Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Pointlessness of Political Lawn Signs

I am very much done with this political season—have been for months now. I’m done with the divisive political Facebook posts from friends on both sides of the aisle who clearly need to toss back a glass of wine and lighten up already. I’m done with the endless barrage of political ads on television that tell you nothing about the candidate they want you to vote for, but make the candidate they don’t want you to vote for appear like a less well-adjusted version of Charles Manson. I’m done with the countless Saturday morning robo-calls from my own political party that make me want to vote for candidates from the other party out of spite. But most of all, I’m done with the political lawn signs.

I know of all the things I mentioned, lawn signs probably seem the most innocuous, but for some reason they bother me the most. At least the other forms of political expression I mentioned above attempt to convey some sort of information. Yes, the information is usually biased, skewed, faulty, and otherwise not very helpful, but at least some sort of message is coming across. What information does a lawn sign provide? A name. That’s pretty much it. Just a name.

I don’t mean to offend people with lawn signs, but really, what’s the point?

Now that you’ve shown me the candidate’s name what would you like me to do with that microscopic bit of information? If it’s the candidate that I like do you want me to pull over, ring your bell, and shake your hand? Congratulations, you’re just like 60,000,000 other people who are going to vote for the same dude.

What if your sign has the name of the candidate I don’t like? Are you hoping that seeing the name of the guy I’m not going to vote for as I drive past your house is going to throw me into such a blind rage that I may crash my car into a tree, slip into unconsciousness, and not be able to function until November 7th when it’s too late to vote?

Ah, I know. You think that I may be an undecided voter. You think that despite the fact that I’ve seen your candidate’s name approximately 3.8 billion times over the past year, this one instance of seeing his name will throw me over the edge and cause me to say, “Okay, this settles it. This person who I’ve never met before and I know absolutely nothing about is going to vote for Candidate X, and since they have such lovely gardenias in front of their house, I guess I’ll vote for him too.”

Not going to happen. I looked it up and found out that in the history of democratic elections not one person has ever attributed their voting choice to seeing someone’s lawn sign. But hey, don’t let that stop you from proudly displaying yours. I mean there’s a first time for everything, right? Maybe if you take extra good care of your sign, and you wax and polish it every night before you go to bed, someone driving by will be so impressed with your lawn sign that it will influence their vote. And maybe that one vote will cause there to be a majority of votes in your state for your candidate! And Maybe Your State Will Be The State That Tilts The Electoral Map To Your Candidate!! AND MAYBE YOU AND YOUR LAWN SIGN WILL BE DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR SENDING YOUR CANDIDATE TO THE WHITE HOUSE!!!

But probably not.