Back at home, now. Some may know that I have friends and relatives of a leftish sort. Well, this weekend we went back to the midwest for a family wedding, and it comes as no surprise to me that I also have friends and relations who have a right hand thread.
I figured that would make me uniquely qualified to translate what each group has to say of their rich and rewarding culture, to the other group. And versa vica. As I was flying out of Portland, I tried to think of the one or two things that could, in a very few brushstrokes, capture the politics of the region, west coast and the midwest flyover country. I thought maybe a comparison of the bumper stickers might do it.
As you no doubt know, here on the Pacific coast we think deeply about the political well-being of the country, and we express our deep thinking cleverly through bumper stickers. There's "War is not the answer." and, "Nobody died when Clinton lied." Driving around Portland, one still sees, "Let's not elect him this time either," stickers, and of course, "Impeach Bush." And there are thousands of tasteful "Kerry/Edwards" stickers still stuck to Volvos and Subarus, and Caravans and Villagers and a Lexus or two. As you see, we are really into industrial strength political thinking 'round here.
Anyway, I planned to scan the bumper stickers of the neo-con, Christian conservative midwest, using the same sophisticated sampling methods I considered using in my Portland survey of bumper stickers, except I forgot. So I just kept my eyes open.
Being in the know about why it was Mr. Kerry had the election taken from him, I expected to see considerable evangelical activity in the midwest. I mean, it has to be there, right? So I expected to see the Evangelical Gun & Knife Show, and Evangelicals 'R' Us stores, and little signs when you pulled into the villages and hamlets, kind of like Rotary Clubs and Kiwanis do. And bumper stickers. I really expected bumper stickers. They had bumper stickers thirty years ago and there were what we called road Christians displaying the stickers. I still remember the bumper sticker I saw back then, "Jeeze if you love Honkus." But what did I see? Just one Bush sticker from the first election. Nary an evangelical bumper sticker, not even a "I'm an evangelical -- and I vote," sticker. Nothing!
But I'm pretty sure there's a secret handshake.