Daily WTF: Petty Vandalism of Tokens of Political Affiliation

This past Friday was not the best day for me. I felt tired and stretched thin all day, and I was eagerly looking forward to going home, being alone, and reading a truly ridiculous amount of bicycle sports manga. Then I got to my car and found someone had turned my car magnet in support of Hillary Clinton upside down. Okay then.

It was a small, petty act of vandalism that didn’t really cause any harm, but it still irritated me (The intended result, I know.). It was irritating to think that someone had put their hands on my property, and it was irritating to think that someone felt they had the right to judge my political views. It made a stressful, anxiety-inducing day just a tiny bit worse. Good job, asshole.

I suppose I should feel grateful that the person didn’t take the magnet or actually vandalize it or my car, but being grateful to someone who wanted to be a jerk sticks in my throat. I don’t think we have to be grateful that a person wasn’t as bad as they could be. Rather, we should be upset that they chose to be bad at all.

Vandalizing tokens of political affiliation is an easy and instantly gratifying action. If the person isn’t around and can never know who did it, it’s the IRL version of an anonymous comment. You can get all the pleasure of lashing out at someone and none of the messy feelings or faces involved that can make you feel like a bad person. I get it. Sometimes, when I’m feeling my most angry at what Trump, Bevin, Cruz, Sanders, etc. or their supporters say or do, I want to lash out too. Someone in my apartment complex has a Bernie Sanders car magnet, and when I walk by, especially if I’m walking off a particularly irritating Sanders-related incident, I think about doing something to it. I could take it, move it, write something on it. That would help me vent my feelings of frustration.

There are three things that stop me: 1) I don’t have the right to mess with another person’s property, 2) I know that these magnets are expensive and messing with it would be tantamount to stealing from the person, and 3) no one should be punished for expressing their political affiliation. We should not intimidate, harass, insult, belittle, or hurt someone for supporting another person. Many people get up in arms about their freedom of speech supposedly being infringed upon, but attacking another person for expressing their politics would be an actual infringement. I cannot in good conscious condone that.

However, I am still pissed. Initially, I was wary of buying a magnet because I didn’t want anything to happen to it. A friend and fellow HRC supporter convinced me that that wouldn’t happen. We were both surprised when it did. But rather than remove my magnet or tone down my support, I decided to up it. I made a donation to her campaign and signed up for a “Qualified” sticker. I will be attending an event she’s speaking at tomorrow because this is America, I get to support whomever I want, and I believe in Hillary Clinton. Some fucker with boundary issues won’t stop me.


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