I live in a largely Democratic county, an almost rabidly Democratic county. Signs during election season, particularly with a presidential race at stake, are as sure as death and taxes. It’s not uncommon to see 10 or more signs in a single front yard. And vacant lots? Usually, you can barely see any ground for all the signs.
With just three weeks before Election Day, I’ve been marveling at political signs – or the lack of them – in my neighborhood. Oh, they’re there alright. Mostly for county board chairman, our local county board members, and a state representative. Notice anything important that’s missing?
Yeah, no presidential signs. This is unheard of!
They’re starting to appear, ever so slowly. About a week or so ago, I saw the first ones spring up for McCain/Palin. On my way home, I’ve counted about 10 so far.
I’ve seen a few Obama signs. Those, however, were confined to areas with largely black populations. Areas outside my city limits. You see, I live in a neighborhood that is 98 to 99 percent white. In fact, the whole city itself can’t have more than a 10 percent African American population. Are you starting to see a pattern here? I know I am.
I live on a main thoroughfare. My yard is prime real estate for politicians. Every year for 22 years someone has knocked on the door – often multiple times – asking to put up signs. Mind you, we’ve had signs in the yard only ONCE. (And that was the last election in 2004.) That’s because I worked for the local newspaper until 2000. While it was something we were never told you couldn’t do, it was understood that you wouldn’t. I can see that. All in the interest of journalistic integrity and impartiality.
This year, no one has been by. Our Democratic party heads are standing with their arms folded, whistling, I guess, until Election Day. What the hell?! Why aren’t you guys out putting up signs?!
Do I have to tell you why? Somehow, I don’t think so. It saddens me that in 2008 to see such a blatant case of racism. You can’t tell me that that isn’t the real explanation for this uncharacteristic lack of support.
But last night, I got some encouragement on the way home. I saw two Obama signs. So, I know the signs are out there to be had. For all my encouragement though, I was disheartened last night by a report on the local news about a homeowner’s association PROHIBITING signs in yards, including political signs.
Excuse me, but when did the HOA start paying these peoples’ taxes?! I understand the intent but I would think that for a few months every few years, people could deal with the signage. That report got me all riled up. Did Constitutional protection of First Amendment rights evaporate and I just didn't know it?
Since my local party representatives can’t seem to make their way to me, I guess I’m going to have to make my way to them, and collect my sign. I’d love to see some HOA try to stop me from getting my d*mn sign and putting it in my d*mn yard at This D*mn House.
A whole lot of people have died in this country’s more than two-century history to make sure I can do that. Their efforts won’t be in vain.