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Election Pandemic in L.A.: Fear of Bumper Stickers and the Silent Civil War

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I was driving around Southern California, and I did not see a single presidential campaign bumper sticker. It’s almost as if there was a bounty on cars that had them. Without being one of those fear-factor freaks, I’ll tell you the truth about what people are thinking when they refuse to put bumper stickers on their cars in an election year:

The United States is engaged in a great silent civil war—debate if you will—concerningthe very core values on which this nation stands. And in that great silent civil war over American values, some people believe that:

● Barak Obama stands for cooperation between groups of people in a competitive marketplace. In that marketplace, Government cooperates with business, like Space X, the private company whose space capsule hooked up with the international space station. In Obama Land, it doesn’t matter whether your group wins or loses. There are measures, like universal healthcare, that allow everyone to make it together.

● On the other hand, Mitt Romney stands for unbounded capitalism and rugged American individualism. These are ideas that we are told date back to America’s Founders. Harkening to a simpler time, the government should leave business alone. In Romney World, a hero is supposed to lead the charge and get rewarded for it. That was George Washington’s role, and was Mitt Romney’s role at Bain Capital, when it made several people billionaires.

These are clearly two different value systems and visions for America’s future:

● The Obama system values group fairness
● The Romney system values rugged individualism

If this is so, why aren’t Americans talking about it? And why don’t we fess up to our own point
of view and at least post it on our car bumpers? You know the answer to that.

A lot of Americans got burned over the 2008 election when they tried to talk about these
issues involving fairness versus rugged individualism. That’s why people are silent now.

Some, like me, lost lifetime friends over it back in 2008 and 2009. That was when it became OK to hate someone because they liked Sarah Palin or Barak Hussein Obama. And that is why there are so few bumper stickers now. But there is more—

There are other unanswered questions trending in this election involving values that
surround the supporters of both presidential candidates:

For Romney, values questions involving his supporters include:

● Is it OK for a groups of billionaires to try and buy the election?

● Will war be the only industrial policy for the U.S. government?

● Is it right for the media to try to divide Americans and get them to hate each other?

● It it OK to lie as long as your candidate wins?

For Obama supporters, values questions involve:

● Is hope and belief enough to push America forward?

● Is the resistance generated from unions, government entitlements, and American’s general
decadence simply too high a wall to make the U.S competitive again internationally?

● Will Obama’s Rainbow Coalition, with their outsized ideals and lavish plans and programs,
ram up the federal deficit so that the budget is unsustainable?

These issues are edging forward silently through the 2012 election cycle. While many Americans understand this, other people are simply confused about the whole thing. Myself, I’m not using this values civil war idea as a hyperbolic debating vehicle to turn heads. Believe me—

The Roman Empire collapsed in on itself because there was no longer a core set of values
that united its citizens. At that time when the core values collapsed, the Pretorian Guard, who protected the emperor, started selling the Emperorship.

This is so similar to today’s situation, where billionaires are trying to buy the White House for
Romney, that it almost brings tears to this psycho-historian’s eyes.

So, maybe you’ll think about the great silent civil war over American values and Rome’s
collapse if you notice that there are not many political bumper stickers pushing the major 2012 candidates.

Dr. Billy Kidd is Senior Researcher at the Romantic Relationship Institute, LLC.