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A balanced letter enhances the credibility of your argument

I’ve always been annoyed by those who wear their opinions. Bumper stickers that say SUPPORT OUR TROOPS are particularly offensive, because they imply the driver of that car cares more for our troops than I do.

The same goes for the grey American flag with a blue line through it signifying support for our police. Or the term “freedom” in any number of slogans. It’s a word that has been co-opted by the Right.

I wanted to make this point in a letter, but I was concerned that it would come across as a one-sided rant against conservatives. To present a more unbiased view, I included bumper stickers that said PEACE, usually seen on cars of those who lean left.

Here’s the piece:

On a recent ride into town, I found myself behind a car with a bumper sticker that read, SUPPORT OUR TROOPS. I imagined addressing the driver: “What exactly does your bumper sticker mean? How are you supporting our troops? Do you send them gifts for Christmas? Donate to veterans causes? Do you vote for candidates who will keep them safe by providing arms for them in battle or for candidates who will keep them safe by staying out of conflicts? Are you implying that I don’t support our troops because my car does not display the same message?”

It's been decades since I’ve met anyone who does not respect and admire the men and women who put themselves in harm’s way to protect us.

And what about the bumper stickers that say PEACE? “What statement are you making? That you are for peace? As opposed to what? Have you ever met anyone who is against peace?”

The truth is that these bumper stickers have nothing at all to do with our troops or world peace. Rather, their sole purpose is to let others know what side you’re on. They’re no different than the colors worn by rival gangs in cities across America.

So, at the dawn of this new decade, perhaps it’s time to begin dismantling the social and political divisions in our country. The bumpers of our cars may be the best place to start. And if you must display something, may I suggest I AM HUMAN – JUST LIKE YOU.

By Jeffery Zalles


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