As we (thankfully) near the end of yet another election cycle, I recently spent a little time thinking about politician-supporting yard signs.
I mean, I’ve always had strong negative opinions of them. But usually nothing deeper than “Hey, that’s a dumb sign.” But in this day and age, I think these silly signs deserve a little more thought.
This might sound strange, but I feel they’re similar to wearing a shirt with a giant Gucci logo. They’re tacky, bad for the environment, and are nothing more than a strange status symbol or membership card.
“I belong to this club.”
“I’m on this side, you’re on that side.”
We’re drawing lines in the sand between our neighbors and ourselves. Now your neighbor who might vote differently can make generalizations about you, and you about them. And all this without even saying a word.
What do you hope to accomplish with that yard sign? Surely it does nothing to further your cause. No one’s vote will change because they saw your giant sign.
Does it encourage conversation with your neighbor?
Or will it discourage conversation, since assumptions and opinions have already been made.
Instead of alienating our neighbors and building walls, let’s instead find ways to build bridges. Your yard signs offer no nuance and no context. Only conversation can do that. And once that conversation starts, you’ll find that you probably don’t care how your neighbor votes. Because you’ve had a glimpse at their heart, and they yours.