Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

Bumper stickers and the people who wear them

Bumper stickers and the people who wear them

Thanks to a reader for forwarding this op-ed by Paul Ibbetson, former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas, regarding bumper stickers and the people who wear them (embedded links added by me):

First, remove all past Election Day stickers. Nothing says “denial” more than an old, crinkled, half-biodegradedJohn Kerry 2004” bumper sticker. We have all seen the equivalent before, even on the most beautiful of vehicles, and we have all done the same thing: grunt with displeasure, shake our heads in sadness and die a little inside. Remember, you may be in a wreck while on the road, and removing an ancient, long-dead political sticker might help you avoid unnecessary dementia testing while at the hospital. The potential upsides are just too many to ignore.

Second, one political sticker on your car states your case; twenty stickers says you’re imbalanced. Also, the nature of your sticker says more about you, the vehicle owner, than your political affiliation. As a former police officer who made hundreds of car stops, I’ve seen that bumper stickers often say a lot about the character of the individual behind the wheel. Just like bumper stickers that say, “I love weed,” and “Got Magic Mushrooms?” might not enhance the quality of an interaction with the police, overly vulgar, aggressive and stupid political stickers say something about you. Remember, your mom might have to borrow that car.

Lastly, political bumper stickers have a lifespan that ends on election night: win, lose or draw. This can be hard to swallow for those that have a bumper sticker of a winning candidate now being displayed in all its post-election glory.

Sound advice, which obviously is being completely ignored by a large percentage of the population.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Reminds me of a criminology class in which the professor was citing some study that cars with conservative-leaning bumper stickers were pulled over less frequently than those with, say, legalize it stickers.

DINORightMarie | July 8, 2011 at 10:17 am

Funny! I had my 2004 “W” oval sticker on my car until the 2008 election, when some “loving, tolerant, coexist” person tore it off and threw it on the street by my car.

I’ve pared my “McCain/Palin” sticker down to just “Palin” – guess I might be ahead of the game, if she chooses to run. 😉

I do believe people use bumper stickers to say things which make statements about themselves…. Hey! There might be a great study in this!! Government grant $$ from the NSF or some other agency is ALWAYS being given for studies of this kind…..

(That last one is tongue-in-cheek, in case you didn’t get that.)

I’m not much for putting bumper stickers on my vehicles, but with what I saw as the impending electoral disaster in 2008, I had to make an exception.   Thus the matching pair of ‘We’re Screwed ’08‘ bumper stickers on the rear bumper of my old pickup.   Unfortunately those bumper stickers, still in place, have yet to become obsolete.

My bumper stickers say that I like beef and the military….