Commentary: Encounters with finger-giving, closed-minded drivers in CT

In New Hampshire we take our politics seriously — but not rudely, as we recently experienced driving through Connecticut on our way south to visit our daughter, granddaughter and other relatives in Florida and Tennessee.

As very recent retirees (me after 29 years teaching high school science and 14 years as a business owner, and my wife Karen after 32 years as a social service program administrator), we thought we would take a trip to see family, the Florida Keys, the Smoky Mountains, and a former student in Georgia.

Though I have voted Republican several times in my life (not sure if my wife has), we are both strong, thoughtful Democratic voters.

A car covered with bumper stickers

Now, to set the stage for these trip encounters, you must visualize the rear of our Prius Hybrid with numerous political and informational Democratic bumper stickers:

— “Obama Cares”

— “Got Science?”

— “I Am the 99%, and I Vote”

— “Carol Shea-Porter for Congress” (she’s a Democrat)

— “Got Medicare? Thank Democrats”

— “Got Vet’s Benefits? Thank Democrats”

— “Got Social Security? Thank Democrats”

— “Got Pell Grants? Thank Democrats”

— “Got Pot Holes? Thank Republicans”

From compliments to rude behavior

At numerous stops, and occasionally from drivers passing us, we would get very complimentary comments about our signs or an emphatic “thumbs-up” to signify support.

To our dismay, while driving through Connecticut, we received very emphatic and pronounced finger signals from two different drivers with Connecticut license plates — both within about an hour of each other.

We do not conclude from this that Connecticut has more rude and tasteless drivers than any of the other states we passed through.

A sign of intolerance?

However, these encounters did provoke us to consider how intolerant or closed-minded those two male drivers might be and how they would act when considering other issues in their communities that they might disagree with, such as gun control, environmental protection, gay marriage, privacy rights, and war vs. peace, to name a few.

We can only hope they read this letter to understand how disturbed and surprised we were about their rude and insensitive actions.

Herb Moyer and his wife Karen Moyer live in Exeter, N.H.