October 12, 2016

Wondering on Wednesday (v67)

Wednesday - again?

No wonder I have a headache, with all this weekly wondering.

While we were on vacation last week, I attempted to keep track of political signs. We spent a little bit of time in New York's Hudson Valley, and most of our trip traipsing up and down the roads of Central and Coastal Connecticut. We spent very little time in any major cities - drove through and around Fishkill and Poughkeepsie in NY, and Hartford, CT but other than that we were more off the beaten path.

Big winners for signs?  In NY, John Faso and Zephyr Teachout seemed to have the most, with Faso having more. Locked in a battle to represent NY's 19th Congressional district in Washington, they seemed to have the most coverage of any candidates.

Trump vs Clinton in that neck of the woods? Trump -- but we only saw a handful of signs for him and a finger or two for Clinton.

In Connecticut, signs for the local races dominated the landscape -- they were everywhere: multiple signs on every corner, in every empty lot, even on abandoned buildings. I don't remember any of the names, other than a woman named Diane, this many days later (and it doesn't really take all that many days to forget things lately) but if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say the local signs outnumbered the national signs by probably a hundred to one.

The few national signs we did see favored Trump, again. We might have seen ten of his to two of hers, roughly a similar proportion to what we saw in New York.

While I'm wondering a little about why we saw so few signs for the national candidates in our more than a thousand mile journey, I'm excited that people are paying so much attention to the races that really matter. The local races - village and town seats, county seats and the like, are far more important than the Presidential race. So are State and Congressional races.

Voting for the people that you can actually talk to, call on the phone, drop in and visit - those are the ones that make a difference. And even better, many of them can be voted out if they're not responsive to you. That makes this whole voting thing all the sweeter.

Why so few for Trump or Clinton, or Johnson or Stein, for that matter?

I've heard stories that Clinton people are afraid to put up signs, afraid that over-zealous Trump fanatics (that's the correct word, I think?) may, shall we say, react badly and take steps that shouldn't be taken; that may or may not have any validity. Johnson and Stein don't have the visibility that would give them the money to purchase the visibility they need. And Trump? He may have finally gone too far with his 'unique' candidacy, and people may not want to publicize their support any more.

The other thing is, if I've heard one, I think I've heard 100? 1,000? 10,000? people say that they have no one to vote for at the top of the ticket, which could also be a reason we're seeing so few signs for either of the major party choices we have.

Also noteworthy? If you did not know the candidate's name, you would have no idea whether she was a Republican, a Democrat, a Green, or a Libertarian. I'm old enough to remember that political signs always told you which party you were voting for - heck, back in the day they told you what row on the ballot to pick.

I wonder when, exactly, it was that candidates decided it was no longer advantageous to publicize their party affiliation on signs?

Or, maybe, it's a sign of our poor economy, that candidates can't afford to stick an R, D, G or L on their signs?

Or, maybe, I wonder, is it a sign that our melting pot is back on the burner, instead of on the back burner, and people are trying to be more representative of all of their constituents, and becoming less partisan?

And then I laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

And wondered, how the heck did it get to be Wednesday again already?