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On a recent ride into town, I found myself behind a car with a bumper sticker that read “Support Our Troops.” I imagined addressing the driver: “What exactly does your bumper sticker mean? How are you supporting our troops? Do you send them gifts for Christmas? Donate to veterans causes? Do you vote for candidates who will keep them safe by providing arms for them in battle or for candidates who will keep them safe by staying out of conflicts? Are you implying that I don’t support our troops because my car does not display the same message?”
It’s been decades since I’ve met anyone who does not respect and admire the men and women who put themselves in harm’s way to protect us.
And what about the bumper stickers that say “Peace”?
“What statement are you making? That you are for peace? As opposed to what? Have you ever met anyone who is against peace?”
The truth is that these bumper stickers have nothing at all to do with our troops or world peace. Rather, their sole purpose is to let others know what side you’re on. They are no different than the colors worn by rival gangs in cities across America.
So, at the dawn of this new decade, perhaps it’s time to begin dismantling the social and political divisions in our country. The bumpers of our cars may be the best place to start. And if you must display something, I’d suggest “I Am Human — Just Like You.”