Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Editor's Comment

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Editor's Comment

Article excerpt

This year's huge crop of campaign bumper stickers resurrects the nagging quadrennial question: What do people hope to accomplish with these automotive gestures? Here s a project for the exit-pollsters: Count the voters whose minds were changed on the way to the voting booth by a Volvo for Kerry or a Cadillac for Bush.

Bumper stickers have been around for a long time, and they are worthy descendants of a long line of political bric-a-brac that probably stretches back to ancient Athens. But they are also symptomatic of something much more modern, which for lack of a more elegant coinage I'll call the politicization of almost everything. Bumper stickers are one thing, but now the cars themselves are political statements. Hybrid or conventional? Import or domestic? SUV or compact? As with cars, so with virtually everything else. We live in an age in which what you eat for dinner or watch on television can be seen as a proclamation of ideological allegiance. No wonder America is politically polarized. …

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