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One Small Voice: Vandals ‘trump’ my free speech

by Lynn Mandaville

A week ago something happened to my car.

A violation of some sort.

A violation for which I am at a loss for an accurate word to describe.

For almost two years there has been a bumper sticker on my vehicle that read “Stop Trump.”

It’s a leftover from the 2020 election.

No dirty words, no personal slights against the man.  A simple invective to stop Donald Trump.  End of sentiment.

Now, on top of that sticker, some anonymous someone has placed another bumper sticker that reads “Re-elect the M’F***er, Trump 2024.”

The asterisks are not mine, they are part of the text of the new sticker.

I find I am absolutely outraged on a couple of levels by this breach of my freedom of speech and personal property rights.

First, this car does not belong to the public at large to publicize messages of their choosing.  It is my car, my personal property.  Just as I would be upset if someone painted Go Huskies (the mascot of our neighborhood Chandler, AZ, high school) on my windshield, I am unhappy that someone would affix a sticky piece of plastic to my bumper expressing an opinion that is not my own.

This probably qualifies as vandalism, and I should probably report it to our local police, despite the fact that it may seem trivial and would be impossible to prosecute.  But I know that I won’t.

Vandalism aside, this is a suppression of my freedom of speech.

You may not agree with my opinion that Trump (still) needs to be stopped, but it is certainly not your place to obliterate that sentiment from my automobile, just as it would be illegal for you to remove a political yard sign from my lawn.  To do so robs me of my First Amendment rights.

Additionally, to put a sticker with a thinly veiled vulgarity where it can be publicly viewed and assigned to me is… well, I don’t know what to call it.  It puts an expletive, seemingly disguised with three asterisks, in a publicly offensive place, like tattooing a cuss word on my arm.  Sure, it can be removed, but not easily, and it wouldn’t be pretty.

Also, it is my right and no one else’s, to use profanity that is ascribed to me.  If I want to display particular language on my property, that is my right, not theirs.  It is, if you will, the turd on the ice cream sundae that I didn’t ask for.

(See what I did there?  I used the word “turd,” not someone else, and let it stand whereby you may judge me, not put there by an anonymous person.  If I’m to be maligned by “my” language it better have been my choice to utter or print it, not the right of some cowardly vandal.)

If you get the impression that I’m pretty pissed off by this, you’re very perceptive.

Can you imagine if the shoe were on the other foot?

Can you imagine the outrage exhibited by a Republican if I were to put a bumper sticker on his or her car saying “Joe Biden is My Hero?”  Or “I Stand With Science?”

That Republican would be seething just as I am right now.

You can bet that as soon as I discovered that new offering by the lazy Banksy of bumper stickers, I went right outside to cover the offensive blurb with a new bumper sticker.

The new one says, “Vote Like Your Rights Depend On It.”

I sure hope that’s universal enough to discourage further graffiti on my car.

9 Comments

  • Ms. Mandaville, I’m sorry about what happened with your car, and I understand share and your outrage. But sadly, the perpetrators only see our negative reactions as rewards that motivate additional loutish acts, consistent with their cult leader’s example and encouragement.

    Like passing dogs who bark and occasionally leave their droppings, we take notice and often have to clean up their messes. But our rebukes are futile.

    Howler monkeys and chimpanzees sometimes throw their own feces as a form of communication. So I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised to experience similar behavior from other primates among us who have nothing better to say.

    These individuals and their cult leader merit our disappointment and pity. But until their stench has passed, we might as well conserve our emotions and energy to focus on cleanup, containment, damage control and prevention. Thank you for your column, and good luck to you!

  • I was kind of dubious of why a Trump supporter would even have such a bumper sticker since the expletive refers to their guy. And in a derisive way. Very derisive.

    Finally tracked it down on Ted Nugent website and it is in response to Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich) saying “Impeach the ***” on Jan 4, 2019 sixteen days before Mr. Trump even took office. And of course she did not add any asterisks. So much for the usual honeymoon for a new President.

    Civility in politics? Kind of a myth. Trump was kind of hatched as a way to fight back (or at least not take it). He filled the vacuum left by the Sen, Doles, the Bushes, the Romneys…

    Hope it pealed off easily as it was stuck to another.

    I personally believe ALL bumper stickers should dissolve in a month’s time.

  • Spoken like a true Democrat needing to look in the mirror to see what cleanup needs to take place. You and like minded know nothings are helping destroy this country.

    President Joe Biden is your problem… clean up the dog and monkey feces he and his incompetent administration are dropping.

    It will be will be a distant memory once the communists and Marxists are voted out of office. That is, if it is a fair election as the last one wasn’t. Forensic audits of all votes would prove that big steal happened. But it will never happen with the commies are in power.

  • Lynn I am truly sorry that your bumper sticker was covered. A line was crossed and that should NEVER happen. I have been criticized in the past for not exposing ” my true identity” on this venue. This is exactly the reason why. I have worked my butt off to get where I am today and have no intentions of having it messed with and am very capable of defending my loved ones, my property and myself if the need arises. I hope this helps folks understand my position in this matter. Again I am sorry this has happened to you and hope it is never repeated.
    P.S.
    Please keep this intrusion on your right to free speech in mind the next time the left chooses to infringe on my right to own and bear arms. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

    • I understand your keeping your identity secret. But use this venue to express your own views not condemning others’ views. Unlike the no name war hero who uses every story no matter the topic to push his own lies and run down anyone who dos not love Trump. I guess if I believed all his BS I would like to be unknown also. I worked my butt of also.

  • Mr. Longstreet,
    Put the easy chair in the sitting position, put down the beer, slide over to the couch and take a nap. You’ve been really working hard today relaxing.

  • Have a hunch the same folks who couldn’t abide Mrs Mandaville’s bumper sticker are the same folks who believe Former President Trump’s Big Lie about a “stolen election” in his unsuccessful attempt to remain in office.

    The same people who openly or tacitly support the domestic terrorists who stormed the nation’s Capital on January 6 2021 in their effort to intimidate Vice President Pence in their attempt to invalidate the November 2020 Presidential results. Because President Trump wasn’t re-elected, the election had to be a “fixed” because the candidate the domestic terrorists supported lost and according to Donald J. Trump never loses. (At least according to him)

    I share the frustration of the demise of civility, especially in political expression and discussions. While I hope we, as a nation can turn back the clock. But based on the comments of Big Lie believers here and quotes I read from politicians seeking monetary support from Big Lie believers, the Big Lie is being embedded into our country’s political fabric for the foreseeable future putting our elections at risk.

    • 2030,

      The stories and people (AOC) that you put your faith and trust into……….Time is running out dude…………No turning back the clock, 2030 will be here in 9 short years……….

      Cheers!!

  • Sadly this incident will be and is nothing compared to what is likely coming. The Right and left are more divided than ever. History teaches us what can and often happens next. For they sow the wind and they shall reap the whirlwind.

    We must pray for this country.

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