Political leanings

I don’t recall ever seeing a car covered in bumper stickers that wasn’t expressing a liberal-leaning point of view.

And I don’t recall ever seeing a sheet-of-plywood sign painted in block letters posted outside someone’s home that wasn’t expressing a conservative-leaning point of view.

Feel free to share your own examples and offer theories on why this is or is not true.



about 11 years ago

I've seen cars covered in reactionary bumper stickers. You're right , though. Not nearly as many as the ones plastered in liberal stickers. Maybe conservatives have more expensive cars and don't want to muck them up so much.

banjo tom

about 11 years ago

Very interesting observation.  Here are my knee-jerk generalizations...

1) Signs and stickers have distinct differences in time of preparation.  Perhaps liberal views are fleeting and passionate; while conservative views wear like a burr under a saddle until one finally cracks and builds that sign.

2) Conservatives value the ownership of their land, and thus use it as their platform.

3) Liberals are less worried about re-selling their cars.

Barrett Chase

about 11 years ago

I wonder if the stereotypical Subaru/Volvo covered in liberal stickers is a regional peculiarity. It seems like I've seen trucks covered in Confederate flags, etc. but not around here.

Bumper stickers are more of a declaration of "this is who I am," while yard signs say, "I have a message I need to get out and this is the only way I can do it."


about 11 years ago

I've seen plenty of Anti-walker plywood yard signs in Wisconsin.


about 11 years ago

Could easily just be confirmation bias at work as well. 

I've seen vehicles covered in Chip Cravaack bumper stickers, and as kerc noted there are plenty of anti-Walker plywood signs up in WI.

I wouldn't be shocked if it came down to something basic like: Longer messages tend to be against something, and shorter messages _tend_ to be showing support for something. 

I think we'd have to collect data from different geographical areas that represent different political leanings before pretending to draw any conclusions.

Paul Lundgren

about 11 years ago

Pretending to draw conclusions is much more fun, though. I think Beverly has found the perfect examples of two polarized mindsets, and I'm going to stick to that opinion no matter what evidence is presented to the contrary.


about 11 years ago

@edgeways: You've really seen a vehicle covered in Cravaack bumper stickers? I've been watching the roads for some time now, and I have not. But I think the term "confirmation bias" probably fits me pretty well, too. It sounds comforting.

@Paul: Yes, I think it is fun. And I'm not even pretending. I'm just jumping right to conclusions.

I think conservative people don't want to mess up their cars, carefully considering resale value and presenting a neat image. Liberal people find enjoyment messing up their car a little. Also, living in a "blue" part of the country, could they be less afraid of vandalism?

The house signs are more mysterious. I hesitate to use the word "crazy," but I can't think of a better word.

And @banjo tom: I like your "burr in the saddle" comparison. Seems about right.


about 11 years ago

I heard there is a new Subaru model that comes with pre-installed bumper stickers, with the likes of Obama, Equality, rainbows, Franken, Wellstone, Green Peace, Co-exist, Peace, ect. 

And Dodge Ram has one with guns, hunting, Bush, anti-Obama all over it. 

No, just kidding. But I do agree that liberals love stickers all over their car.


about 11 years ago

Beverly, correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember seeing so much RED here in the last decade, and airplanes spiraling out of the sky, here in the state of Minnesota, my color chart has turned shit purple.

 Jessica Lange even famously rolled up the carpets here, after her tires were slashed for what I assume was a DICK AND BUSH SUCK IT bumper sticker.  She had that much resolve, and money, to move to a state bluer than this, or simply resume residence in one of her mansions elsewhere, and pretend it never happened. Maybe it is more that real Minnesotans are just past caring about their personal property and safety period, as the weather makes them simply not give a damn. It's dangerous to try reading that much philosophy at cruising speeds anyway.


about 11 years ago

Liberals like to cover their asses, and conservatives are square.


about 11 years ago

It was covered to the extent that the car in the photo is, yeah. It was at the 26th Avenue East Holiday. The fellow had his coat also covered in Cravaack stickers as well, so it kind of made an impression.


about 11 years ago

I've seen plenty of trucks plastered with pro-military, anti-Obama, conservative slogan stickers.

The Big E

about 11 years ago

But the people driving those trucks limit themselves to a judicious, dare I say tastefully arranged, sticker display.  Yes, there may be several coordinating themes, and one or more of the stickers may be large (including the always popular full back window flag, in either US or Confederate model).  But still.

I wonder if it really isn't a function of a tendency for liberals to flit ineffectually from one windmill of a cause to another, while rightists fixate monomaniacally on single issues.

Paul Lundgren

about 11 years ago

This has nothing concrete to do with politics, really, but is loosely relevant. I want to share what happened tonight (technically last night) as I was walking out of the Fitger's complex at about 9 p.m.

I exited through the parking ramp door, but I was on foot. I walked through the exit, where the ramp attendant sits in a booth, and continued down the alley toward the ramp entrance.

There were two cars in line. In front was a woman who didn't quite understand that she needed to pull out a ticket for the arm to go up so she could enter the ramp. It probably took less than 15 seconds for her to figure it out, but the dipshit in the pickup truck behind her started laying on the horn.

Because she hadn't planned on the whole ticket stub thing, she positioned her car too far away from the machine to reach the ticket and needed to get out of the car to grab it.

While she did that, the guy in the truck decided to explain himself by yelling out the window, "I'm impatient! I'm in paaatient!"

When she got the ticket, the arm went up and she drove through. The guy in the truck decided that he should hit the gas hard and try to get through with her. Of course, the arm went down on his hood and he was stuck.

After about 30 seconds he got out of the truck and stood by the machine waiting for his ticket. The booth operator obviously identified him as a shithead and didn't oblige. 

