Bennington, Mass, July 24 2013
Riding a bike, one sees from very close the bumperstickers that some people like to stick to the rear of their cars. So it is a funny way to learn about some of the issues and arguments exchanged between Americans.
New England, where we are currently riding, is supposed to be liberal, but still I saw some pretty conservative bumperstickers. Unless it is that liberals don’t use that kind of arguments, whereas conservatives are more eager to convince and more prone to showing off their opinions?
Anyway, here is what I saw: ” you are not entitled to what I earned”, ” confuse a liberal, use logic and facts”, ” a government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have” ” socialisme, you make it , they take it”
But I found some leftists ones: ” the road to hell is paved with Republicans” ” think, it is not illegal yet”. And a few religious one, “Jesus loves us”.
This shows to aspects of the political debate that we hardly have in France: one is the strong polarisation, which dates from Bush and reaches a peak with Obama to a point where the famous American credo ” we agree to disagree” is sadly in a limbo. The second is the eagerness to convince other pepole of what you believe in, the ” evangelization” syndrom. Here , people believe: They believe in God, in Peace, in Obama,ˋin Life, in the Second Amendment, in self defense, you name it. Whatever they believe, they want to show it to the world: they believe in their country and they put an American flag on their house, something you would not see in Europe. We Frenchmen believe in nothing, we are skeptic and cynic.
I would believe in biking but the Doping scandals of the Tour de France destroyed my last illusions.
Oh well, whatever, we Lafayette riders, we wear our orange Lafayette Jerseys. And no one will blame us for that , nor for our bumper sticker ” Lafayette we are here”!