If the constant fighting on your Facebook feed and uncomfortable conversations with the relatives hadn't already keyed you into the fact that election season is upon us, surely a car trip to just …
If the constant fighting on your Facebook feed and uncomfortable conversations with the relatives hadn't already keyed you into the fact that election season is upon us, surely a car trip to just about anywhere in the county will make it abundantly clear.
Election signs are part and parcel of every campaign season, and this year they seem to be more prevalent than ever.
Is it because it's a presidential election year? Because of the particular heat of this year's election? Is it to make up for the fact that many folks won't be heading to the actual polls to vote and want to feel heard?
Or maybe it just feels like there are more signs this year because everything in 2020 feels bigger, bolder, and more challenging.
Whatever the truth of the matter, the wealth of signs have brought with them a more insidious problem: Sign theft.
Reports are popping up right and left of signs disappearing in the middle of the night, of signs set up only to be gone just a few hours later, of signs replaced only for the replacements to also go missing.
Some property owners have gotten creative, posting signs that are only tangentially related to the election or hand lettering their own warnings that stolen signs will equal cash donations to their candidate. In other words: Go ahead, steal it. You're only going to make my candidate stronger.
Like most Americans, I have ardently strong feelings about the fate of our country's future. I know who I will vote for, and the signs for their opponents make me actively cringe.
I understand the temptation to make signs go poof in the night. But I know too that the beauty of our country is that our First Amendment rights protect our rights to support one candidate over the other and to voice that support in speech and with signs.
Stealing a sign is actively taking away someone's constitutional rights. It's actively taking our country backward.
I stand up for the rights of anyone to put an election sign in their yard, no matter who they support, because that is emblematic of the America I want to live in.
I don't have to support your candidate. You don't have to support mine. But we do have to support each other's rights to free speech.
That's the America we should live in.
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