Skip to main content

The Blossoming of the Lawn Signs

Here in the Detroit suburbs — where people wear their hearts on their lawns — the front yards are only now starting to blossom with signs.

Full disclosure, after spending most of my adult life in New York City apartments, I am not fully attuned to lawn sign culture. For all I know, what I’m seeing is typical of other suburbs, or completely anomalous. But my perception is that there aren’t nearly as many signs as there were, even in 2018, a mid-term year.

So what gives? I can ride my bike several blocks without seeing a single lawn sign. Will they proliferate as the election gets closer? Or is this an election where people are reluctant to declare their intentions? Michigan is an open carry state, after all.

There are certainly fewer Trump/Pence signs than I thought there would be, but I’m guessing it’s getting hard for people to come out as Trump voters. Not that they won’t vote for him, just that they don’t want to advertise it.

Some of these people instead put out John James signs, which doesn’t fool anyone. James is running for the Senate — he ran once before in 2018 and lost handily to Debbie Stabenow. He’s a tall, handsome Black Republican — a walking oxymoron — and he’s every bit as creepy as every other Republican in public life. But he makes Trump voters feel better about their racism.

I don’t mean to imply that there are no Trump signs. There is indeed a smattering, but there are far more Biden/Harris signs. Not that you can read much into that, either — this is Oakland County, reliably blue.

If I were to drive half an hour east to Macomb County — which famously went for Trump after going twice for Obama — the signage, I suspect, would be quite different.

An hour north, I’d be in Saginaw County — the heart of militia country — where Trump held a mask-free rally just last week. We’re all looking forward to the Covid spike.

But around here, the dominant lawn sign is “Black Lives Matter” — both surprising and gratifying for an area that’s mostly white — and these signs are often seen alone, with no presidential choice accompanying them.

Another well-distributed sign reads “We Love and Respect Our Police,” which appears, at first, to be some sort of half-assed backlash to BLM, but it’s not that simple. While I’ve seen it alongside the occasional Trump signs, I’ve also seen it with Biden signs, and even with BLM signs. Let’s just pause to acknowledge that solidarity with both the local police and people of color need not be mutually exclusive.

There are other signs that are more eccentric. One says “Anyone But Trump 2020.” Another says “Any Functioning Adult in 2020.” Then there’s the one lawn that sports, among its Trump and James signs, the words “My governor is a MORON,” an echo of Trump’s “Half-Whitmer” knee-slapper. This is not a natural Biden voter.

So the mix is interesting. I guess the very variety is what makes Michigan a “battleground” state. But the battle of the lawns is, so far, inconclusive.

One sign, however, took my breath away. It was well printed — not handwritten — which made me wonder if there were multiple copies somewhere, though I’ve not seen it anywhere else. It read:

This is not an election about politics.

We are on the verge of losing this country.

We are in a culture war with
those who want to destroy this country.

I know many of you dislike or hate Donald Trump.
But he is the only one standing between us
and the groups that want to take down
our constitutional republic.
 

This guy — and I’m quite sure it’s a guy, not that brainwashed ignoramuses can’t be female — has formulated a worldview that is from a dark and dismal place. A proud product of Fox News propaganda, his brain has been conditioned to intercept and reject all fact-based information.

I picture him as a hulking skinhead, profusely tattooed in swastika chic, but I’m guessing that’s not the case. More likely, he’s just an old white guy with a paunch, a Weber grill, and a wife who doesn’t like him much. I could be wrong.

In my mind, I have debates with this guy, in which I patiently skewer all his Fox-addled arguments, one by one. But even in these imaginary fights, I inevitably lose. Because no matter how deft my rhetoric, how on-point my insights, how rapier-like my wit, this guy is impervious to reason. There is simply no way I can penetrate the mind of a guy who thinks Donald Trump and the Constitution belong in the same sentence.

Which makes me both angry and sad, because Trump voters of this kind — and there are shockingly many — must, by necessity, lack the intellectual bandwidth to see how Trump is fucking them over. How he mesmerizes them with shiny objects in one hand, while fleecing them with the other. How their own interests are the exact opposite of his.

These are not the fat cats, who see Trump as their ticket to a corrupt payday. Nor are they the true believers, pining for a police state with His and Her concentration camps. Mostly they’re just plain people, cynically manipulated and misguided.

If only they weren’t so mindlessly complicit in destroying my country, I might sympathize. But they are, so I don’t.

Berkley MI

Friday 09/18/20

Comments

  1. I called an NP yesterday. I always hold my breath when I call the No Party people and there are too may of them. Thankfully, amongst the ones who answer, most are voting for Biden. But, this guy was very agitated by my call. He said he voted for Hillary but no way would he vote for Biden. He seemed to like Trump but insisted he wasn’t going to vote. He cited his military background for reasons he didn’t make clear and would not engage in any real dialogue with me. In the end, I thanked him for not voting. It takes a special person to get that statement out of me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing this article here about the Yard Sign. Your article is very informative and I will share it with my other friends as the information is really very useful. Keep sharing your excellent work. Online Yard Sign Shop In USA

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Because Things Just Aren’t Scary Enough

There’s been considerable buzz in the last week around an op-ed column in the Washington Post that purports to scare the shit out of you, but is a must-read nonetheless. It was written by Robert Kagan, an establishment policy expert, long associated with Republican administrations. Now divorced from the GOP, he has become an outspoken never-Trumper. The piece is both a dead-on analysis of our current moment in history and a dire warning for the very near future. While I don’t subscribe to all its assumptions, I find its basic premise disturbingly plausible, maybe even likely. The essay envisions a dystopian nightmare enveloping the 2024 presidential election, the culmination of a constitutional crisis that is clearly already in motion. As things stand now, Kagan says, the groundwork is almost in place for Trump to steal that election. Kagan insists that Trump will indeed be the candidate, that he will challenge the results if they don’t fall his way, and that this time he has

I’d Rather Not Be So Partisan

Since moving to my modest suburb outside Detroit, my interest in local politics has been marginal. I personally don’t have much skin in the game — no school-age children, no business interests to advocate for, no history in the community. I’m generally content to pay my taxes and enjoy the benefits of living in a relatively well-run town. Even so, as a citizen I feel responsible for knowing something about the people who run things. So while I don’t follow the workings of the city council, I do pay attention when its members are running for office, which happens in off-year elections every two years.  So this is the year, and, as expected, the front yards are abloom with lawn signs. I get to vote for three of the six candidates. The unspoken rule is that the election process is kept strictly non-partisan, so these candidates do not publicly divulge their party affiliations. Which almost makes sense. After all, the upkeep of our roads, sewers, power lines and other infrastructur

Inflation and the Supply Chain are Joined at the Hip

Back in the early eighties, inflation was on everyone’s mind. Prices on everything had been going up since the Vietnam War, and the country was caught in a vicious spiral of people and businesses getting rocked by higher prices, expecting them to go even higher, and raising prices in anticipation of them going still higher. Rinse and repeat. The expectation of higher prices drove prices higher. It was an eye-opening experience. The candy bar that cost a dime when I was a kid was suddenly 75 cents. My first mortgage carried a 12-percent interest rate adjustable every year, which meant it could’ve escalated to 18 percent in six years, a terrifying prospect. Luckily, interest rates peaked before that could happen, and the so-called Great Inflation of the seventies and eighties finally subsided. But ever since that time, big business has been obsessively paranoid about anything that smacks of inflation. Inflation cuts into their precious purchasing power. It degrades the value of t