Afraid to Come out of the Closet?

"I don't dare put a Romney bumper sticker on my car."

"I'm too scared to put a Romney sign in front of my house."

For those of you who live in solid red states, this is probably not an issue. But for everyone else, it often is. The sentiments above have become a common refrain in comments on many conservative blogs.

People are scared. They're scared someone will key their car or slash their tires (or worse). They're scared someone will damage their home (or worse).

What to do?

The preference (based on my non-scientific study of blog comments in recent months) is to play it safe and avoid any risk.

I can't say if this is wise, or not. It may well be. But the underlying fear is worth noting. In essence, we have now become a culture where the progressive left will resort to all manner of thuggery when confronted with opposing views. This is, needless to say, outrageous.

It begs the question of how to cope with this new America we find ourselves in.

How do civil people confront intimidation and violence?

Thinking about it intellectually, and removing for a moment real life concerns for personal safety and protection of one's property, it seems undesirable to scurry under a rock and hide, for that will embolden the opponent even more. And that is not how free people live.

So getting back to real life concerns about safety, the question remains about what to do. Are we at a point in America where we must draw a line in the sand and fearlessly stand up for what we believe? And in so doing, are we willing to deal with the consequences of doing so? At what point does one take the risk because to do any less is ensuring a terrible fate? Or is it better to be realistic and avoid a terrible fate for oneself and one's family? Where does the national tenor come from? Above? Or below? Are we waiting for those in power to shift this awful norm that has overwhelmed our nation? Or is it up to each individual to take a stand and not rely on powerful voices to make it safe to do so?

Have you taken the risk to expose your political preference by coming out of the closet as a Romney supporter? (And please don't take this as an invitation to vent your frustrations with Romney. Our grievances have all been aired ad nauseum. We're moving on...) Were there any negative consequences? Were you able to rally others in your community so you could make a collective statement? Please share your thoughts, experiences, and ideas.