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A “Sign” of the Times?

I placed a political sign in my yard, have given signs to friends and have placed a few in public areas where allowed. To date, 17 signs have been taken down Here’s why that makes me happy.

A “Sign” of the Times?

This is the first year I have placed a political sign in my yard.  In the process, I have also given signs to friends who have asked and placed a few in public areas where allowed.

To date, 17 signs have been taken down and here’s why that makes me happy:

1.  It tells me that the candidate I support must be making an impact…otherwise, why would people take his sign down?  His success appears to be a source of concern for those supporting the other candidate.  Still, I’d prefer it they would not take down signs.  They could put up more signs supporting their candidate instead.

2.  It gives me an opportunity to have meaningful conversations with my children about the political process, freedom of speech and the nature of people.  While we have those conversations regardless, these incidents lend themselves to time appropriate discussions.  My kids ask:  Why did somebody take the sign down?  Who took the sign down?  Did they take signs down for other candidates?  Does this mean they hate the candidate you support?  Do the people who did that not like us?

3.  While it doesn’t make me happy, it reminds me that people will break the law and trespass to show their disapproval as they do so when they walk on private property and when they steal.

4.  For every sign that is taken, a new one goes up in the same spot and motivates me to share extra signs with others.

5.  This behavior reminds me (unfortunately) how some people from a party espousing kindness, supportiveness and fairness can sometimes be mean-spirited, uncaring , dishonest and disrespectful…especially of views that are contrary to their own.  (This behavior ironically runs counter to the inclusiveness they supposedly value.)

6.  A friend of mine who also had signs taken down now places a small sticker on his sign that state:  “If you take this sign down, I will make a $20 donation to this candidate and put another sign up.”  My friend has made several donations.

7.  I am not naive and I do realize that elections can be vicious and mean-spirited.  Some candidates and supporters act out in inappropriate and disrespectful ways.  I just didn’t expect it from neighbors in my community.  Notice I have not named which candidate I support?  You can guess, but it doesn’t matter.

Michael Poll

Resident, Highland Park, IL

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Daniel October 24, 2012 at 04:58 PM
I always thought these signs are a blight to the City. Als0, I don't really care who my neighbors are supporting.
Chilawyer October 25, 2012 at 04:13 AM
And you have just littered this board with an eyesore -- narrow-minded, anti-democractic thinking. If you don't believe in the First Amendment for yard signs, then don't exercise it on a message board.
Richard H Heineman Jr October 31, 2012 at 05:15 PM
I have no idea if this is what happened, but were your signs in the right of way? If so, they may have removed by the city. All signed removed by the city are available next to the electronic recycling center on half day road.
Michael November 05, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Thanks for info Richard. From front yards. Just had another one taken from my property yesterday afternoon.
Scott November 05, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Let's be honest, I probably don't support the candidate that you had on your sign, but I'm 100% behind your right to have that sign and post it wherever you'd like on your property. If a party can't win because of its merits, (which is naive, I know), then no amount of sign pulling-down is going to hide that. Such reductionist thinking is the product of a binary system that only gives a voter two practical choices, (or three, I guess, since not voting is an option, too) which forces political debate into arguments that are far too simple. Governing is hard work. It's NOT simple. It should get debated, and because it's way easier to say, "democrats want to give handouts" or "republicans only support the rich" we miss huge swaths of what government actually DOES to help make our society run. And pulling down a sign because you don't agree with what it says? Doesn't help us understand each other's positions any more deeply, doesn't help a society wrestle with the truly important issues, doesn't improve the level of political discourse. It's a dispiriting comment on the tone of political conversation in our community.

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