What is yellow, camouflage, or red, white and blue, weighs about four ounces and has more symbolic power suggestive of America's superiority complex than a Norman Rockwell painting? There is only one answer: \Support Our Troops"" ribbon-shaped vehicle magnets.
They can be found on the cars of patriotic citizens everywhere these days. Some vehicles sport two or three of various colors, and even mix in a matching ""God Bless America"" ribbon. At first glance, one might think these magnets are simple expressions of people's feelings about ""Our Troops,"" but after seeing 50 of them in one day, it becomes clear that they are much more.
They are incredibly popular coast to coast with a wide variety of Americans. Soccer moms usually stick the yellow version on the back of the mini van, blue collar types often opt for the red, white and blue version for the back of their cars or SUVs, while others choose the camouflage version to grace the tail end of their pickups.
These car ribbons are arguably the most popular form of (supposed) patriotic expression in the U.S. today. Neither T-shirts, yard-signs, lapel pins, buttons nor any other common medium of propagandist communication, is as commonly seen as these ribbons.
As the centerpiece of the American economy and way of life cars have become the most important indicator of success for most Americans. As such, the automobile has become the new medium through which patriotism is expressed. This leads to several important conclusions.
The troops car owners support with their magnets must be fighting for something that involves cars, since the troops are commonly alleged to be fighting to protect America's interest and way of life.
Since the American way of life and the America economy are so inextricably tangled up with the production and use of automobiles, wars fought in the interest of the United States must not hurt auto- related industries or driving habits of Americans, and should, when possible, work to support them.
Even if ""our troops"" are not fighting to directly kill people and take their oil in a medieval spoils-of-war sense, they must be fighting wars in a way which will result in more oil being available for American consumption when the war is over.
To fight a war that would result in the opposite outcome would almost be silly. It would hurt the economy and anger citizens, which no politician wants to do. Because of this, ""Support Our Troops"" magnet users are really saying something more than ""Sustain Our Soldiers"" when they affix those magnets to their cars.
They are saying they are responsible for creating the demand that forces ""our troops"" to fight, and that they declare this to be an acceptable thing to be responsible for. They support driving like maniacs all over the place and they support the young lads who kill people to make that possible.
As with any symbol, in any culture, the ""Support Our Troops"" magnet can be interpreted in many ways. It is difficult to ignore the fact that these magnets are made to be placed on the bumpers of the very machines that are part of the cause of the wars being fought. Perhaps the magnet should be changed to ""I support minions of the military-industrial nation of which I am a citizen because their fighting allows me to drive a car wherever I want on gas that costs half the world average.""
These modified magnets are probably going to be the new fad. Every true patriot should demand one.