Something So Disturbing

The other day I was in my car and minding my own business when I observed something so disturbing that several hours later I still could not erase the frightening image from my memory. The more I thought about what I had seen the more it kept haunting me. I couldn’t help but ask myself an array of questions after witnessing the harrowing occurrence, and I continued pondering the situation until eventually I felt like I should share the alarming experience with my wife. She wasn’t nearly as freaked out by what I had noticed, but she did understand my concern. I’m sure most people probably wouldn’t have given the matter a second thought, but to a curious and analytical person such as myself the phenomenon was very unsettling. What I saw was a person driving an older model minivan with numerous dents, at least on the driver’s side, and a handicap license plate affixed to the vehicle’s back end. Although the thought of being handicapped can be unnerving that is not what made my skin crawl. It was the seven bumper stickers randomly placed on the back of the van that were so distressing. The political statements featured on all seven bumper stickers unmistakably had one common theme with two of the more friendlier stickers declaring, “pro-America, anti-Obama,” and “worst president ever.”

I suppose at this point some of my Republican friends are pumping their fists in the air and yelling, “Right on!,” while many of my Democrat friends are most likely saying, “what a loser.” I’m not here to debate our President’s policies or his job performance (not today anyway), and I certainly am not going to attempt to figure out who the worst President in our nation’s history is although I did hear George W. Bush referred to as that a time or two during his presidency. Apparently our country has had about 14 years of the worst president ever. Anyway, what I find so troublesome about “minivan guy” is what I perceive to be as someone so proudly consumed with hatred, for another human being, that he desires to have those feelings of anger known to anyone and everyone around him. I realize the chances are pretty slim of this guy’s vehicle being his “pride and joy,” but seven similar bumper stickers gracing the back of any one van seems quite excessive. He should at least add a few of the classics into the mix like, “my child is an honor student,” “I brake for garage sales,” and “my other car is a Ferrari,” so he doesn’t appear to be so monotonous and grumpy.

I am guessing the aforementioned gentleman spends the majority of his time at home watching Fox News, so actually it was good to see him out and about. I have never seen Fox News. My household does not have cable or satellite television, but I’m sure I wouldn’t watch that “news” show even if we did because it is my understanding Fox News is severely slanted towards conservative viewers although I have heard some Republicans refer to the station as the “only news.” That reminds me of another bumper sticker, decorating the angry man’s van, which read, “I don’t believe the liberal media.” I doubt if he has even watched a liberal network for his “news” before, so how could he have ever had the opportunity to believe the liberal media anyway. It’s really not that difficult to differentiate between fact and opinion, but many people tend to hear only what they want to hear instead of listening to all of the facts. My advice to everyone would be to watch your free local television stations for the most accurate and unbiased news. In addition, I would recommend ignoring the opinion pages when perusing a newspaper. Those often scathing letters to the editor and editorial pieces are simply other people’s opinions, and I don’t need to read them because I already have my opinions.

That being said, even though I’m an overzealous channel flipper I do admit to pausing on The 700 Club, starring Pat Robertson, every great once in awhile when I need a good laugh. I have found this program to be the epitome of biased “news.” The show’s Co-host, Terry Meeuwsen, usually will report on a specific topic and then she’ll ask the former Republican presidential candidate what he thinks about the situation. Mr. Robertson’s typical response is either, “Well, if Obama” or “Because of Obama.” Whether the duo is speaking on the important issues of the day or discussing seemingly harmless topics such as food, sports, entertainment, or even the weather, eventually President Obama is the only one to blame in Pat Robertson’s opinion. Let us not forget Mr. Robertson once claimed that the death toll from 911 was God’s response to the homosexuality running rampant in America; therefore, I put no stock in what Pat Robertson has to say on any issue.

Contrary to Pat Robertson, I have the utmost respect for former GOP and Reform Party presidential candidate, Pat Buchanan. I am aware Mr. Buchanan is a contributor on Fox News, but I am referring to the sensible and open-minded Pat Buchanan I admire as a regular on The McLaughlin Group. It’s not too difficult for me to be fond of this guy because his more recent political views almost always mirror mine. I do not base my opinions on what Mr. Buchanan says, as a panelist on the long running PBS show, but I am thrilled when he agrees with me on the subjects they are discussing. The conservative author and syndicated columnist’s views, on many subjects, appear to be opposite of those held by his Republican counterpart, Pat Robertson. Pat Buchanan will question and sometimes criticize President Obama’s policies and job performance, but he is quick to praise the President when he believes it is well-deserved.

Similarly, I strive to seek out the validity on both sides of any given issue before shaping my opinion. The optimum goal of this blog, when discussing any controversial topic, is to share my thoughts with you (whether you agree or disagree with them) and try to explain how ultimately I arrived at my steadfast opinion. I refuse to be so angry and so unwilling to consider all the facts, when contemplating an issue, because I don’t want to somehow miss the actual truth along the way. I never want to be like the “minivan guy!”

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2 responses to “Something So Disturbing

  • Leslie Kohler

    While I like your sentiment here (about listening to all sides), I cannot agree that your “bumper sticker man” does not watch any news coverage except Fox News. What I can say is that neither of us knows what news shows this man watches.

  • Jack Craigs

    There are times when you actually must secure your tent poles into what you believe to be as a solid foundation. If your “opinion” can be so easily swayed by “Fox” or “PBS” or “MSNBC” then perhaps it’s time to excavate some of the sand where you may be residing. Most everything in this life is based on the false impression of ownership. We think with some bizarre inclination that we have rights that formulate our strategies of right and wrong about issues that effect everyone. This is often done from a position of personal ownership when really we are all present for the briefest of time and everything we touch is only rented! We come in with nothing and leave the same way. Our stewardship of everything we touch is what can define the greatness of our existance for our brief stay.

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