Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's a Sign....

Do we agree that all Americans are free to speak their minds in public? Can we agree with James Madison, who proposed the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution, that anything inappropriately expressed by an individual will be subject to the natural course of justice according to criminal law? Last I checked, having a campaign sign in my front yard is not illegal. Furthermore...I just revisited the Constitution this morning, and it is still my right to express my views: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Even so, someone in my neighborhood thinks the Obama/Biden signs need to go. Another one was taken from the front yard sometime before 7 this morning. I'm trying to keep my outrage in check. After all, it's just a $2.50 sign and there is so much more that really matters to worry about. Bigger rats to kill, my friend Anita would say. But the rats who continue to think it's okay to grab my sign off its frame have really gotten under my skin. A couple of months ago, after we'd lost two signs in two days, I fired off a letter to the editor of my local newspaper reminding folks that a vote for freedom, country, mom, and apple pie meant I could have a Texans for Obama sign in my yard. Here are a few email responses I received after the letter was published: Here's a hint. Put up a sign that is reflective of what a true Texan thinks. True Texans are likely offended by that sign. However, if you put one up that said Idiots for Osama it would be left alone. I imagine that whomever is removing your signs is simply helping you obey the community rules, i.e. removing trash. Wow!!! Your neighbors object to garbage on your lawn and you are surprised? It is so ironic that you mention freedom of speech, yet Comrade Pelosi and Comrade Obama will work to re-implement the so-called "freedom doctrine" which will eliminate radio freedom of speech. Nothing fans my determination like rudeness. So, for a couple of months our sign has been "guarded" by lights that come on when someone walks by. (I'm married to a creative genius who is also motivated by having his rights violated.) In addition to the lights, the sign is attached to fishing line that pulls a switch and rings a bell if someone yanks on it. But, we dared to put a second sign on the other side of the lawn. Unprotected. It's really not the missing sign that bothers me. It's the spirit of meanness here in my upwardly mobile suburban neighborhood that leaves me raw. These are my neighbors: people walking by with their dogs, I presume, or running by pushing strollers, or just strolling by feeling annoyed by the plethora of Obama signs scattered about in this typically conservative GOP stronghold. What does it mean when we cannot even tolerate our neighbor's yard signs in an election season? This morning, I'm imagining a new sign on my front lawn. One in flashing neon that reads: I did not steal your yard signs in 2000 or 2004. I have not taken them this year. I have not ripped the smug bumper stickers from your cars. I have respected your waving flags, even when they have been hoisted in hate. I have endured 8 years of your president. It is my turn to hope. Please, leave my sign alone. Oh, and peace. PEACE.

3 comments:

travis said...

my mom always tells me how proud she is of your sign...my own parents have never put one up in their own yard for whatever reason (maybe because she teaches out of her home, i dont know), but I think they both have sort of adopted your sign as their own, and feel that your persistence is something they wish they possessed.

Gay said...

How sad is this? Do they think taking your sign will change your vote? Are they afraid that showing your support for change will make others stop and think? My son and his family also live in an upwardly mobile community - after hearing from me about your signs being stolen - they have zip tied theirs (Obama/Biden) to the front porch railing. So far mine has been left alone. Keep being persistant, you will win in the end.

Mama de la Paz said...

As my friend Carol reminded me...they can take my sign, but they can't take my vote.

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