This morning, I was stuck behind a dump truck. I usually avoid Memorial Drive specifically because of the large trucks, but because my clutch is starting to go, I am having trouble with hills and all of the lights on the other route are at the bottom of hills.
The truck had a very large, homemade sign saying, “NO WORK JOBS! CROOKED POLITICIANS! HUGE DEBT! TIME FOR A CHANGE!” with some fine print at the bottom I was unable to read. I thought, I agree with that.
While I am lucky to have a job, and a pretty necessary one at that, unemployment is still pretty high.
I was disappointed that people drew a false connection between high level income tax breaks and job creation.
I was furious when we were hours from a federal government shutdown because of morality issues rather than fiscal (and straight up incredulous when, in the aftermath of Bin Laden’s assassination, people were under the impression that it was Obama’s doing.)
That sign was right. It is time for a change…in the thinking of people who believe morality is the root cause of our national problems and who support spending on weapons and death over education and healthcare.
Right below the homemade sign was a Donald Trump for President sticker. Donald Trump jokingly said he was going to run after receiving several mixed reactions to his birther rants on several different talk shows and news outlets. There is along list of things that make you qualified to be president (and Trump does possess a number of them), but being crazy and producing a TV show of waning popularity are not on the list.
There is a second issue with the dump truck sign. Linking charged political rhetoric with your professional image alienates people, regardless of the idea. I see the customers in this situation falling into four categories: pro your view, anti your view, indifferent/without options, opposed to political messages with their services.
In the case of the dump truck, the message is pretty innocuous. Everyone (in theory) wants more jobs. Everyone (in theory) dislikes politicians who abuse their power. Everyone (in theory) wants a lower National Debt. Most importantly, everyone would like to see these things put into practice.
When you get to thinking about it, you have to ask of the company, “Well, what are you doing about those things?” Are they creating jobs and are those jobs paying fair wages with decent benefits so that people can live off the wages from the one job? Does the business support the local political scene and back politicians who are upright and just (are there any)? Does the business use ethical accounting practices rather than searching for loopholes in tax code? Does a business want to answer those questions to the general public because they put a sign on their dump truck?
Locally, there is a business whose vehicle is covered in anti-choice messages–ranging from, “It’s a child, not a choice,” to, “Repeal Roe v. Wade.” In this case, I fall into the anti-view category, but more importantly into the fourth category of being put off by strong views on the side of the business car.
Maybe businesses would be better served to stick to advertising political beliefs that directly pertain to the business. I would take my cat to a PETA-bumping, “Meat is Murder”-shirt wearing vet. I would buy weapons from someone who posts the Second Amendment in their shop window, covered in NRA stickers, next to a bust of Charlton Heston.
You know who I don’t want shampooing my carpets? The anti-choice cleaning company.