Our View: Backyard Revolutions: Not what they’re cut out to be

By Cyrus Moussavi 2005

Ahh, the subtle scents of election season mingle in the air. The opinion page only receives articles about Kerry and Bush. And most importantly, everyone seems to have a little sign declaring their political affinity nestled next to the gardenias in their front lawns.

Stealing your political opponents’ yard sign signs, perfect you say. A surge of political activism courses through you. As Che Guevara may or may not have said, you can start a revolution in your neighbor’s front lawn.

When the idea to steal Bush/Cheney, Kerry/Edwards or even the random Ervin A. Dennis signs sticking around in people’s yards comes to mind, it seems very original. And fun too. Criminal mischief with a noble cause. Rid the town of the opposing party’s tacky slogans and signs.

And this all is fun, until you get arrested. Believe us, we know from experience, you just get Kerry-ed away. During the ride to the police station, you have time to reflect. Sure, you may think Dick Cheney is an evil man, but when it comes down to it, stealing yard signs is infringing on your neighbors’ free speech, whether they deserve free speech or not. As you’re being heralded into your retaining cell you realize that perhaps there are better, less risky ways of helping your candidate.

While the criminal charges probably won’t stick in the end, stealing political yard signs is more of a stroke against free speech than against the candidate you hate. So if you’re really into politics, there are better ways to support your candidate than through terrorizing your helpless neighbors. Like voting or something. And if you’re really just into criminal mischief, there are better ways to get arrested.

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