Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Drive Through Conservative Country

Keith and I drove from the Chicago area to the Austin, Texas, area last weekend. After 32 or so winters in Illinois, we had decided to relocate to warmer climes.

But as we drove through Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, with their conservative billboards, I began to rethink our move -- and what's left of my faith in the citizens of this country.

We had driven through Missouri five years ago to visit my sister in Tulsa for Christmas. This time I noticed fewer porn and religious advertisements. But there was one billboard that simply read "Jesus." Several feet before that was one seeking a sponsor. So as we drove past, the message we saw was "Rent Me Jesus."

Another billboard advertised an expired Sept. 11 Tea Party event.

An Oklahoma billboard gave a figurative high-five to the Arizona law requiring people who look like illegal immigrants to show proof of U.S. citizenship. The top line read "Oklahoma [heart]s Arizona." The second line, in a smaller font: "Oklahoma [heart]s Mexico, too." Sure -- just as long as Mexicans stay in that country.

Two of the letters on a Conoco gas station sign along the highway were reversed. This wasn't one of those signs with the magnetic letters that vandals remove to make curse words. This was the gas station's main sign, and it was very high. After seeing the political bent of previous roadside signage, I wasn't going to give this one the benefit of the doubt. It read "COONCO."

In Texas I was disgusted to see former President George W. Bush’s snide smirk on a billboard. He asked, "Miss me yet? How's that hope and change working out?" Please. As much as I'm angry with Obama and don’t plan to vote for him again, he's so much better than Bush.

Another billboard featured an unflattering portrait of President Barack Obama with the phrase "Socialist by Conduct."

Except for the Tea Party event, the names of the people or groups who paid for these billboards either weren’t written on the ads or they were too small to notice.

But some things are clear: They have money, they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about, and most are likely racist.

(Obama photo credit: Chris Curtis. Courtesy of

(Bush photo courtesy of
"Flaming Zombie Monkeys.")