There they are were, in a row — all nine of them. All yards signs showing support for my presidential candidate on my property, during this national election season. They were definitely a contrast from all the other signs in Lakeview. They stood against the tide of some 78% of this county’s registered voters. There they were — until they weren’t — until only two remained. I live in the Goldmohr Terrace section of Lakeview and not on a highway, thus I was surprised to see the signs disappear. “Oh it’s just kids,” I was told, as if to lessen the offenses of theft and trespassing. (Of course “kids” are usually the first to be blamed, aren’t they?) Nevertheless, and no matter who stole my signs, they are gone, as if my choice can just be erased too.
WHY DOES IT MATTER? These are just signs. In the larger scheme of things, like a pandemic which has killed over 220,000 of us, and an historic, destructive fire season, the theft of these signs seems insignificant.
WHY DOES IT MATTER? It matters, because the expression of my voter preference for Joe Biden is MY First Amendment right. It is not hyperbole to say that many people in this country gave their lives to protect this right, and I ask you, the reader, to recall how this country was started and how free speech is woven into its very core. So, IT DOES MATTER! To stifle my free speech is to betray the most cherished principle of the America.
Who would think that the theft of my yard signs brings shame, not only to the thieves, but to everyone who has forgotten the words of our Founders and who thinks that it doesn’t matter.
Sandra K. Watts