Monday, October 20, 2008

Ms. Nat Goes to Washington Wearing a Violet* Hat

I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. --Voltaire

Anyone lived in a pretty how town (with up so floating many bells down) . . .--E.E. Cummings

In this country there is a town. A town that leans more red than blue. And in this more red than blue town there is a street that is political sign waving red. The street is one mile long and has multi million dollar wide lawn house after multi million dollar wide lawn house. And on this affluent red street lives the mayor of the town that leans more red than blue. And the mayor, of course, is red, like most of his neighbors--even the one across the street that, as rumor has it, is a little bit of a crooked city council man.

As you drive down the red street with the beautiful big houses and pass red sign after red sign you come to the widest lawn of all. The house on this lawn is modest by comparison even though once upon a time all the wide lawns on the street use to be this house's front, back and side lawns. That's right, even the mayor's and that crooked city council man's house used to be owned by the modest house with the widest lawn of all.

The thing that is different about this house, the one with the widest lawn, is that this house has a little blue sign in front of it.

Or rather it did.

The person who lives in the house with the widest lawn kept finding her little blue sign taken down and tossed in the bushes.

So she went and bought more blue signs and put them up.

After all, the other houses got to put up their red signs, shouldn't she get to put up her blue sign?

This is America right?

One would think.

But not on a red street. I guess blue just isn't done.

To discourage the blue sign stealing the person who thought blue devised a sign protection plan.

First it was grease on the sign to discourage touching the sign.

This did not discourage the sign taking down. The sign trashing and tossing in the bushes continued.

Next in the sign line of dense was push pins.

But the wily sign vandals just rearranged the push pins and stuck them a la voodoo doll like in the blue sign's namesake.

So the lady who thought blue went and bought more blue signs and pinned some to her magnolia trees, her fence and mailbox. She bought little tiny American flags and balloons with American flags on them and tied them on the blue signs.

And the signs were left alone.

For awhile.

Then the mayor had his annual mayor's ball.

A pig roast.

Oh dear, ironies abound!

And the next morning the blue sign carnage was severe. Even the balloons and flags were destroyed.

But all the little red signs remained perfectly intact. Especially those in the front of the mayor's yard and that rumored crooked city council man's lawn.

Isn't that a heart warming story? Doesn't it make you proud to be an American?

I am in that small percentage of undecided voters. This of course upsets my friends and my family members who are decided-- regardless which side of the fence they sit on. Most were decided a long time ago because they vote party lines. And admittedly, I do tend to lean one way but, well, I am just so upset by both choices that I'm seriously afraid to lean either way. I am teetering on a violet line and it is seriously hard for me to choose. Neither choice seems the right choice-- but each for very different reasons.

Truthfully, I am a little sick about all of it.

But what troubles me most is that if I even so much as mention to a friend or family member that I might be thinking about the candidate that is NOT of their choosing, well then I get a 'talking' to like I am some idiot who can not form her own intelligent opinion.

Just so you know, I take great offense at being told how to think--even if I might agree with you. It is one of the very reasons that I do not attend church. I prefer to stay away from the cult like thinking. It makes me very uncomfortable. I want to form my own thoughts, opinions and because of this I also try very hard to be respectful of others thoughts, opinions--even if I disagree.

The bottom line is I absolutely do not want to be told what to think or more specifically how to vote. We can still be friends (or enemies) even if I think differently from you.

It has just gotten too hostile and I refuse to be berated for something that I understand is one of my rights as a US citizen. That is why this is a democracy, right? We have a choice. We get to choose!

Even if we disagree with it.

When I do decide who I am going to vote for (I still have a few weeks to nail down my choice!)I am definitely not telling anyone. So don't ask. It isn't any of your business and my reasons for my choice probably will not mean that I was at all 100% behind the candidate anyway so we still won't agree. Heck, I'll be lucky if I can find 60% that I agree on with the candidate.

So please, let this post serve as a reminder that while you may not agree with other people's choice of presidential candidate you should still be respectful of their right to choose. Leave people's signs and bumper stickers alone. It is just an opinion and you know what they say about opinions . . .

Be grateful that you live in a country that allows you to have choices.

That's all. Tomorrow this blog will return to its regularly scheduled frivolity.

*note: red and blue make purple but I hate the color purple. No offense meant to Alice Walker though.


  1. So, i am curious. . . who is the blue house?

  2. Also?

    "Neither choice seems the right choice-- but each for very different reasons.

    Truthfully, I am a little sick about all of it.

    But what troubles me most is that if I even so much as mention to a friend or family member that I might be thinking about the candidate that is NOT of their choosing, well then I get a 'talking' to like I am some idiot who can not form her own intelligent opinion."

    Right there with you. Except that, while i support everyone's right to choose, I tend to have serious doubts about the intelligence of all the folks who are not torn by the choice they have to make. Which is like 80% of the population, and THAT is scary in and of itself. How does that large a portion of the population not find both of our main choices somewhat frightening in their own ways?

    We should sit down over beer and discuss politics one night. I think we would be more alike than you might think. And it has also come out from a few people I know recently that they are grappling with their choice, too. You are not alone, but i think like you, most people who are undecided are hesitant to discuss it with people for fear of the hated "being talked down to."

    The blue house is your mom, isn't it?

