I had delivered my wife to DIA for an early morning flight, and was headed back to Boulder. The cruise control was nudging 75 in the 70 mph zone, the sun was bathing the front range in a soft bright white, and morning cirrus were already stretching their tails eastward; like most of mid-July Colorado, we could really use a good rain.
A glance at the r-v-m showed a car closing fast behind me, which meant someone was hammering along on the high side of 85. It was some Beemer YUP in red suspenders, all alone and on the phone. As he passed my eye caught the lower right hand corner of his back window— my monkey chatter stopped and gasped in disbelief— “McCAIN” it stammered out. Yeapa. The very first McCAIN bumper sticker I had spotted anywhere.
There it was, shrinking rapidly in the distance, its single two syllable message still reverberating through the flaunting of conspicuous consumption, still stuck on the in-yur-face intentionality of it; McCAIN. It had that little commie “star” thingy on it, too, that aged WWII vets will recognize as a Navy aircraft insignia; but other than that, it felt so. . . benign. And yet so. . . vandalicious. Vandalicious; you know: a yummy bite of political graffiti, a tasty bit of thuggery.
How. How could anyone vote for that senile old patoot, and why would they want the world to know? Why not get “stoopid” tattooed on your forehead? I mulled it over and over. Why did I have this urge to try and talk them out of it, like a hostage negotiator tries to talk a jumper off a fourth story ledge?
I know, I know, it’s all so subjective, to each his own, blah blah blah; but then again it’s the difference between day and night, right and wrong, good and oh so fucking evil! my monkey keeps chattering. So I google back in my mind to see if I can find what a McCain voter actually looks like, and the only thing I find is this great Ralph Steadman cartoon from the late sixties, that strikes the same note of horror today that it did back then. . .
An involuntary chill rushes the back of my neck, before I reason that, like the poor, and the poor in spirit, the poor in mind will also always be with us. But maybe, just maybe, this critical election cycle, intelligent, educated, liberal-minded, cultural creative Americans will finally out-number the walking dead. Just. Maybe.