Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Say It – But Don’t Display It

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.


Dee said...

Good for you. And thank you, on behalf of my veteran husband, who would approve wholeheartedly.

Anonymous said...

Yet another reason HOA's are evil.

MonkeyGirl said...

At our local fall festival this weekend, I saw the same blatant display. You could proudly pick up your McCain/Palin sign but no where could you even find a sign for Obama/Biden. I doubt the local politco's would allow Obama signs.

Vicki said...

We lived in a house governed by an HOA and we had to review and agree to the HOA rules before buying the house. Homeowners in HOAs have the ability to change HOA rules if the majority chooses. The problem I found with my HOA is that most homeowners aren't proactive enough to change things.

Around here in the deep south the people with the Obama stickers on their cars are white people. The black people are wearing the shirts. So white people down here aren't worried about who they're voting for. We live in an HOA neighborhood so there are no signs.

Jayne said...

I read an editorial yesterday on the NY Daily news website about an idiotic woman who said of Obama, "he's an, uh, uh, Arab" at a McCain event. McCain's response began "no, he's a decent family man..." Mac should've gone a step further--whether he's black or Arab is immaterial. Race is not a reason not to vote for someone.

lath and plaster said...

We bought our own Obama signs a couple months ago online. We're finally seeing more pop up in our mostly white neighborhood. We live on the modest side of the nice part of town and go for walks through the fancy part. In front of one of the wealthy view homes, I saw a giant McCain sign that had to be 6ft x 5ft tall facing the main arterial. So Republican.

NV said...

Thanks, everyone! Appreciating all of the patriotism and open-mindedness here. Of course, I wouldn't expect anything else from all of you. :-)

Ann said...


Freakin' HOAs man!

Kimberly said...

you rock! put your sign up proudly. we can see beyond race in 2008. I believe it is OUR time.

NV said...

Thanks, ladies! The First Amendment trumps HOAs. :-)

Anonymous said...