Sunday, September 28, 2008

Overthinking the yard sign

The McCain-Palin signs have started to pop up around our neighborhood. There are a few Obama-Biden ones, too, but not as many.

I'm on record as being a strong Obama supporter. So what am I waiting for, with the sign? I think about this all the time when I'm biking around town. I've gone back and forth 100 times about whether or not to get a sign.

It's not that I'm ashamed to proclaim my choice. It's not that I'm afraid someone will steal my sign, like Magpie's. It's not even that I don't want to be perceived as a stark raving liberal (which, let's face it, I am).

It's not that I don't want to be confronted. In fact, my fear is that I wouldn't be confronted, that I wouldn't have a chance to explain why I think Obama is the best choice for our country. The fact is this is a small town. Many of my friends and neighbors are staunch Catholics. For them the election revolves solely around the abortion issue.

What about the death penalty, I say. What about the war? What about the poor, the homeless, the immigrants? These are all high priorities for the Catholic church as well. What about the fact that unless you're a millionaire, I'll bet you that million that your taxes will go up in a McCain administration?

That's a lot to fit on one little yard sign.

This still feels like a big fat rationalization to me. But I did put a sign up on my blog.

It's a start.

19 comments:

GHD said...

Oh man, MM! I'm right there with you.

We're also Catholic and for every election, we've received a "reminder" from our church about the right to life being paramount to any other issues.

While I agree whole heartily, I just can not ignore everything else.

Protecting our environment, improving health care, and providing education (just to name a few) are just as important.

Lady M said...

For bumper stickers and such, I get worried that there are crazies on the "other" side and they'd be malicious to my house, car, children, etc.

Shonda Little said...

Hey, I'm a proud Obama Momma living in a sea of Red. THat only fires me up more.
When they tell me they think he is weak on security, I remind them first that I can see the Cherokee Nation (I like in Oklahoma) from my porch, that don't make me Henry Kissinger. Then I tell them at war is like marriage: when you choose to marry once person, you ineffectively chose not to marry another. And when you chose to deploy troops and resources into, I don't know, fucking Iran, you chose not to have them available if relations with China continue to grow tense.
I then remind them that I don't give a fuck what who says what about taxes: THEY WILL BE RAISED. And, how to do I know this with all certainty? Easily, because each penny spent on Iraq has been borrowed from China and, now that our economy has started to melt into a creditless nightmare, they want some of their money back. I think this should be a lesson to the majority of Americans who supported this war when it started. This is the first time in history that we have given tax cuts during war time and it has led to a crisis. So, if you support a war, fucking support the war. That does NOT include putting a magnet on your car.

Kate said...

TOTALLY with ya on this post. I have an Obama T-Shirt and a sticker that is in our window. I think I need to get one of that swanky buttons for my blog, too. I hear the yard signs will probably take a while to ship, so what I'm doing is probably scanning the sticker and making one of my own. My friend ordered a sign quite some time ago and it still hasn't arrived.

I find Christians to mostly be contradicting when it comes to the issues. They just keep talking about this abortion issue... look, let's face it, nobody WANTS an abortion whether you're pro or not, it's about having the choice in cases where it's necessary.

And this is from one Catholic to another... I'm a product of 12 years of Catholic school brainwashing.

Patois said...

I'd be pretty safe in my neck of the woods. The McCain supporters, they're the rare ones around here. That said, I won't be putting up a yard sign. (Even if, as Kate points out, it would arrive in time.) Two adults live in the house, and we just need to sometimes agree to disagree. (And, no, he's not pro-McCain; he's anti-everyone. I'll be his write-in candidate again this year.)

JGH said...

I went to PA this weekend to knock on doors and try to secure votes for Obama in an "up for grabs" Philly neighborhood. Someone in the campaign office there said they're no longer sending you yard signs unless you live in a swing state! I did get 2 bumper stickers though! My husband refuses to put his on his car for fear of vandalism from "McCain crazies" I say, let the Obama flag fly!!

Magpie said...

I know - I don't do bumper stickers. And my sign? It was non-partisan, at least on the surface. The crazy thing is that my town is as blue as they get...

And honestly? How many minds are you going to change because of a yard sign? Though maybe you'd dredge up some fellow travelers.

RookieMom Whitney said...

I live in Berkeley, CA and there are so many Obama signs that I've not put one up, thinking, what's the point? Who am I showing this sign to? I do want a tshirt, though, as a keepsake for this moment in time. (I am envious that my sister has a John Kerry tshirt) Just looking for the perfect one.

apathy lounge said...

Well...McCain's been a supporter of stem cell research and in many people's minds that's akin to abortion. It's what makes him unpopular (pre-Palin) with the fundamentalists, etc. So, you could just say that the election is bigger for you than one issue and leave it at that. If they're willing to sacrifice the economy, another war and our position as a pro-torture country because of the right to choose? Well...they can do it, but they should be ashamed. Don't feel that you have to explain your vote any more than anyone else. You don't.

I'm a proud Obama Democrat in the Red state of Texas and we had our Kerry/Edwards signs stolen THREE TIMES during the last election. We just keep buying extras and bringing ours in at night.

Leeanthro said...

My husband and I saw a "Vote for Pedro" sign yesterday and I said "We've got to get one of those!"

I never really think that signs make a difference. But then again my mind is usually already made up.

But when I see someone with Republican bumper stickers and yard signs, I mutter under my breath "Idiots."

Binkytown said...

I have an Obama shirt. We live near a university and no matter what kind of sign goes up, people pull them out. Rude.

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

I am pro-choice and it's important to me, but holy hell, I would absolutely give it up for many many other things: the health of the economy, health care, the environment... I totally hear what you are saying with people who that one issue is all it's about. It is strange and it freaks me out, frankly. It's so myopic.

And my yard sign is on backorder. ;) But I have had an Obama sticker on my car for months. My HUSBAND on the other hand, refuses to put a sticker on his car, because he says it will make him feel like a sheep. whatever. BAAAAAAHHH.

mamatulip said...

This is a really, really good post, MM.

Kimberly said...

My neighbors have a McCain sign in their yard and ever since it went up I've wanted to get an Obama sign just to balance them out. Why don't I? I guess it's because in this very contentious age, I worry some whack job will vandalize my house, shoot my cat, or slash my tires for it. Seriously. How sad is that?

jen said...

good lord, i always forget how lucky i am to live where every sign has Obama's name on it. how easy to take for granted it's not that easy everywhere else.

the mama bird diaries said...

Put up the sign! :)

beth - total mom haircut said...

So, Hubby and I were just talking about whether or not we should put up an Obama sign just last night. We went through many pros and cons and talked about whether or not we really felt a sign in a yard does anything as far as swaying the vote, or if it is just to feel like we're part of "the club." I'm not sure where we left it, but I'm pretty sure we'll have one up soon...and I'll have pictures of it on my blog the day we do. And I LUURVE your blog button...

Alex Elliot said...

It's not that there's anything wrong with a sign, but I feel that one good conversation with someone with a different view point is worth about 3 months worth of having a sign in your front lawn. I think a lot of times the signs make people defensive and not want to discuss politics at all whereas a conversation with someone who you know politics can be a lot easier and more meaningful. On the flip side I've had a couple conversations this week with fellow democrats who have completely different viewpoints than me. Quite interesting.

mothergoosemouse said...

This topic is deserving of its own post over at MGM, but suffice it to say - yeah. Just yeah.

And that Kyle wants to put up a Bob Barr sign.