Vandalism and bumper stickers

A while back, I think on the blog but maybe on Facebook, my old college friend Lee and I had a conversation about, in part, acts of vandalism and simulated violence committed by members of various political persuasions.  I think it was on the blog, if I remember correctly, in reference to one of my posts about Sarah Palin whipping crowds up into violent frenzies.  Anyway, Lee and I have known each other for a long time, and while our exchanges occasionally get a little testy, they’re generally pretty respectful and, I hope, interesting to people whose commitments aren’t as entrenched as ours.

With that in mind… it’s been a strange week around my neighborhood.  I was out with the dog about 7 am last Monday or Tuesday, when I noticed a neighbor’s car that had been vandalized.  My neighbor has a Mercedez that had, until recently, an Obama sticker that was partially covering the Hillary Clinton sticker she’d put there originally.  I don’t know for sure that she was making a specific point by leaving the Hillary sticker partially visible, but I expect so–she doesn’t seem like somebody who’d be sloppy enough just to leave a misapplied sticker the way it was.  Anyway, her passenger-side rearview mirror had been all but snapped off, and the stickers were gone.  I couldn’t help but think those were related in some way.  A few days later, I noticed her car parked in the parking lot my landlord owns (there are more spaces than residents, so she rents out spaces to other people).  Not only was the passenger side mirror broken, but now the driver’s side mirror was broken (smashed, but still attached) too.

In the 6+ years I’ve lived in this neighborhood, I can count on one hand the number of vandalism incidents we’ve had; that’s probably the main reason I believed the vandalism to her car was politically motivated.

As it turns out, if it was motivated by her bumper stickers, than the vandal(s) is an equal opportunity property destroyer.  My neighbor’s next-door neighbor was a McCain supporter; he had stickers on both his pickup truck, which he uses for work, and his BMW, which is usually parked on the street (we have very little off-street parking in West Chester).  I didn’t see it, but apparently both the mirrors on his BMW got smashed as well, and the McCain stickers have been removed from both the car and the truck.

I’m no police investigator, but it seems hard to imagine that these acts weren’t politically motivated.  There are plenty of expensive cars in the neighborhood.  There are plenty of cars with visibly expensive things to steal inside of them.  There isn’t anything that pins these 3 vehicles together except that they’re the only 3, at least the only 3 that are around the neighborhood all the time, that had election stickers on them.

Maybe it’s a coincidence, but maybe not.  Anyway, whoever you are, you’re an idiot.  If you’re trying to prove anything, all you’re proving is that you’re an idiot.  If there’s some kind of ideological statement getting made here, it’s being buried by foolishness.  Give it up.

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