  3. actually the neighbor of the house with the little blue sign is in agreement and participates in trying to keep the little blue signs up. I believe we're up to about 10 - 15 signs being sabotaged at this point. Scary and sad-thank you for telling it so well Nat. Lala

  4. I have to strongly agree with you Nat. While most seem certain that "their" decision is the correct one, few seem concerned that they might be wrong. Or at least that there may be room for debate. Personally, I don't know the answer but I believe that neither party is all that they claim to be. BTW, I also agree with you on the "church" thing :).

  5. Could be a nice song..."Don't make my Brown Sign, Blue." Apologies for the song, "Don't make my brown eyes blue."

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  7. Anne, I do think we would agree and I also do not understand how people cannot be grappling with the choices. But I think the ones that are not have made their choice based on one hot button issue (whatever the issue) and are blind--or just don't care how the candidate stands on other issues.

    It is hard to write vagueness but since I am trying to avoid debate I can't be specific.

    And also for that reason I name no names but Lala's house is not the blue house. See her comment though.

    Lala I do regret not getting the pictures of the ongoing sabotage--especially the one with the push pins.

  8. Oooooh, I am right there with you. My whole family is decidedly for one candidate (and thinks those who vote for the other candidate are idiots!)! My husband is for the other candidate (que the heckling from my family)! And I am right here in the middle. I think we should just scrap the whole damn thing and start over - or maybe just go in a new direction altogether. This election sucks!

  9. Regardless of which way you might be leaning or being pushed, my concern is of a different nature.

    Whether you are red or blue, it should concern you that, more than likely, the media has successfully picked up a candidate and set him down right into the White House. The media has also created an economic panic, destroyed the airline industry, and even put a dent in my own livelihood.

    Ultimately, signs don't matter. Ignorance, on the other hand...

    Oh, and just don't vote Green cause that woman is CRAZY!

  10. Whew.

    I am glad that I am not the only one with this problem. I have a strong desire to vote early to avoid whatever apocalyptic lines await us on election day, but I still cannot come close to a decision on this one.

    I'm with you on the church thing there such thing as a house of worship where people do not force feed you their beliefs?!!?

  11. I did see a political bumper sticker that I loved:

    "If we stop voting, will they all just go away?"

    I am off to early vote right now. I think I will write in Joe the Plumber...

  12. It's truly sad that the party of tolerance, openeness, live and let live is really the party of oppression. They would rather shut up anyone who disagrees with them rather than celebrate the freedom we have to disagree.

    In history, political leaders or governments which acted like this were referred to as Facists, Nazis, Despots or Dictators. Yet today, the media and the Red (Dems) party actually have the gaul and audacity to label the Blue party as such.

    I spent 10 years protecting our right to free speech, thought and expression. As did my Father and his father and so on back to the Revolutionary War. Acts such as these make me sick.

    If you want to vote left and take us down a socialist path, that is your perogative. You have the freedom to do that. But I have the freedom and right to think different and scream it to the world.

    One must question, with that party and those people in charge, will we still have that freedom 10 yrs from now.

  13. I never can get those colors straight in my mind. Poor Mrs. Blue. If the economy weren't so sucky, I'd go buy her some more blue signs for her yard.

    Do you think it is kids or the city guy?

  14. Everyone I appreciate your opinions. Good to know that I am not alone in struggling with what is the right choice . . .

    Also, I need to say that I had my facts a bit wrong. Apparently the "crooked city council man" isn't actually a city council man. I was confused. He ran and I do think he got elected but they had a run off and he lost. Or something like that. He is "crooked" because of purported unethical business activities. Again, all second hand. Point is though that he is one of the ones with many "red" signs in his yard.

    Chris--I couldn't agree more on the role of the media. I really can't even watch TV anymore.

    Joe--all very good reasons as to why I want a "do over" with regards to the candidates. I just think we all deserve a lot better. Thanks for you comments ( and for serving!)

    Steph--It is definitely not kids. We have our theories on who is the vandals . . .

    Also, today the blue signs were back up with little notes on them that said "Tampering with this sign is Un-American." I think there were other notes but I had not the time to read them all.

    Finally, thanks for reading and for taking the time to voice your thoughts.

  15. Nat, I would like to apologize a bit. I should have been little less 'damning' of of my Democrat brothers. I tend to get a little hot about items like that and shouldn't have generalized so.

    Myself, I'm choosing the lesser of two evils. There wasn't a good choice this go around.

    I also think both the parties have strayed from the path, from thier ideals and what they should be doing for this country.

    Both parties have chosen power and greed above what's good for this country.

  16. Whatever you decide, just make sure you vote.

  17. Thanks for your post. I am decidedly decided, but completely agree that people should be left alone, whether they are red, blue, or somewhere in between.

  18. Okay, so I am really confused.

    Do you believe this happens just on so called "red-streets"? I mean this is a sort of activity so to say that has happened for many, MANY years.

    I live in Illinois and let me tell you one thing. This is a SOLID and I mean solid blue state. Many of my friednds had their "red-signs" stolen. I mean it is the nature of the game. Yes it is a game for these people and they find it fun. Putting grease and pins on signs only makes it more fun for these people.

    So I dont mean to come off angry but this is something that is part of the norm.