Saturday, September 04, 2004

To whom it may concern

Dear Sir/Madam:

You may not know me, but I'm the owner of the dark green Toyota parked yesterday between the hours of 6 pm and 8:30 pm at the Uptown shopping center. You may have seen my car briefly outside of Ann Taylor or maybe you noticed the car outside of Champs American Grill. Either way, sometime between those hours, you absconded with my John Kerry bumper sticker.

My knee-jerk reaction is that you might be a Bush supporter and perhaps you didn't like the idea of a Democrat driving around this heavily Republican enclave. My second thought was that you were a Kerry supporter and couldn't afford the $2 necessary to purchase a bumper sticker of your own; if that is indeed the case, you're welcome to the bumper sticker, and if I may say so, you need John Kerry more than I do. So fret not -- hope is on the way!

I figured an open letter on the Internet would be a good way to let you know how I feel about the theft of my John Kerry bumper sticker. Perhaps you'd like a little bit of history on how that sticker came to be on my car. Originally, you see, I was a Dean supporter, and I drove around triumphantly with Dean's name affixed to my car's rear end. Then after the spectacular implosion and howling antics in Iowa, Dean's name came off and my car felt curiously naked. You should understand, that until this year, I was firmly against bumper stickers. Nothing marring the paint on my car, thankyouverymuch! But I felt it was very important this year to express my views.

You see, in the last election we had here, back in 2002, not a single person I voted for -- with the exception of the state controller -- won. In one way, it makes me feel all self-righteous and elitist when our legislature does something completely whacked, I can remove myself from their actions and say, "Not my problem! Didn't vote for those clowns." But at the same time, there's the realization that my vote has disappeared somewhere into the ether and there's nothing I can do about that in the near future -- short of moving to Massachusetts -- and that makes me unbelievably sad. Hello, my name is Seema and I'm a disenfranchised voter.

I'm a yellow dog Democrat, so I felt I had to say something, because I was feeling so bitter and silenced. So when I was in Quincy Market (Boston) last spring, some GBLT supporters were rallying for Kerry and selling bumper stickers. When I asked how much for the Kerry sticker, they said $20. I noted that I'd already donated much money to the campaign, given that living in my state, money was the only resource I had to help out. The campaign contributer was shocked -- stunned that someone from my state -- would be a Kerry supporter; she slashed the price and gave me the sticker for $10. My friend remarked, "Oh you can't put that sticker on your car! Someone's going to hurt you." And I replied, "I can and I will." And for three months, I proudly drove around this town with John Kerry's name affixed to my back windshield.

I plan to buy another bumper sticker. In fact, I plan to buy a few more bumper stickers. The thing is, if you were someone who didn't like my point of view and decided to take away my right to express my opinion on who I thought should win this election, it's backfired, because now you're sending me and my credit card back to the Kerry Gear store. In other words, I thought I was done with donations to the Kerry campaign, but you've strengthened my resolve and my determination. Because what you did was unAmerican in every way.

You took away my right to peacefully and politely tell people where I stood politically. I am no means an expert on Republican agendas -- I avoided all mention of the RNC this week -- but I do know one thing for sure about Republicans: they love this country and they value the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment and the vast majority of them would never stoop to do what you did. Yes, I know it's a big deal to make over a $2 bumper sticker -- easily replaced and don't worry, it will be -- but just think about what exactly your actions say about you as a person and how what you did stains the party you support.



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