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Bumper stickers signal changes in the political winds.


In our internet driven world, bumper stickers have become a medium for every-day people to state their opinions and speak their minds, and can change as rapidly as the shifting political winds. They also provide a peek into the future.

Fort Lauderdale, Fl, September 7, 2008: As well as serving as miniature bill boards for slightly tacky tourist destinations, bumper stickers have shouted political messages since the earliest days of the bumper itself. Until the Internet Age, however, the messages on America’s bumpers were primarily those promoted by large political organizations that could mass-produce and distribute the stickers in large quantities. Today, everyone with a computer and an internet connection can find, or create, the perfect stickers to bumper-cast their personal political opinions. And as the political landscape shifts, the stickers change at internet speed.

There are, for example, a plethora of “Obama” and “McCain” bumber stickers on, some plain, some clever and some painfully politically incorrect. If an “Obama” sticker will never decorate your bumper, perhaps a “NObama” sticker would suite your tastes better. Instead of placing “McCain” on your car, maybe a “McSame” or “McCan’t” sticker would state your feelings more clearly.

Perhaps instead of Obama’s message of “Hope’, you would rather state a firm “Nope”. You can trumpet “The Audacity of Hope” or complain about “The Audacity of Hype” (or even, in an apparent reference to certain youthful indiscretions, “The Audacity of Dope”). You might want to climb aboard McCain’s “Straight Talk Express” or try to derail the “Doubletalk Express.”

There are a number of stickers decrying Obama’s youth and inexperience, such as those portraying him as an “Empty Suit” or declaring “Barack Obama: No experience. No ideas. No Guts. NO WAY.” Countering these are stickers poking fun at McCain’s age, including one declaring “John McCain is a Fossil Fool.” In addition to stickers deriding a McCain presidency as a “Bush Third Term”, there is one asking, in apparent confusion, “Why is OBAMA running against BUSH instead of McCAIN?”

The first Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin bumper stickers appeared on within hours of the announcements of the candidates’ running mates. Apparently some voters are replacing their Obama stickers with “JoBama” stickers. McCain and Palin are contrasted on one sticker as “Beauty and the Beast” and on another as “The Hero and the Hottie”. There are other significantly less sophisticated homages to the Alaskan Governor’s attractiveness.

Sarah Palin is popular on her own, as well. There is a “SARAH” sticker that looks suspiciously like the “Hillary” stickers that were hot-sellers just a short time ago. There is also a sticker that declares: “I’m voting for SARAH . . . And that guy she’s running with!”

Hillary Clinton’s supporters are by no means silent. There are “Hillary Supporters for McCain” stickers, as well as stickers quoting Hillary’s statement: “No Way, No How, No McCain”. Many Hillary supporters are apparently just biding their time. There are already Hillary 2012 stickers available, and one sticker crossing party lines declares “McCain 2008, Clinton 2012”. Another posits a fascinating future contest, checking off a vote for McCain in 2008 and then questioning who to vote for in Clinton vs Palin in 2012. In addition to “Clinton 2012” and “Palin 2012”, there are already stickers available for “Ron Paul 2012” and “Fred Thompson 2012”.

For luke-warm Obama supporters there is an “Obama 2008” sticker with 2008 crossed out and 2016 written in above, along with the words “He’s not ready . . . “ If he does run again in 2016, though, the challengers are already lining up. There is a “Chelsea 2016” sticker, as well as one for what could be Barack’s most formidable opponent: “Michelle Obama 2016.”



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