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Bumper Sticker Shock: So Over It

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- A political consultant once explained that he had tried, in vain, to get his candidates to refrain from producing bumper stickers.

When a bad driver promotes a candidate, his road-hoggery could cost votes. The reaction from other drivers would be that Obama cut you off, John McCain blocked a crosswalk or Ron Paul drove for three miles with his blinker on.

We would go even further than the aforementioned spin doctor and implore that society apply a razor blade and bottle of Goo Gone to a fad that has outlived its welcome for more than a century.

In years past, bumper stickers were intended to be humorous, good for a chuckle or two while parked at a red light. Originally, they did no more than promote vacation destinations. Then they evolved to matter-of-factly promote a candidate of choice.

Eventually, business began to benefit from four-wheeled publicity. Herbalife (HLF - Get Report) was a pioneer in such viral marketing. "Honk If You Use Snap-On (SNA - Get Report) tools" brought awareness to hardware purchases. Countless dotcoms spread their URLs on city streets. A more modern start-up, TweetMyBumper.com, helps Twitter junkies grab followers with stickers sporting their handles.

More recently, however, bumper stickers have become more activist, more political. Advancing a trend that many thought had peaked during the Clinton administration, current variations are either cloyingly Kumbaya or downright angry. There is no subtlety anymore, only ham-fisted polemic or wishy-washy sentiment even Hallmark (HALL - Get Report) wouldn't spit out.

We get it. You share the road with bicyclists. You have a child who is an honor-roll student. You love to talk about your grandchildren, Jesus and pet labradoodle. Calvin urinating on a Ford (F - Get Report) logo! Oh, you rebellious General Motors (GMGMQ) loving scamp!

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