Lexus with a “George Ryan for Governor” sticker? After Tuesday, your $50,000 automobile has a scar for life.

Sure, I believe in the democratic process and I believe that everyone should vote this Tuesday. I just don’t ever want to see another political bumper sticker on a stop sign. So to promote my campaign against bumper stickers, I’ve come up with a great advertising concept. Anyone interested can pick up a free bumper sticker at the Chronicle office.