Wishful Thinking vs. Reality

I like reading license plate frames and trying to figure out personalized plates.  I don’t spend a lot of time doing this, but there’s not much else to do when you’re stopped in traffic.  I particularly like reading bumper stickers.  They’re an insight into the driver’s psyche and usually interesting.  As for me, mine say “Never Forget Those Who Defend Our Freedom” and “Remember our Wounded Warriors” courtesy of the Wounded Warrior Project, a fantastic charitable organization, by the way.  That’s where my heart is.

I really don’t like the obscene ones and that just tells me whoever’s driving the car is a low-life.  I like pro-life stickers like, “I’m a baby, not a choice” and the one depicting a baby in utero with the words “I Hope My Mommy is Pro-Life.”

I give a thumbs up when I see “Gun Control Means Hitting Your Target” or “Ill Keep My Money, My Freedom and My Guns and You Keep the Change.”

I used to see loads of anti-Bush stickers but most of those have been removed finally, but I still see dozens of Obama stickers around here which doesn’t surprise me because he won 63% of the vote in this District.  I was surprised to see a “So How’s that Hope & Change Thing Working Out for You?” the other day and I always love to see “If You Think Healthcare is Expensive Now, Wait Until it’s Free.”

“Save the Tatas!” makes me laugh but I’ve never had a desire to visit the “World’s Largest Ball of Twine” or Oregon’s “House of Mystery” just because someone suggests I do on a bumper.

“Dog is my Co-Pilot” always confused me because I thought is was a jab at those who say “God is my Co-Pilot” but apparently all it means is that the person’s dog is spoiled and gets to ride up front with the driver.  Who knew?

The other one, “Wag More, Bark Less,” also has me wondering.  Does this mean we should listen more and speak less?  Or does it mean, we should stifle our thoughts altogether?  Or does it mean we should be obliviously happy to get a treat and hope that someone doesn’t put us down when we get too old?  I don’t know the answer but I see a lot of them.

I guess the ones that really get me shaking my head are the ones that say things like “Create Peace,” “Peace Through Music” and my all-time favorite “COEXIST.”

I recognized the Christian cross, Islamic crescent and Star of David but I didn’t recognize how the other symbols fit in.  Polish artist, Piotr Mlodozeniec, came up with the original design which included only the symbols of the three major religions.  Afterwards he modified it to include a Wiccan pentacle or peace symbol for the “o,” a male/female symbol for the “e,” another Wiccan symbol for the “i,” and a Chinese yin-yang symbol for the “s.”

Anyway, whatever it means, I often wonder who’s actually driving the car with this sticker.  Is that person so incredibly naïve to think that putting a bumper sticker on their car is going to make something happen?  Does that person even know that Iran has no intention of coexisting with Israel?  Does he or she know that jihadists – probably the most intolerant human beings on earth – would want nothing more than if Sharia law was imposed on every American infidel and are ready to kill each and every one of us if we don’t cower and praise the name of Allah?

While looking for the history of this image, I came across a post by Kurt Schlichter, in which he said, “I don’t remember seeing any COEXIST bumper stickers – much less love or tolerance – when I was deployed to the Middle East.  And I sure don’t remember any in the ethnically cleansed villages of southeast Kosovo.”

It’s really so easy for Americans to sit in their little hybrid cocoons on the road, away from all danger except perhaps a rear end collision and say, “look at me, I care more than you do because I believe we should all just get along and COEXIST” while men like Mr. Schlichter know what’s happening in the real world.

I have similar feelings about stickers like “Peace Through Music” and “Teach Peace.”  What exactly does that mean?  And the one I just saw this past weekend, “Books Not Bombs!”  Maybe we should send our brave men and women fighting in Afghanistan our library cards to throw at the Taliban and maybe they’ll all get paper cuts and bleed to death.  Sounds like a plan.  I wonder if General Petraeus would agree.

