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MAY 23, 2009   

Only in America?

"Truth Truck" on the roadI thought I got my own picture of this rolling billboard, taken through the windshield of my car as we drove from Wooster to Cleveland today. Digital gremlins thought otherwise.

I had to resort to a quick Google search for "Truth Truck" and found my guy and his vehicle.

The back of the truck as we saw it today had a message calling the President of Notre Dame University and President Obama "evil men." The side looked like this except I think that Bill + HIllery have been replaced by a different abomination.

Since the "Truth Truck" brought up Obama and Notre Dame, I'm going to quote a couple of things the President said on May 17th:

As citizens of a vibrant and varied democracy, how do we engage in vigorous debate? How does each of us remain firm in our principles, and fight for what we consider right, without demonizing those with just as strongly held convictions on the other side?

Nowhere do these questions come up more powerfully than on the issue of abortion.
Understand—I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away. No matter how much we may want to fudge it—indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory—the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.

Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.

This is asking a lot in the American I know. Heck, it's asking a lot among the people I know (including me, of course). But I can't tell you how happy I am to hear the President of the United States saying these things. The previous eight years of absolutism and self-righteousness corrupted nearly all of us. We forgot how to have a political conversation. Now the President is challenging us to bring back some degree of civility in how we debate each other. Won't be easy, but I think it's worth a try.

[Full text and video of President Obama's speech]

Just an American thing?

These mobile billboards plastered with religious slogans strike me as very American. I've seen similar cars and trucks before, always related to Jesus in some way. If you have seen something similar in Europe or another part of the world, please let me know by clicking the "Comment" link below.

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