Post-election etiquette

After the 2004 election, I heard a lot of criticism from DFLers about these:


“The election is over,” they’d say, suggesting that Republicans kept the bumper stickers on their cars to rub the Democrats’ noses in it.

So this picture on MPR’s Midday Web page today….

… leads to the obvious question: How long do Democrats intend to keep their bumper stickers on their cars?

The Web site characterizes people and their bumper stickers:

The Gloating Winner – For them, politics is a contact sport and their candidate just brought home a Super Bowl trophy stuffed inside of the Stanley Cup.

The Bitter Loser – a close cousin to the Gloating Winner, except, you know, without the winning part.

The Terminally Lazy – Come November, when the leaves have started to fall, this person can’t seem to find the energy to scrape the sticker off. Often, they couldn’t find the energy to vote either.

The Angry Loser – Unlike the Bitter Loser, this one wants to distance themselves from their former-candidate.

The Neat Freak – As the name suggests, this person does not like having untidy things, like bumper stickers or even parking passes, on their car. However, because they are a good patriot and they needed to protect democracy, they did display a bumper sticker for at least Election Day

The Hipster – This person doesn’t so much take their political stickers off, as covers them up. Now that the election season is over, it’s time to add a new layer of stickers to the back of the old Jetta comprised entirely of bands with three word names or weird animal-adjective combinations.

As for lawn signs, that question is easier. State law requires them to be removed 10 days after the election, even if there’s a recount underway.

  • The Terminally Lazy – that’s me. I have – for me and others like me – began suggesting to my clients, window clings instead of bummper stickers. Since you can heat your car and peal the sticker anytime in the winter seems perfect to me.

    Also found a lot of ‘money’ people in politics like supporting candidates but don’t like their nice cars covered with stickers, at any time.

  • geri

    What about people who are just nostalgic and like to keep them as a souvenir? Who remain proud of what their candidate stood for, win or lose? I remember seeing Mondale/Ferraro stickers on cars for years after the 84 election, and those folks certainly weren’t gloating.

  • I kept my last Wellstone sticker on the car until the thang fell apart. It went to the dump decorated as such. But that’s different.

    I think that this weekend is a good time to take the big stuff down. It is only considerate. Bumper stickers? Eh, I’m OK with them staying on.

  • Matt

    Same for Kerry/Edwards stickers. Keeping those two losers on a your car was even sadder.

    Seriously though, what DFLers complained about seeing W stickers? I had no problem with those, or really any old political stickers. If you care enough to plaster your car with a candidate’s name or symbol, then go for it.

    Republicans who get road rage after seeing the rising sun logo are going to have bigger problems when they see Obama standing in the Rose Garden.

  • I only had a Franken bumper sticker on my car, and I think I’m keeping it for awhile yet longer!

  • Bob Collins

    // the rising sun logo

    Hahaha. Is THAT what that is? I never saw that in the logo until you mentioned it.

    Then again, it was years before I saw the “arrow” in the FEDEX logo.

    I obviously have no eye for design.

  • After all the false claims, now you go legal on us. What about statute 211B.002?

    A person or candidate may not knowingly make, directly or indirectly, a false claim stating or implying that a candidate or ballot question has the support or endorsement of a major political party or party unit or of an organization. A person or candidate may not state in written campaign material that the candidate or ballot question has the support or endorsement of an individual without first getting written permission from the individual to do so.

    Our Senate race may have garnered those missing 25,000 votes if it wasn’t for the fear mongering and this statute held.

  • Silas

    Would you look at that! An arrow right between the ‘E’ and ‘X’. Who knew.

    Thanks, Bob

  • Matt

    Might depend on how you look at it:

    Democrat -> A new path to follow or a sunrise over fresh fields.

    Republican -> Empty road to nowhere or a sunset into a big zero.

    There is an animated version of the logo in some ads that makes it clear it’s supposed to be a sun, but it is a nice little hidden surprise, just like the FedEx arrow. If you see it, great; if not, it still works. Their design team sure knew how to run a great visual campaign, but they can definitely overreach. Thank God they dumped that awful, tacky and probably illegal Obama presidential seal.

    You know, it might be nice if people replaced their Obama and McCain stickers with American Flag stickers…

  • Alexis

    “State law requires them to be removed 10 days after the election, even if there’s a recount underway.”

    Actually, to my reading, that’s not quite what the law says. It would appear that the law is simply saying that even in municipalities where signage is otherwise prohibited, you’re granted permission to post between August 1 and ten days after the election.

    If you don’t live in an area where signage is restricted, you can leave the things up for as long as you please, or until your disgusted neighbors stage a midnight raid on your lawn.

    Then again, I’m not a lawyer.

  • I still have a Gore/Lieberman sticker on my car. Though I crossed Lieberman out and changed the ’00 to ’08. It’s a little faded, but not going anywhere.

    (Honestly, it covers up the scratch on my bumper. And I drive a Subaru, so I guess that makes me some sort of bleeding heart liberal.)

  • j

    There’s no telling that the same people who complained about the ‘W’ stickers are the same that keep the big O. Either way, we’re only two days out from electing the first African American president. What’s the time limit on this celebration?

  • Rich

    What about people who keep the bumperstickers on their cars because the sticker is holding the car together?

  • DB

    Seriously though, what DFLers complained about seeing W stickers?

    I didn’t mind at all. I just used them as a marker to point out the clueless morons who voted for those clowns in the first place.

  • bsimon

    I don’t think of bumper stickers as an etiquette issue. Yard signs, yes. But why would we expect people to remove bumper stickers? And what about bumper stickers raises them to the level where there needs to be an established etiquette?

    Or maybe I missed the joke.

  • Elizabeth T

    Can you get bumper stickers off of cars without trashing the paint job?

    There’s one bumper sticker on my car (Got Deutsch? for the German school in StPl). It’s the first bumper sticker I’ve ever had, and that was only when I realized I was never going to sell my car and therefore didn’t care how it effected my ability to resell it. I liked my Jetta without the decor. Although, I did want to add one of the “Republicans for Voldemort” stickers.

    I find it somewhat entertaining to see what sort of political platform people use their bumpers for.