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.