WHEN YOU ASSUME…

     It’s interesting, to say the least, being a conservative-libertarian cop working in an overwhelmingly liberal city. One interesting aspect of liberal city culture is quite relevant at this time: political campaign signs, political assumptions, and my observations regarding them.

     It should surprise no one to find a disproportionate number of Democratic Party campaign signs proliferating in the neighborhoods, compared with Republican signs. However, I’m not sure why, but it surprised me that there weren’t at least a smattering of Republican campaign signs—one or two even—sprinkled about.

     Among all of the ubiquitous Obama signs and bumper stickers plugged into private lawns, public planting strips, and plastered all over hybrid cars and VW Microbuses, I finally saw a McCain-Palin campaign sign standing solitary sentinel of the Republican presidential effort. It had been placed in a planting strip dividing the north and south bound lanes of a well-trafficked route.

     It felt good to know that Americans could tolerate each other although strongly disagreeing on political issues even in city that lists heavily to port. After all, this city has long boasted that it is a place of tolerance. Still, when I mentioned the lone sign to my comrades, each in turn predicted its imminent demise. I drove by later in the day and happily reported the solitary sign staid and secure.

     Sadly, the following day, I had no good news to report for as predicted, some un-American fool had removed the sign; one McCain sign out of dozens of Obama signs, and they just couldn’t leave it alone. While I know there are certainly examples of this behavior on both sides, it’s been my personal and professional experience that removal or destruction of Republican or conservative issue signs is much more common. I’ve yet to notice any conspicuously placed Democratic signs having been removed. 

     The point here is that, the left self-describes as tolerant. However they only seem to tolerate what they deem tolerable. Their political hyperbole borders on insanity. I once had a discussion with an ardent leftist about the unauthorized removal of campaign signs, which is anathema to every conservative, and most certainly, every libertarian I know. I offered that it was the epitome of being un-American. Her answer, “Should we have tolerated Hitler’s campaign signs?”

     Hitler? Really? How can we have a reasonable conversation about issues when the right sees the left as wrong, but the left sees the right as evil?

     I was at a party just before the last national election. The soirée was well represented with public school teachers, a well-known bastion of liberalism. At one point one of the teachers mentioned President Bush; in a negative context of course. I casually quipped that I didn’t agree with certain policies, but in general I liked “W.”

     Holy Moly Batman! The slack jawed teachers stood staring at me like I’d just crapped in my hand. I was suddenly the vilest thing not only in the room, but on the face of the planet. These teachers, these objective molders of young minds, couldn’t seem to comprehend anyone not agreeing with their point of view.

     Did I have an opinion on John Kerry? Well, let’s just say I didn’t have a Kerry/Edwards campaign sign in my yard or bumper sticker on my car, but at least I had the courtesy not to make assumptions, as I understand not everyone thinks as I do—come to think of it, isn’t that kind of what America’s all about?

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