Sunday, September 28, 2008

Political Self Expression

As I've mentioned before, I've always been reluctant to express my political opinions, although I do have them. I have never closely identified with the Democratic Party but I have consistently voted in opposition to the Republican platform. Since I live and work in predominantly "red" areas, I tend to keep my thoughts to myself whenever people I know do get political. I find it more interesting to ask questions that help me to understand why they think what they think than to try to change anyone around to my position, since I'm not very good at that anyways.

But then the Sarah Palin nomination came along, and suddenly I was energized. To simplify greatly, I feel that her selection was a huge move against women, and it bugged the heck out of me. I wanted to actually DO SOMETHING.

I read an article that said if you just let people know where you stood, it has the potential of influencing their position. So I decided that what I should do is get a magnet for my car. My first-ever attempt at political expression.

I went halfway down the stairs to our basement, and shouted down into the man-cave at Larry.
"I am going to donate $5 to the Barak Obama campaign so I can get a magnet for my car. I know you disagree, but since you go all around with the Catholic Radio magnet on your car I think it's fair."
His response: "Whatever."

So I clicked over to the campaign website, signed up, donated, and then waited for it to come in the mail. A couple of days later, on a rainy Saturday morning, the doorbell rang. Embarrassed that I was still in my pajamas, I opened the door to find 2 perky women with Barak Obama baseball hats standing on my porch. They introduced themselves and said that they were canvassing the neighborhood and wanted to know whether they had my support. I was excited to tell them that I had gone so far as to order a car magnet, that's how much I supported them. I was also curious about what they were doing out there in the rain, and just who were the people that would be so actively involved with that in this town. They said that they were energized about the issues in this election, and this was their way to help. Then they asked if I would like to join in, the leader for our township even lives in this sub. I told them maybe, and wished them good luck as they went on their way.

A couple of days after that, the phone rang. A woman identified herself as Jody, and said that I didn't know her but she is one of my neighbors and learned that I might be interested in helping with the Barak Obama campaign. I said "Oh hi Jody, it's Mindy, I do know you, you moved into Laura's old house." It actually took some talking to convince her that I was that Mindy, "the one from the Glenmoor Gals." I said that I wasn't comfortable talking with people, but that I did order a car magnet. Since that sounded kinda weak in comparison to what she was doing, I added that I was even considering getting a lawn sign. She said she was calling from the campaign office and would drop one off at my house on her way home...ok.

I put the sign up when Larry was away at a prayer meeting. I sat in the house feeling all bold and political, thinking of all the neighbors driving past and changing their political allegiances. When Larry saw it he grimaced and said, "I don't think they allow signs like that in our sub." It turns out that's what the neighbors were thinking too. The next day while I was out, the President of the Subdivision Homeowner's Association came over and told Larry that was against the rules, we'd have to take the sign down. Of course Larry readily agreed, and we gave it to my sister Becky to display in Hamtramck where they have no such rules.

Next: Mindy hits the Campaign Trail


MomForThree said...

OK we have that sign rule in our sub as well however.... I believe it is a free speech issue. If I want to put a political sign on my lawn I have the right to do so, subdivision rule or not.

Heather Leigh said...

GO O! That's my battlecry. My girlfriend just started canvassing for Obama this weekend. I'm not a canvasser, or a car magneter, or a sign in the lawner. Nor do I try to change anyone else's opinions on how to vote. But, I'll let you know in a hearbeat how I'M voting, if you care to ask. At the beginning of September, soon after Palin was announced as the VP candidate, I was at my niece's birthday party, and I SWEAR I felt like I was at the freaking RNC.

Anonymous said...

The fact that Mindy parted with $5 is a huge indictation that her allegiance to Obama is no passing thought!!! I'm more surprised that she gave his campaign $5 than that she put a sign in the front yard! Way to go Mindy!
Mary Beth

Alisa said...

Hey, as a Board Member in our sub...........check your restrictions and you CAN PROBABLY PUT THE SIGN IN YOUR WINDOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rebecca Binno Savage said...

The Obama sign is in my front yard in Hamtramck and nobody has stolen it yet! Since there are very few political yard signs here - because of the required donation - it is making a strong statement.

Although it is kind of clashing with my Halloween lights.....