Aaron DiManna
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I Fixed the Political Bumper Sticker

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A hand writing the word "vote", which is all the ideal political bumper sticker would say.
Photo: Nick Youngson via CC

In the past, I’ve written on The News Wheel about my general dislike for bumper stickers of all kinds and three of the most irritating varieties. Foremost among them was the “outdated political campaigns” category, which is far and away my least favorite. Now that we’re staring down the barrel of a rather contentious presidential election, I’ve come to realize that I don’t much care for current-candidate decals either.

So, I decided to fix the political bumper sticker once and for all, and it was surprisingly simple.

The people have spoken: The Chevrolet Trailblazer is back

The problem with political stickers

It was my understanding that, in polite society, it’s frowned upon to discuss either politics or religion, as they’re two subjects that people take very, very personally, and tend to have vastly differing opinions on. The political bumper sticker throws that idea out the window in favor of converting your car into a rolling advertisement for your candidate of choice. But to what end?

If you’ve gone to the trouble of procuring said sticker and applying it to your car — at the risk of stripping the paint — you clearly already know how you’re going to vote. So, then, is the idea that just putting the name of your candidate in front of some other random driver will convince them to agree with you? I’d wager that its potency maxes out at a horn honk of camaraderie from someone who agrees with you, a vague feeling of disdain from someone who doesn’t, and complete ambivalence from everyone else.

My solution

After looking at the issues with political bumper stickers, I came up with what I think is an elegant solution: A decal that just says, “Vote.”

It sounds overly simplistic, but hear me out.

  • It allows you to express your desire to participate in the upcoming election without forcing you to broadcast your political beliefs to everyone in the grocery store parking lot.
  • It’s a simple message that brings people together based on a unified desire to support what they believe in rather than driving them apart through partisan politics.
  • It may actively encourage people to go out and vote more effectively than assaulting their eyes with bright colors or focus-grouped slogans.
  • It will be precisely as effective in convincing strangers on the road to vote the way you want them to.
  • It’s nonspecific enough that if your candidate’s term in office goes down in flames, you have plausible deniability.

I admit that it’s — to put it delicately — implausible that this trend will catch on. But hey, I’d put one on my car.

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