Monday, October 10, 2016

A War Of Words

Or Is That The First Amendment?

Well, here we are firmly entrenched in political warfare of the 2016 contentious Presidential Campaign. The majority of us feel trapped. Yes, we turn on our TV's and are repeatedly assaulted with nasty, political party dart-throwing commercials. We visit our usual social media sites only to be met with venomous nominee and party jabs and retweets. Or excessive "likes" and shares of barbed political comments.

Just Say NO!

Is it just me? Or is this political season excessively negative? I personally HATE politics. I do not choose to have political conversations with anyone..unless it is my spouse (behind closed doors and windows). But lately I have been noticing what seems to be such negative political behavior by the average person, that it seems to shut down others in expressing their political opinions, at least out loud. What happened to the days when people could have a friendly discussion and disagreement without feeling like they just got sucked into a "this may end our relationship" defensive argument? Is it just politics that generate this "agree with me, or look out" attitude?

A Bit O Sign Vandalism

Signs Of Discord

As a sign manufacturer, I am always interested in sign-related issues. I recently read an article about an older gentleman who decided to put out his political "candidate of choice " sign in his front yard. The man was not a person who had ever put out any type of political sign, or at least not for many many years. He explained that he was shocked when the police came to his door and gave him a warning to take the sign down (as it could only be put up 30 days before the election) or he would be fined $500.00 a day. There were further specifications that he was given as related to the size of the sign, the setback from the road, a bond payment required etc. 

In the sign industry we routinely see various rules within sign codes from municipality to municipality. Certainly, the political sign guidelines should be closely reviewed if a homeowner who is contemplating a political signage display of support for a candidate(s) in their yard. 

Apparently, a great number of the restrictions have been deemed as unconstitutional restraint on free speech when suits were filed in court by the ACLU. In Pennsylvania, the ACLU successfully sued and won six cases for illegal political sign guidelines. (Upper St. Clair in 1999; Westmoreland Co. in 2001; Erie County in 2002; The city of Philadelphia in 2004; East Stroudsburg in 2004 and Baldwin Borough in 2005).

Signs Of Stealing

If Thee Sign Offends Thee, Remove It

If one manages to display their political signs without invoking the wrath of their local township, they will do well to install 24/7 monitoring cameras to make sure they stay put, or at least to see who is "stealing" them, if they disappear. It is starting to be pretty commonplace to hear about political signs that are put into the ground on one day and are gone by the next day, or they get vandalized beyond recognition. 

Multiple news stories are highlighting the illegal taking of these signs by those people who just can't handle someone's free speech right to support their candidate of choice. There are even stories of those who have wired up their sign to deliver a shock to the person who tries to unlawfully remove it. 

Yes, folks the political season brings out the worst in everyone, or so it seems. Even if you are one of the most anti- political persons around, such as myself, you find yourself snarling over the entire political process we are forced to endure, ..and the embarrassingly awful behaviors people exhibit during this time.

Wired And Warned

So What Was The Message?

The message is that politics make people crazy in one way or another. If you would like Vital Signs to make some political signs for you (or other kinds), we are happy to do so. We have economical options and quantity discounts if you need a lot of signs. If you want a large sign or need it to last, we have a special anti-graffiti laminate we can use which can help protect the sign from being tagged by a vandal. If your municipality has strict guidelines regarding political signage, you might wish to research the law.

How Some People Feel

A simple yard sign of support is one of the least offensive things about this political season (regardless of who disagrees with it). If you wish to quietly voice your support for your candidate of choice, by placing a sign in your yard, you should be allowed to within the Free Speech legal guidelines or our country. Afterall, Freedom of Speech applies ALL YEAR round. 

I am going to be honest a sign company, we love making signs...but I will be happy when we get to November 8th and beyond.. 

May the candidate you are voting for...not disappoint!

             Call Vital Signs 

For All Of Your Signage Needs!   (412) 494-3308

1 comment:

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