Monday, October 24, 2005

The Liberal Smasher Will Smash You, Liberal!

There used to be a car that would sometimes park near my
apartment, a battered, rusted-out old import painted a
gruesome green and plastered everywhere with strange,
possibly-homemade bumperstickers. These would be slap-
ped at odd angles in unusual spots, as though the owner
intended them not only to convey his political philo-
sophies, but also to cover over all the worst scrapes and
dents his bad driving had brought. I liked to stop and
read them as I walked by. They made little sense, but
they were entertaining in their frothing rage. Chiefly, they
concerned the Second Amendment and how much better
it would be to shoot anyone who interpreted it in anything
less than the most flagrantly permissive manner. There
was, also, I think, a little bit of bile directed towards Hilary
Clinton, a little more for the French, and maybe one or two
snipes at the dreaded ACLU. What was most striking about
the car, besides how awesomely crappy it looked, were the
words painted in black on the hood: "LIBERAL SMASHER".

I always thought that was amusing. I mean, who did this guy
think he was kidding? His shitty beater would fall to pieces
if Barbra Streisand so much as breathed on it. You take the
most mincing, sissyish, oversensitive, latte-drunk "liberal"
to be found in the silliest right-winger’s wet dream and put
them up against the "Liberal Smasher" and, I’m sorry, but
the angry man’s fancied-up Honda Accord would lose in
the first round. I, for one, doubt that the thing could even
make it around the block without vomiting up its entire
transmission. It looked like King Kong had used it as a
buttplug. This was a car that couldn’t smash Alan Colmes.
This was a car that, were it to brush up against Michael
Moore’s stomach, would fall into a sobbing heap of lug
nuts and scrap metal. Liberals had nothing to fear from
this vehicle.

Its owner, I suppose, is a different story. You have to
wonder about a man so consumed with bitterness that
he’s willing to deface his car in such a way. This guy
hates liberals. He probably goes every night to his fav-
orite right-wing blogs and his favorite Fox "news" shows
in the hopes that one of those hideous hacks will give him
yet another reason to hate liberals. I imagine him as an
outrage addict, a man who longs only to loathe. There
are a lot of these people out there. For the most part, they
suffer disappointing and fearful lives. They aren’t happy
if they aren’t complaining. They don’t understand any-
thing without someone to blame. Often, they blame lib-
erals. You don’t like the way the country’s going? It’s
the liberals. You’re fed up with this war we’ve got on?
The liberals are the ones making us lose, dammit! You
haven’t seen a good movie in months? Well, that’s be-
cause those liberals refuse to make them. High taxes?
Low wages? Long lines at the liquor store? Liberals, lib-
erals and–let’s see–liberals. Maybe this guy even blames
liberals for the pitiful car he has to drive.

Maybe I’m wrong, though. Maybe it was a just a car own-
ed by some run-of-the-mill conservative with a weird
sense of humor. Because if I had a primer-and-rust
colored Ford Escort with a dragging bumper and a hood
held down by bungee cords, I might find it hilarious to
slap a thousand Paul Wellstone stickers on the thing and
call it the "Conservative Crusher". I wouldn’t expect any-
one else to get the joke, though.