Two quixotic political views spotted in the wild

March 13th, 2005  |  Tags:  |  1 Comment

Insufficient outrage

Yesterday, Andrea and I were walking down State Street with a prospective English grad. Fortunately for our attempts to sell him on the town, the local wildlife were pretty tame. However, there was a small cadre of young students yelling at passersby and brandishing copies of a socialist newspaper (it was unclear whether they were selling it or merely appealing to its authority). As we walked past, a furious young woman asked us if we were “outraged about the budget cuts that were sure to cripple the [blah blah blah]….”

I don’t know how she finished her sentence, because I was in a hurry to get an outrageously good burger. As we walked on, I cautioned our prospective student that it is perilously easy to be insufficiently outraged in this town. Indeed, to avoid my exposure as a civic pococurante, I often pretend to speak only Norwegian when confronted by overzealous pamphleteers. (I’ll be absolutely stuck when I encounter some proselyte who can actually speak Norwegian.)

“First, the vanity phone number. Then, the presidency!”

Prof. Althouse’s recent post on Madison bumper stickers reminded me of an unintentionally delightful sticker collection I spotted a couple of weeks ago while waiting at a traffic light. First up was a “Don’t blame me, I voted for Ed” sticker. “Ed,” for those of you from out of town, is Ed Thompson, brother to the former WI governor. Ed ran for governor last time on the Libertarian ticket and got about ten percent of the vote. (This is not as impressive as it may seem: the major-party candidates were both particularly odious.)

This car also featured a “Badnarik for President” sticker. OK, I thought to myself, you’ve established that you’re a Libertarian. That’s great! I was a high school senior once, too! I quickly cycled through my mental handbook of political-affiliation slurs before spotting the real gem of the bumper, which was an “I’m Pro-Choice On Everything!” sticker. I’ve seen this slogan before, but I’d never noticed the best part: the fine print claims that the phone number for the US Libertarian Party is 1-800-ELECT-US.

Keep living the dream, kids.

I’m currently listening to Analogue France by Johan Agebjörn