Now that the election is over, we might reflect on those who expressed such outrage at the presence of campaign signs in public places. The complaints generally noted (with a bit of an elitist sniff) that the signs were in violation of city ordinances and maybe even state laws.

Personally, I revel in the campaign signs. They are an example of the vibrant political dialog in our town. The signs range in color and design, hoping to capture your attention and pique your interest in the candidate they emblazon. Some are clearly more design-worthy than others, but taken in all, they are like confetti spread about during Fiesta. Vibrant and colorful. And here we are less than a week later and they are gone. Like the spring flowers in the desert, they bloom and disappear in a relatively short season.

This won’t calm the bluenoses who rail about their presence every campaign season. But isn’t it interesting that they take no similar umbrage with the plethora of illegal, oversized real estate for sale signs that regularly pockmark our neighborhoods, nor the permission allowed real estate companies to deluge our streets and intersections with innumerable “Open House” signs each weekend? Neither do they complain about other tacky items that regularly come and go, such as Halloween yard decorations, Christmas lights, autumn harvest scenes, or 4th of July bunting. And what about the yard sale signs affixed to telephone poles each weekend?

All of which makes me suspect that though the complainers couch their objections in legal righteousness, they are really objecting to the political content of the signs. This, I think, is misguided. The First Amendment seems more important than a local ordinance designed to further someone’s view of aesthetic values.

So please let’s take a deep breath and enjoy the next bloom of political signs. They are a wonderful and joyful reminder of our democracy. – Glen Mowrer


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