Monday, October 17, 2005

The Sign Wars

How much time and effort goes into blanketing our roadways every year with hundreds upon hundreds of political signs? And, perhaps more telling, how much time and effort goes into opposing political organizations tearing one another signs down?

Welcome to the nitty-gritty silliness of politics. The Sign Wars are likely not going anywhere, no matter how many residents complain each year about the untidy assemblage of signs that continue to litter neighborhoods long after elections have been won or lost.

At the end of the day, though, does anybody actually vote for a candidate because that person's signs are more heavily splattered along jughandles than another candidate's?

I know that some citizens (like my dear mother) walk into voting booths and decide that one candidate's name looks "friendlier" than another's, but do the Sign Wars legitimately have any affect on that decision? I tend to think not.

The Sign Wars are, at heart, a turf war. This part of town is mine, that part of town is yours, etc. It's also a show of force, i.e. I have the manpower and the money to put up five times more signs than you and tear down your signs at a faster rate than you can tear down mine.

At the end of the day, the Sign Wars are an effort in futility that allows local parties to rouse the troops and unify their organization for a common effort.


At 11:12 AM, Blogger Frank said...

The signs should be outlawed. Besides the obvious unflattering look that the give the roadside, they can be outright dangerous. Is there any thought given as to where they are placed? In Middletown where I live I can think of two intersections where they block the view of oncoming traffic: Cherry Tree Lane and Kings Highway, and Taylor Lane and Rte 35.

I wonder if there is any liability if they cause an accident by blocking the view of oncoming traffic?

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Jackie Corley said...

Signs are supposed to be placed three feet from roadways to prevent obstruction of traffic. Sometimes it's followed, sometimes it's not.

You're right, though--in Middletown the signs are all over the place.

At 8:19 PM, Blogger Romulus Augustus said...

The crazy part is that a gentleman was recently arrested in middletown for stealing the road signs. He allegedly claimed that he was originally from the party he was stealing the signs from, but later recanted. Aren't there better things that people can do with their free time?

At 2:56 PM, Blogger MyManMisterC said...

In a matter of time, signs, direct mail, and phonebanking will be obselete in terms of getting the word out on candidates.

So you only have to deal with it for a few more years.

At 11:58 PM, Blogger Frank said...

The guy in Middletown who was stealing the signs is my hero. He should be commended.

On a serious note, can't we outlaw these silly things? Are any votes won by these signs? Oh how they clutter the landscape.

Also I was under a misunderstanding. I thought there was a candidate in Middletown by the name of Bright Bill Wilkins. Now he sounds like a winner to me.


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