A small (but irksome) point

The other day, the Better Half and I were driving from our house on our way to getting me a new winter coat. (I would like to take this opportunity to praise the devoted service of the blue Eddie Bauer coat that has served me well for every one of the past sixteen winters. You had a good run, Old Blue.) Anyhow, driving along the main drag in our town, possibly Maine's most liberal city and the state's "gay mecca," I mentioned that someone had removed all the "Yes on 1" signs.

(Before I continue, if you're a reader who lives in Maine and you haven't yet voted "No" on question 1, put your computer to sleep, drive to your city office, get your vote out of the way, and come back.)

This isn't the way to win elections, friends:
St. Michael Parish business manager David Alexander, who is based at the Pastoral Center next to St. Mary's Church on Western Avenue, reported Saturday that the "Yes" signs were removed again from the grounds.

Three days earlier, he reported that someone removed all the "Yes on 1" signs on church property and replaced them with "No on 1" signs.

"I look on that as offensive and a desecration of church property," he said.

On Wednesday, he called the city to be sure he could remove the unwelcome signs. Then he replaced them with a dozen "Yes on 1 signs."

While I think that "desecration of church property" line is a bit much (dude, they're signs, not goat blood), it is both illegal and uncool to remove the opposition's signs. It is doubly so if they appear on their property.

It is not as though I do not understand the impulse. On Halloween, in my very neighborhood (possibly the most liberal in town, which is saying something) there was a van with a "Yes on 1" sticker disgorging trick-or-treaters (and also blocking the street). As much as Mr. Middle Finger itched for a good wave (which, for the record, didn't happen), nothing is gained by behaving in a loutish, confrontational manner.

I hope, fervently, that we win tomorrow, and I don't think a few signs here or there will make a difference. (I have noted that most "Yes" signs have been either in front of churches or in public spaces, as opposed to in people's actual yards.) But let's try to behave like responsible citizens, one way or another. Our side has the strength of argument going for it, which will mean a lot more than uprooted signs.


  1. Great thoughts Dan.... But I have been waging a different war here at local middle school, the road outside our polling place. For the past four days I have been tending a sign of ours, a small NO ON 1 that has been repeatedly run over. They (he/she/demented)knock it down and I check (twice daily) and re-pound or replace the broken and battered wooden pole or re-re-re-patch the sign. I shall not be defeated. On your comment, "nothing is gained by behaving in a loutish, confrontational manner" I sure wish I could be so cooooly detached from things but as you may have noted from my writings/rantings that I am unable to focus much past the visceral, especially when I see a YES on Hate sticker. I am going to call our local Shepard at the Anglican church and ask he say a special prayer for the NO ON 1 win. I wonder if he has thought of that. :)

  2. I can assure you that your local clergy of the Anglican persuasion has spent plenty of time on prayer for "No on 1."

    And, obviously, I think it's pretty damn lousy that people are running over your sign. Have you considered putting something unkind to tires in your grass?

  3. I had the same thought about tires and grass! either that a or a little webcam

  4. Wouldn't it be lovely, cost aside, to put up a fresh sign behind each SUV mauled sign? A little domino row of "I will not be run over"? You'd run out of grass, surely, but I love the image.
    Good luck at the polls.

  5. For what it's worth, I'm sad Old Blue is going.