I have the “honor” of having a dyed-in-the-wool wingnut as a coworker. And yet, we share a number of things. Both of us are attorneys, working for the same public agency. We were born within 2 weeks of each other. We both collect antiques/collectibles of various kinds. (And we both have the clutter-laden offices to confirm that!) We both have a passion for the scenery of the southwest. We both have an interest in politics and the events of the day. Both of our fathers are/were WWII veterans and subsequently worked as public servants.
But then there are many things upon which we depart. He, of course, is a dedicated Republican, and happily refers to himself as the token WASP. I am the lifelong Democrat, and Jewish. He is involved with his church, I’m, umm, rather disgusted with organized religion. He is gregarious, I am still rather introverted. He loves sports, I’ve never had much of an interest beyond snowboarding which I am still attempting to learn.
And then there’s certain accessories in our offices. I discovered the other day that we both have bumperstickers posted in our offices. These are depicted below. And as Yoda might say, telling they are.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then My 2 photos would be worth, umm, 2 thousand, perhaps more if adjusted for inflation. I’m fairly certain that you can tell which belong to whom.
A review of those of my winger coworker, reveals a disturbing tone to the bumperstickers. Rather than taking on any specific issue, they lash out at the left and in a disturbing way. Shocking, I know. Who would have thought it would be this way? </snark>
The message put forth is that just being on the opposing team is a bad thing. Conform or be wrong. (or be cast out as the song goes.) To paraphrase, you’re with us or against us.
The consistency of the wingnut message is the most amazing thing. From the shrub on down to the rank and file, the message is the same. Have an independent thought and you will pay for it. I am reminded of Senator Specter’s recent diversions from the straight and narrow path of “righteousness”. He was quickly set right.
And I suppose that is what separates us and them. At least many of us, if not most, recognize the need for a big tent. For the other side it is lockstep or nothing.