By Larry Oscar
With the increased amount of political activity our roads have been littered with all shapes and sizes of “Vote for Me ” yard signs. I counted 23 yard signs at one intersection alone.
What is note worthy is how they seem to magically appear overnight. They are kind of like the toad stools that appears after a recent rain. I’ll be glad when this is all over and the attack of these pests recedes into the sunset. What is interesting is how the candidates try to “Out-sign” their opponent. You can find four or five of the same sign within five feet of each other. I got news for you. If they spend that much money wastefully by placing four or five of the same sign in one spot, just think how they will spend your tax dollars.
We should vote for the candidate that didn’t litter the road with their signs. What would even be better would be for the bozo politician running for office to fix a pothole in the road with his sign money. He could spray paint over the fixed pothole and say “Vote for me, because I fixed this pothole.” That way we could kill two birds with one stone. And for sure we would vote for any bozo politician who fixes potholes rather than litters our roads.
Stealing political yard signs is illegal, but do we really want our police force spending time guarding these stupid signs. We should charge the politicians a fee for guarding their signs. Maybe they would plant fewer signs if they had to pay a sign security fee. What amazes me is what you don’t see. There was not one single negative yard sign. It seems to me that with all the negative radio and TV adds that there ought to be at least one negative yard sign.
How about a sign that reads “Don’t vote for Fisher cause he sucks eggs!” Now that would lighten up your day when driving to and from work wouldn’t it? “Did you know Bob Smith, who is running for Governor, is sleeping with your wife?” Or maybe “County Commissioner Sam Wilson has jock itch!” I think there is a real opportunity here to throw dirt on your opponent that they are flat out missing. The cost of these signs is about $2 – $4 each, so the total cost can’t be cheap when you add up how many there are.
This may explain the ever stretched out hands of the politicians looking for campaign contributions. What any smart candidate should do is ask for a donation with a promise not to use it for yard signs. How about handing out political cigars. Now that is something I could support. Yard signs are really not very effective. According to one study between 1984 and 2012 the use of political yard signs quadrupled. Yet they are only about 1.7 percent effective and have about the same effect as direct mail. That makes them 98.3 percent ineffective, for those politicians who can’t do simple math. And I’m sure a lot of them can’t.
Recently I asked one candidate why anyone would want to run for one of these worthless positions. The answer I got back was “maybe for prestige.” Can you imagine what a miserable life some people must have if that’s the main reason they are running for office? I never stopped to think about it, but I do seem to remember how our state legislators run around calling each other “senator” like it was some big shot title. Ego has no bounds. Then there are the politicians that thinks they can “make a difference.” How naive. History is full of these misguided souls.
Somehow these types all seem to end up with a bitter and cynical outlook on life. Societies all repeat history because they never can learn from it. One thing I have observed is that when the cycle of change occurs over several generations the younger generation tends to repeat the sins of their fathers almost without exception. Maybe that is because they never experienced the problems and failures of the past. And after all, they think that they can deal with it because they are more “enlightened” than their parents and grandparents were.
As the world enters a period of over population, and with the problems that will bring, we must all do a reality check. The truth is that some problems have no good solution. We must just learn to deal with them. This may be hard for some to accept, but it does not make it any more untrue. Facts are facts and our ability to deal with most of our problems in society is limited at best. This has been proven time and time again. The same will be for yard signs I guess.
As the years go buy I’m sure they will only proliferate. Although I do hope they gravitate toward some good old negative humor and mud slinging. Or maybe an honest campaign sign that reads “Vote for me because I’m running for this office to get away from my wife.” It helps if we all keep our sense of humor you know.
(Larry Oscar is a graduate from the University of Tulsa and holds a degree in electrical engineering. He is retired and lives with his wife on a lake in Oklahoma where he brews his own beer, sails, and is a member of numerous clubs and organizations.)