I also wonder if terrorists put similar “rumper” stickers on their goats?  “Kill the Infidels,” or “The Only Good American is a Dead American.”  I’d bet the farm not one would have the sticker which suggests we “COEXIST.”

This reminds me of a letter I cut out of my local newspaper back in 2004 when Ralph Nader was running for President.  In the letter, the author gave 12 reasons to cast a winning vote for Mr. Nader, two of which were “his solutions to world problems don’t involve military action” and “he reads books and thinks about them.”  Wow!  So, if you just think good thoughts or attach bumper stickers to your car, all the evil in the world will disappear and those who are hell bent on killing us will, instead, join hands with us and sing “Kumbaya.”  Another letter to the local newspaper suggested that we send books to the terrorists so they don’t hate us so much.   Unbelievable!

Perhaps having these trite bumper stickers on their cars make some people feel better about themselves – more understanding, more loving, more naive.

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.

Author Bio:

For over twenty years, Leona has tried to heed her husband’s advice, “you don’t have to say everything you think.” She’s failed miserably. Licensed to practice law in California and Washington, she works exclusively in the area of child abuse and neglect. She considers herself a news junkie and writes about people and events on her website, “I Don’t Get It,” which she describes as the “musings of an almost 60-year old conservative woman on political, social and cultural life in America.” It’s not her intention to offend anyone who “gets it.” She just doesn’t. Originally from Brooklyn, and later Los Angeles, she now lives with her husband, Michael, on a beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest, which she describes as a bastion of liberalism.
Author website: http://www.idontgetit.us
  • TOMMY FREEDOM

    BERNIE, SAW THIS ON A COOL T- SHIRT.

    PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN PRES BILL CLINTON

    ” GIPPER” ” GROPER”

  • TOMMY FREEDOM

    WISHFULL THINKING BY AN OLD, SENILE OLD MAN IS : HES DOING THE

    BEST JOB HE CAN, AND I THINK IT IS A GOOD JOB. HE SAID THIS ON TV.

    REALITY HE & THE JOB IS A COMPLETE DISASTER, RALLY FOR 2012.

  • TOMMY FREEDOM

    HOT NEWS FLASH RUMOR, ALL CHARGES DROPPED BY ERIC HOLDER,

    DOJ FOR KSM, KHALID SHAKE MUHAMMED. HE WILL BEGIN HIS NEW JOB

    AT DHS, HOMELAND SECURITY, WATCHING OUT FOR EVIL TERRORISTS.

    FINALLY WE CAN FEEL SECURE. THANKS OBAMA !

  • Clarence De Barrows

    As far as bumper stickers go, I like “Think Whirled Peas”.

  • Neil1981

    Well stated.

    The Middle East does not have ANY intentions of getting along with Israel or the West. These countries are self serving and loath/seek to destroy those who do not see eye-to-eye with them.

    I have wondered as well at the” Wag More Bark Less” bumper sticker. It is on the Van Pool I used to ride to work to Seattle.

    One day I asked what it meant and was told by several folks it simply meant basically be more happy and do less complaining. Although being the only conservative in a van full of liberals, I think there is possibly an alternative message (given the opinions of the messengers).

    I have never had a bumper sticker on any car I have ever owned. I basically consider it defacing the value of the car.

    Having lived in Houston for many, many years, one night my wife and I were leaving Gilley’s Honkytonk (made famous in Urban Cowboy and yes, I did ride the mechanical bull) someone had pasted a bumper sticker on my car in the parking lot but I was able to remove it eventually from my chrome bumper.

    One of my favorite bumper stickers: This car protected by Smith & Wesson
    Short, simple and to the point.

    I hope everyone had a reflective Veterans Day. I give thanks everyday to those who have served and currently serve our country.

    I pray everyday for those who are MIA/POW’s (which members of my family have been) and for those who have given the ultimate sacrafice, their lives for our freedom.

    Although my wife and I have never served in the military, many members of our family have and currently do serve and we are proud of every one of them.