Eventually he had to yell at the cars behind him to back up so he could get out, because he wasn't going to be let in.

Once he backed out and was on his way toward Superior Street, there was a backup of cars waiting to turn left. The line wasn't moving fast enough, so he started laying on the horn while grooving to some tragically bad pop-country music.

He didn't have any bumper stickers.

Barrett Chase

about 11 years ago

Based on the wording of some of these comments, I think it's important to point out that while bumper sticker people might generally be liberals, liberals aren't generally bumper sticker people.


about 11 years ago

Paul, he didn't have any bumper stickers identifying his beliefs because some things, e.g. "I'm a stark raving lunatic insane asshole" are simply that apparent.  I'm surprised you missed the Confederate flag insignia on his back windshield, though.


about 11 years ago

This might be a separate thread, but why does the conservative right, almost exclusively, embrace bad pop country that sounds like shit to everyone else, even people who like pop in its other forms? It must relate back to that sordid chapter on the Dixie Chicks. Is the same vein, why do they seem to resist the idea of whole, local foods?  Wouldn't that be keeping government out of food?  

How did good old country, or honkey tonk, turn into what they now call country music?  Why/how did these people make the transition and not realize how incredibly awful the new stuff is?  And why don't they get sick of songs about beer, their trucks, having a good old time?  It'd be like if you ate dog food every day, because there were so many songs about how good dog food is, and before long, you had yourself convinced that dog food, crappy cold American beer, and pop country were the greatest things on earth.  I think out of all the modern American mysteries, this one is the most puzzling, yet the implications are shocking.


about 11 years ago

Bumper stickers reveal link to road rage

I see more liberal bumper stickers in the area, but, this is a liberal bastion, so I suspect that is per capita at work. Home made billboards seem to be more commonly conservative, in my experience but that may be confirmation bias and the fact that I drove past the board in the second image a LOT.. over the past few years.. 

I generally don't do bumper stickers, but I did for Kerry, and my car got keyed (specifically on the sticker.. so probably related..) I won't do that with my current car for that reason alone - resale and all..


about 11 years ago

I've seen just as many liberal assholes in trucks as conservatives. I also know plenty of liberals who like bad country pop just the same as conservatives.
We don't have two country stations thriving in the area predominately liberal because only the conservatives tune in.
So really, keep the only conservatives drive trucks like assholes and listen to country pop crap where it belongs, pure made bias.

Paul Lundgren

about 11 years ago

I don't know if Jadiaz' comment is directed at me, Herzog, or both of us, but ... I actually didn't intend to suggest the guy was a conservative. I noted at the end of my story that the guy's truck didn't have any bumper stickers as a way of tying in the story to the subject of this post, because, as I noted, it has "nothing concrete to do with politics." The only relevance, really, is that because of this post I made sure to check to see if the guy had a bumper sticker, although obviously if he did it would be one small example that doesn't mean anything, but would still be funny no matter what message would have been on the sticker.

By the way, I'm a conservative myself ... to those who judge me by my bumper.

The only conclusion I drew about the guy was that he was a shithead. If I had to guess who he voted for, I would predict he went to the wrong polling place and yelled at the election judge because she couldn't find his name on the list.

My bias against pop-country music is strong, so I did indeed relish noting the guy's music choice. The fact that he was driving a pickup maybe should have been left out, but perpetuating stereotypes is usually good for laughs.

What I thought was the weirdest thing is that what the guy yelled and the way he yelled it did not match his profile. I would have expected him to yell something like, "grab the ticket and go you stupid (choose your favorite expletive)." Instead, he said "I'm impatient! I'm in paaatient!" in a way that was actually kind of funny.


about 11 years ago

That's because liberals like myself are in it for the sheer entertainment value Jadiaz, then sometimes when a song is okay, we're pleasantly surprised. But I'll bet we account for thirty percent of their listenership. For the same reason you log on here, because you love to hate it. And how did you know these trucks were driven by left leaning folks anyway? Was there a bumper sticker that said "I'm a Liberal! Go Ahead and Key My Car" We're talking percentages here.

 For prosperity, I'll add, much of what I hear on NPR is just as bad for the same reasons, and what passes as brilliant there, also sounds like shit to me, as people are relying more on machines to do the work of creating for them. I also don't understand why PBS, during pledge drive, turns to music that surely, even the baby boomers were tired of thirty years ago, when they were being sold then as 'oldies but goodies.' But I sincerely doubt there are as many 'liberals' clammering to the beat of wangly dangly, beer drinking buddy music while driving their meat tenderizing F-350s, and blaming Obama for high gas prices, yet we won't know for sure without further studies.

 The reason these silly country stations, who rarely play the classics,  are able to stay in business is because conservatives never turn the dial, except maybe for some fathead advice from Rush. Or, once a blue moon, maybe to a classic rock station to hear some Foreigner.  These country stations, since you asked,  keep selling air time for the same reason as crappy american beer sells best when it's sold as being the coldest, because of something called advertising,  and it numbs your brain. But just because something is advertised, doesn't make it good. Merely disguising poor flavors, or music with an overwhelming ad campaign that does your thinking for you, doesn't make it good.   For the same reasons that some spoiled puss whose daddy got him the job of making decisions for everyone, isn't necessarily right. 
 So when I want the real stuff, I turn to the classics.  Artists like Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings, Marty Robbins, or George Jones.  People who knew how to write music that doesn't give you the willies, or cause you to soil yourself from the sheer brainlessness of it.


about 11 years ago

Is anyone familiar with the art installation/protest yard on the hwy 65 and 27, just before the intersection of 27 to Moose Lake and 65 to McGregor?  I've slowed down a couple of times to make sense of it, but I'm really not sure what to make of it.


about 11 years ago

Is there something I missed about MPR?  There's a news station and a classical music station.

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