Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different. ~ Katherine Mansfield

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

This Is My Peace Symbol

I am a liberal, progressive, humanist, Democratic Socialist. These are not monikers that I use every day. Why? Well, I live in one of the wealthiest, most conservative counties in Colorado. It's difficult to make friends if you start a conversation with "Hi, Jesus isn't real and I'd like to talk to you about raising taxes." Don't get me wrong, I don't hide my views. My friends, my family, and my governor all know how I feel about the issues. Representative Mike Coffman, if he reads his own email, certainly gets an earful. I vote with my ballot and, more often, with my dollar.

I'm no fool. I know that my point of view isn't popular where I live, and the words
Liberal
Progressive
Humanist
Democratic Socialist
outside the context of a living person, and a family, are considered poison by many in my community. So in everyday life I try to be a moral human being, do my own thing, indulge in an occasional rant, and get by without rocking the boat unnecessarily.

I do however have a sticker on my car. My oh-so-Colorado, kid-friendly, dog-friendly Subaru Outback sports one small, adorable, piece of insight into my personality.


I bought it because I love our president and what he stands for. I believe in cool heads, compromise, and taking care of the common man. I believe in intelligence and social progress. I believe in strong women, organic gardens, and getting kids up off the couch and moving. I believe in powerful couples and rock solid families who face daily adversity with honor, humor and love. For all of these reasons, I shelled out $4.99, plus shipping, to voice my support of these ideals. Truth be told, I also bought it because I thought would look cute on my car. My neighbors do not find it so cute.

There is a large dent, the size of a rock or a can of soup or the side of a baseball bat, near the roof on the back. I found this one day leaving the grocery store. Maybe I backed into a low hanging branch without noticing. Maybe someone accidentally bumped into me with a 50-ft Hummer. Or, more likely, someone took offense at my right to express my own views, benignly on my own car, and decided to send a message of their own.

Since moving into Douglas County (yes, I've now named you), I have been cut off and flipped off by other cars more often than I care to count. Just a few weeks ago a giant truck, driven by a small man, cut me off and watched me in his rearview mirror until he was certain I had seen his "Does your Obama sticker make you feel stupid yet?" bumper sticker. Taking a cue from my husband, I laughed and waved and drove on.

I'm usually pretty good at keeping my outward cool, reveling in my own enlightened superiority (it's my own mind in my own car - I'm allowed) and doing my best to ignore the fact that I don't fit in to the social fabric of my surroundings. On my less than stellar days, I'll smile and give them a single finger salute. Nothing too crazy on either side. But things escalated last Friday.

While driving home with my mom and two young sons in the car, yet another small man in a giant truck - this one complete with trailer - roared past us on the road in an effort to get in front of us and flaunt his wares. Trouble was, he crossed into our lane without clearing our car. Woopsie-doodle. Two short blasts of the uber-friendly Subaru horn should have been enough to alert him of this error.

Did we get the "Whoa, my bad" wave we expected, and have him return to his lane like a normal human being? Nope. This b-hole was itching for a fight. We got the middle finger out the window, a string of "Fuck you!"s, and a truck with trailer that proceeded to run us off the side of the road (thankfully into an opportune turn lane) in order to prove his point.

And what was his point?


They're hard to read, so let me spell out a few of the better ones:
Shoot more bitch less.
Embrace the recoil.
You can't beat a woman who shoots.
I love guns and Starbucks. (WTF?)
Extremely rightwing.
This is my peace symbol.


I can only assume that my happy orange sticker and a bad day somehow justified him putting my family's life in danger in order to further his asshole agenda. In order to show me what a man he was, and how much he hated Obama, and me, and loved the Second Amendment (which I doubt he can recite or correctly interpret) and his guns (of which I am sure at least one was in his truck), he felt he was within his rights to intimidate, bully, and put our lives at risk. If this altercation had happened 15 feet earlier or later, he would have successfully driven us over the median and into oncoming traffic.

Well done, sir. Successfully played. Your thought-provoking actions and eloquent articulations have completely changed my point of view. I am thrilled to have a mind such as yours, with what I can only assume to be a matching temper and level of education, to be in constant possession of a firearm. My family and I will sleep better with visions of your peace symbol in our minds. God bless you, patriot, and God bless the United States of America.

Maybe I should move.

6 comments:

Claudia said...

Wow. Glad you were all okay...Wow.

Anonymous said...

Yup. Time to move to Denver!

Chico's person (Erica) said...

Hi, Danielle,

Just so you know this isn't a totally random comment by a totally random stranger (though, really, who would care if it were?) - I met you once out at the Queen's Farm in... Franktown? I think they're considered Franktown. I dunno. You were there with Jen and I think it was a pumpking-picking day. Anyhow, Jen forwarded this post to her mom, Pam, and Pam forwarded it to me because we work together and share things that make us happy. So that is my introduction to the one comment I felt the need to make:
Please don't move. It is very important for Douglas County to become more diverse. It's tipping way too far to the right and we need to balance that out with people like you. So please stay.
Thank you. Have a lovely day.

Danielle (PareDownLookUp) said...

That was a great day at the farm, and such a nice message. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You advocate for government which is a monopoly on the use of force. You are no better than these people, except instead of being a bully and using intimidation personally, you'll instead use agents of government to do it for you. This doesn't make the actions of these people right, but your government advocacy isn't either. You don't get peace through violence.

Danielle (PareDownLookUp) said...

Thank you for your views, Anonymous.

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