Recently I have been doing a lot of driving or rather, in this San Francisco boom-time, a lot of sitting in traffic, staring at rear bumpers. And on my commute to work this morning something occurred to me – or rather the absence of something did.
In 2008 and again in 2012 you could not move without seeing the Obama/Biden stickers. They were in windows. And on stakes in front lawns. And yet here in San Francisco in the fall of 2016 there seems to be woeful absence of bumper declarations, from either side.
I got to wondering, is this a fear of engagement or a symptom of a lack of it entirely? Here in liberal San Francisco sporting a Trump/Pence sticker, with or without the phallic reference, would likely have the same effect as driving a Hummer did in the 2000s. Equal doses of eggs and swearing. Yet Trump has raised $6.1M* in California so far. Which leads me to conclude that his supporters are here, yet they prefer to lend their support in private, being more fearful of the public repercussions of choosing such a polarizing Presidential candidate.
Yet there are surprisingly few Hillary/Kaine stickers either. That can’t be fear, not in this town, which is the most progressive in the nation. Is this a sign of apathy then? I personally have given to her campaign, yet I do not sport a bumper sticker on my car, nor is there one in my window. On reflection maybe it is because this whole election is so ugly that any public engagement with it at all is just too much exposure. 100M people are forecasted to tune into the first debate tonight from the comforts of their homes but how many of those selfsame Americans are willing to proclaim their affiliation outside of them?
There is a big wall already – it is not on the border but inside the country itself.
*FEC data. http://www.fec.gov/disclosurep/PState.do