Yes, Sometimes War IS the Answer

Daylin Leach
4 min readFeb 23
Photo by Brennan Leach

I’ve never been a huge fan of bumper stickers. They tend to bring nothing but trouble. How many people have been decapitated because they tailgated the car in front of them trying to read a bumper sticker printed in newspaper-sized type? Probably not a lot. But even zero is a problem. Am I right?

Most bumper stickers, even legible ones, are odd. For example, I’m glad you enjoyed the loaded nachos at “Shorty’s Bar and Grill, Paramus, New Jersey”, but do I really need to read about it while stuck behind you at a red light in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania?

Some try to be funny with their stickers. “I’m so gay I can’t even drive straight” was a recent one I saw. But as a former comedian, the payoff was in the laugh. And you won’t even know if people are laughing at the joke plastered to the back of your SUV, unless you are constantly looking in your rearview mirror, hoping to catch people convulsing. But even then, they may be laughing, or they may be having a seizure. And how safe is that? See, we’re already back to the beheading problem.

Some bumper stickers are just dumb. Especially the political ones. Admittedly, it’s difficult to put a well-thought out, nuanced treatise on…say…monetary policy on a tiny adhesive strip. Not impossible, but difficult. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop people from trying to…what?…change people’s minds on complex issues as they drive? “Honey, you know how I used to be against saving the whales? Well, I saw a sticker on an Audi that says we SHOULD save them. I never thought of it that way before!. I now see things in an entirely new way!”

One of the most misguided bumper stickers is one I’ve seen repeatedly throughout the years. “War is Not the Answer!”. It’s flippant, not very well thought-out, and in many cases, just plain wrong.

To be clear, I generally prefer peace to war, just as I generally prefer lobster rolls to spinal stenosis. One is undeniably better than the other. Historically, I have opposed the wars we fought in Viet Nam, Iraq, Grenada, Panama, etc. And while I am not as far left on foreign affairs issues as I am on social or economic issues, I am still decidedly on the left side of the spectrum.

But I don’t oppose all wars. I supported us fighting in World War 2, Afghanistan, and now Ukraine. That’s…

Daylin Leach

Long-time state House and Senate member, author of PA’s Medical Marijuana law, also creator of “shit-gibbon!” Comedian, professor, father of 2 awesome children!