Thursday, April 29, 2010

Damaged Goods: the short, unhappy life of political lawn signs

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 1:52 AM

I've always looked on the political lawn sign as an innocuous, and not that effective, political statement. A "Vote for Ralph-the good guy" lawn sign probably won't sway a lot of people to vote for Ralph but none-the-less shows that he has a few supporters in the community.

Because our house is on a busy corner, we've had countless candidates for local and state offices ask if they could put lawn signs on our property over the years. Not a problem. The signs went up, stayed up and were removed on election night.

Now that's changed. Recently signs pounded into the ground are, within hours, torn out, destroyed or simply vanish.

Who's to blame? I have no idea. Why the sudden change in attitude toward political lawn signs? Again, I have no idea.

What I do know that political signs that plenty of much bigger than the classic lawn sign appear on ranchette properties between here and Sisters. They never seem to get torn down, destroyed or vanish. And all the ranchette and big property signage is of a particular political slant.

So one might extrapolate, if one was of a conspiratorial nature, that if your lawn sign, fence sign, any sign is for anyone who might be considered moderate or even, heaven forbid, liberal, that that signage is fair game for destruction.

But let's not assume that and just say that the general anger among some voters is causing them to take out their frustration on lawn signs. Taking it out on signs without regard to the property owner's rights guaranteed under the Constitution to display them.

But let's not get into a constitutional discussion because as we're finding out property rights and civil rights make for good conversation but don't apply if you disagree with someone who's angry with the government.

So what to do? I suggested to one candidate that he put one of his lawn signs about 25 feet up in a stately old pine tree on our property. That way, I surmised the sign might remain.

Then I realized that even if the sign were 100 feet in the air, someone would spend all night climbing the tree to remove it or blast away at it with a shotgun, or worse burn down the tree to get that sign down.

So, I think we'll remain sign-less until the upcoming election is over.

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