What's In a Bumper Sticker?

For me these stickers came to represent hope

By Alejandro J. Diaz
Published on LatinoLA: November 11, 2004

What's In a Bumper Sticker?

I was so fed up with all of the shenanigans from this administration that for the first time in my life I actually got involved in a political campaign. I started off by e-mailing anything and everything I could find that discussed the ineptness that permeated our present government. There were some whoppers. The tax cuts for the rich, the deception about the Iraq war, Halliburton, Enron, duck hunting trips, back door meetings, it went on and on. So every week I?d send out several articles to my complete contact list. I must admit that everyone was pretty receptive, and if they weren?t they were kind enough not to forward me a nasty note or anything.

My next step was to contact the Kerry campaign and volunteer my time. I wound up helping out at a couple of rallies and I also aided in putting together a bilingual phone bank targeting voters in South Florida. I met some wonderful people while volunteering. And I can honestly say that each and every person that walked in to help us call those voters in Florida was intelligent, caring, passionate, and interesting. This seems to be the MO of Kerry supporters.

But my piece de resistance was proudly placing a Kerry-Edwards sticker on my right bumper. The world could now clearly see that I was not buying any of the malarkey that Bush and company were dishing out. I wore it like a badge of honor.

There were days that I?d only see a few other cars with Kerry for President stickers but there were also times when it seemed as if the whole world was jumping on board. I saw old clunkers, new hybrids, Jaguars, BMWs, SUVs, and even an occasional pickup truck proudly displaying their allegiance to John Kerry. It was wonderful to see people of every economic and ethnic background coming together in support of a new day in America. When I?d see them on the road I automatically felt a kinship.

On my way to work I would often see this older model Chrysler. The driver was a young guy who had taped a Kerry sticker on his back window. I guess he didn?t want the hassles of trying to peel it off his bumper once the election was over. There?d be times that he?d be on the lane right next to mine and I thought it was so great that the people behind us could see for themselves how much support there was here for John Kerry. For me these stickers came to represent hope. And for a brief moment they connected complete strangers on the streets and highways of our city to one another. It was a glorious thing.

For many of us it was always clear what needed to be done. After four years of incompetence, lies, and deception I figured the rest of the country was also up for a change. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans didn?t feel this way and opted for more of the same. It was a bitter ending to a movement that had so many expectations.

The other day I ran into that old Chrysler again. As it passed me I noticed that the Kerry sticker was not there anymore all that was left was its imprint. This person was no longer a comrade in arms he was now just another driver on his way to work. The sense of purpose we had shared just days ago was now gone.

There are still though many people who haven?t found the time, or who just can?t get themselves to remove their Kerry decals, myself included. Every time I see one of them it makes me nostalgic and I wonder, ?What could have been?"

I know that I need to move on and taking off my Kerry-Edwards bumper sticker is part of the healing process. But I guess it wouldn?t hurt to keep it on for just a little longer.

About Alejandro J. Diaz:
Alejandro J. Diaz is a writer and filmmaker who enjoys LatinoLA.

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