"We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds...[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers... And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for [another ]... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery... And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression." ~ Thomas Jefferson
Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign
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To my disgust, there's one down at the end of my driveway at the time of this writing. Well, okay, it's really only half my driveway, even though I own the land immediately adjacent to either side of it. It's shared with my seasonal neighbor, who shall remain anonymous, and who departs for Florida every year before the snow begins to fly here in Vermont. Not that I envy him ' I lived in Florida for three years and don't miss it one bit. It might be nice to escape the winter cold for a few months, however, in a place like Barbados, but that's for another essay, perhaps.
Sharing a driveway with my neighbor usually isn't that bad. We both use it at our leisure, and both of us have whatever family or guests over as we like, when we like, and splitting the cost of occasional maintenance lightens the financial load by half. We both get along okay, and enjoy a pretty laissez-faire rapport with one another. Such is my neighbor's demeanor. Such, for the most part, is Vermont.
But for that sign. That stupid, illogical, arrogant sign. Not, you understand, that I'm singling my elderly neighbor out. If you're anywhere in America right now, I'm sure you're seeing plenty of them too--and you will be, right up to and even past that abysmal date of November 4th. My neighbor does have another, permanent sign in the same location--one that bears only his last name and the address number of his house. At least he was considerate enough to place the more temporary one that appears for a couple of months every couple of years directly beneath the permanent one. I don't think he knows or cares one whit that I'm an anarchist, but he is careful not to implicate me in his own political convictions. Fair enough.
I'm of course talking about campaign signs, Obama, McCain, etc. My neighbor's happens to be for a Republican state representative who has held office since time immemorial. It's all very tiring. It's cynical. And it's obscene.
"This is the guy (or gal, it matters not) I want holding the gun at the barrel of which my life and property will be controlled along with everyone else! Yeah! Freedom! Liberty! Democracy! America!" This is the particular brand of madness at the root of such circus antics and grossly misplaced idolatry as is implied in the act of posting such advertisements across the countryside. In it, I must imagine, is a tremendous degree of self-loathing along with an unmatchable hatred for one's fellow man. All subconscious and very Freudian, of course. We would never want to drag such propensities out into the light of rational analysis now, would we? Oh, no.
In case you think I'm getting just a tad cynical myself, let's lighten up a bit and look at the glass as half full. My neighbor, as stated, has not allowed me to become suspect, and I'm grateful for that respect. But I'm not too worried about the outcome, at any event. On November 5th, I plan on putting my own little sign out there on the opposite side of the driveway. I'll probably leave it out there for a couple of weeks or so, then put it back in my garage for another couple of years. On either side of it is a Strike The Root bumper sticker that says, "Don't blame me, I didn't vote!" with the website address underneath. That should serve to vindicate me beyond all question. And just maybe, one or two folks passing through this relatively remote neck of the woods might decide to pay this website a visit, do some reading, and change the way they think about voting--and a deadly, arrogant, brutal, ignorant, destructive little thing known as government.