  • Kenneth Taylor

    I must be careful not to go overboard praising you Mr Goldberg, but you do come up with brilliant insights. Who would have thought that a brief analysis of bumper stickers could generate profound thoughts
    Yet it is true, I would never have picked it up but now you mention it I can’t stop looking!
    Could it be a symptom of the huge explosion in communication technology.TV shows are obsessed with encouraging viewers to contribute via Twitter, Facebook, email, upload photos……
    Everybody wants to famous. if one cannot get on TV or YouTube, one adorns one’s vehicle in the hope people will notice one!.
    Happy Days

  • Roger Ward

    Interesting how this article morphed from amusing observations in the beginning to more telling substance as it progressed. Artfully done!

    Bumper stickers and campaign lawn signs are there to display the owner’s philosophy and political stance. No intelligent person believes they will have any impact on a viewer. People think what they think and believe what they believe and are not likely to change their views because of some silly little blurb …. so the next time you see such a slogan, take it for what it is: a self-congratulatory notice to the world about the owner’s sense of moral superiority.

    The article goes on to comment on the “coexist” views displays. I spent a number of years as a personal secretary to a Saudi prince, during which time I lived with and traveled with many Gulf state Arabs throughout the World. (This does not make me an expert but it does give me some insight.) I can state without fear of contradiction: the Arab world loves our freedom but hates everything else about us. They have no intention of coexisting with us in any way. They intend to destroy Israel and eventually to establish Sharia throughout the World. They do not care how many of their own people die in this pursuit. If you doubt this, look at how things are developing in France and England now.

    Only a fool believes that the Islamic world will ever coexist with the West … or would ever wish to.

  • Harold Jafffe

    Noticed the people coming back from that stranded cruise ship. Wow. No hot food or water. 3 days. I wonder what our boys overseas are enjoying. What luxury.

  • TOMMY FREEDOM

    BERNIE, THERES A GOOD CABLE TV STATION I WATCH. THE PROBLEM
    IS THEY PUT ON A LOT OF PANELISTS AND GUESTS THAT
    SPECIALIZE IN DISHONEST CONVERSATION. SOME STATEMENTS
    MADE SERIOUSLY ARE VERY LAUGHABLE AND RIDICUOUS.
    THIS NONSENSE GETS TIRESOME. ALSO, SOME GULLIBLE
    PEOPLE ACTUALLY BELIEVE THE FALSE INFO. THE TV
    STATION HAS A SLOGAN, MINE IS:” FAIR WITH SUBTERFUGE”

  • TOMMY FREEDOM

    I LOVE SARAH PALIN, SHES GOT MY VOTE FOR PRES.
    MICHELE BACHMANN V P
    TEA PARTY CABINET
    REST OF TEA PARTY, ORGANIZATION USA

    SERIOUSLY, SARAH PALIN HEAD OF RNC REPLACE M STEELE????

  • Ron

    I am not sure people who have bumper stickers think they are better than anyone else. Maybe they actually believe the message. During elections, I have always wondered if people who put up a sign in their yard or a bumper sticker on their car with a politician’s name, or a vote for a proposition message, actually think it will cause another person to vote that way.

  • JDO

    Since my car is the second most expensive thing I own (the first being my wife … ok, just kidding, the first being my home), I have no desire at all to ruin the paint finish (under the “Texas” sun) with a $2 bit of (my) opinion that no one else cares about anyway. I don’t even know what to think when I see a vehicle (saw one just this morning) that has SEVERAL “bumper” stickers on it. “Bumper” in parentheses ’cause the stickers were all over the back of that person’s vehicle. I mean, no matter the messages of the stickers, don’t they know ANYone that has the decency to tell them how really stupid that looks? Have they no friends?

    Personally, I think all of the problems in the Middle East (heck, anywhere) would be solved with the introduction of a “Have a Nice Day” Smiley Face bumper sticker, don’t you? I’m sure it’s just … that … simple.