Bumpersticker: War is Not the Answer
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This is one of the only bumperstickers that I've seen to prompt a stranger to write a note and put it under my windshield wiper. In 2003, after Bush began the invasion and occupation of Iraq and after he announced "Mission Accomplished" two months later this sticker had been out for over a year. The note-writer scrawled: "If you don't think war is the answer, what the hell do you think will ever defeat Al-Qaeda terrorists, you stupid asshole?!!!"
The neo-con fear factor had worked its hypnotic magic perfectly. The very words "Never Forget 9/11" became the mantra to be invoked for generations to come in the service of trumped-up calls to invasion, occupation, endless war and a militarized empire in permanent lock-down.
A Note To The Hesitant: It's true that over the 37+ years we've been making bumperstickers that the general level of public fear has gradually increased in some parts of our country. You notice it after event that results in puts a chill on self-expression. For example, people were so traumatized after the 1998 shooting a doctor who did abortions, that sales of pro-choice messages came to a virtual standstill and has still not - over a decade later - picked up again. Murder has that effect on people's First Amendment freedom. It seems that the Second Amendment (the right to ear arms) trumps the Fisrt Amendment right (freedom of speech, assembly and religion). That murder and the bombings, threats and intimidation of Planned Parenthood offices effectively silenced the public face of the abortion debate. People had become afraid that physical harm would come to them just for displaying a pro-choice sentiment publicly. That's how intimidation trumps the First Amendment right to free speech. This fear is not based on any actual cases of harm done to vehicles or people anywhere in the country. But the perception has effectively been altered permanently by targeted murders and fear of violence.
The Bush administration manipulated fear to their own purposes for eight years. Today you see fewer bumperstickers commenting on any controversial issue on cars and trucks than you did in the 1970's, '80's or 90's. It's a very clear visual result of the pervasive fear that is continually drummed up by military, social and religious fundementalists. A chilling silent conformity has grown in place of a healthy questioning, challenging and public debate about the statre iof the world. Instead, it's been "diagnosed" and labeled as an illness: "oppositional defiant disorder" complete with prescription drugs to promote a maleable, controllable, politically-neutered apathy. The term was invented the year Reagan was elected. Since then, we've seen the enormous and widespread use of mood-controlling pharmaceutical drugs. Welcome to the Brave New Century of The Matrix...