Dear Bumper Sticker Haver,
It's 2015. Bumper stickers are unacceptable. Case closed. No exceptions.
In 2004, stand up comedian Demetri Martin, in his episode of Comedy Central Presents, had this to say on the subject matter: "A lot of people don't like bumper stickers. I don't mind bumper stickers. To me a bumper sticker is a shortcut. It's like a little sign that says, 'Hey, let's never hang out.'"
That was eleven years ago. ELEVEN. More than a decade ago, bumper stickers were already not okay. The only thing that's changed since then is that we're older, wiser and our view on bumper stickers has hardened.
Unless you are still driving your forest green Subaru from 1995 and your bumper is covered in remnants of Phish stickers you unsuccessfully tried to scrape off, you should not have a bumper sticker.
Here's the thing:
I don't know you.
I don't want to know you.
Most people are, let's face it, not great.
All I need to know about you is that you are a safe, courteous driver. I do not need or want to possess the knowledge that you are a vegan who loves Dexter. Do not brag to me about your honors student. All your purple "Coexist" sticker does is make me not want to coexist with you.
Why is it such a big deal? Aren't these people just being themselves? Sure, "to each his own," "be your own person," blah blah blah. But that doesn't apply when it's harmful to others. You may think it's just "expressing yourself" to let me know you support Donald Trump for President. But really, it's hurting my soul to know that someone like you actually exists, and more concretely, it makes me want to ram my car into yours so you'll have to replace that bumper. The one with the Donald Trump sticker.
"What about me? I'm nice. My bumper stickers show my support for Bernie Sanders, my love of dogs (they're like family to me!) and my home state (shout out to the green and gorgeous VT!)."
You may have views I agree with. You may look like me, vote like me, live like me. But the mere fact that you think it acceptable to share these facts about you, unsolicited, with strangers in cars behind you means we are not, and never will be, the same. No one's perfect. You probably have some great qualities. But if you have bumper stickers, there's something missing. A filter, maybe. An understanding of the way the world works.
The road is not a birthday party of an acquaintance of yours. It's not an awkward family dinner where you have to be on the offensive about your political beliefs so as not to blow a gasket when Uncle Phil opens his mouth. It's not a place to make friends. It's a way to get from one place to another. Without having to talk to anyone you don't want to. Your bumper sticker is making that harder.