Saturday, June 24, 2006

So do you support our troops or not?

I finally figured out what bothers me so much about the "support our troops" magnets people slap on their cars. They're a command to the reader, not a wish of goodwill toward the actual troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, or whathaveyou. It doesn't even necessarily indicate that the driver of the magnet-bearing car supports any troops. "[You there!] Support our troops [you selfish liberal scum! Why not ride your recumbent bicycle back to your geodesic dome and cry your eyes out into your herbal tea because you hate America so much?]." If they said "God bless our troops" or "Yay American troops!" or even "America, FUCK YEAH!" I'd be happier. But as it is, the implication is that you, the reader, are deficient in your troop support. And as a taxpaying, voting, political-process-participating American, I take issue with that. There are a lot of bumper stickers that are commands to readers - "Save the whales," "Don't want an abortion? Don't have one!" - but they're intended for an opposing audience. "Support our troops" just seems like another framing gotcha, and it's unnecessary polarizing.

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