Copyrighted material


by Steve Young

Steve Young columns

Do you live on McCain Lane? Is Palin Place nearby? How about Biden Boulevard? How about Obama/Biden, McCain/Palin Avenue or Obama/Biden Obama/Biden Obama/Biden Obama/Biden Parkway? It's right down the street from McCain/Palin McCain/Palin Mcain/Palin McCain/Palin Drive. Once I got lost and ended up in Nader Barr Alley.

Is seems that this election isn't about issues, it's about how many lawn signs a candidate has.

The entire "lawn signs on the shoulder of the roads" campaign has always seemed an insult to the voter. What voter makes his decision in the voting booth based on a lawn sign? I mean other than for township supervisors. But now there are some in Bucks County, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia, who have thought the lawn sign blight on the countryside wasn't blighty enough. The home of eloquent words from authors such as Pulitzer-prize-winning James Michener and Nobel Prize winner, Pearl S. Buck, now also seems to be the home of some rather ineloquent McCain supporters who are dealing the down and dirty card from the bottom of the Barack Obama is a Friend of Terrorists deck.

Steve with the lawn signs in front of his house (Photo: Casey Young)

With a new "10 Out Of 10 Terrorists Prefer Barack Obama/Bucks County Prefers John McCain" lawn sign message it seems like the Lords of Loud in talk radio have hit the byways of Bucks County. While the message may be despicable in its fear-mongering, it may be far off the mark as a recent message by Al-Qaida supporters on a web site -- al-Hesbah -- said that they would welcome a pre-election terror attack on the U.S. as a way to usher in a McCain presidency, writing that Al-Qaida will have to support McCain in the coming elections so that he continues the failing march of his predecessor, Bush."

Nevertheless, anything that terrorists say, or are supposed to have said, should play no part in our elections and I can't imagine any legitimate Republican Party organization is behind the signs, but with only a few days before the election, these type of efforts are sure to hurt the party as well as the candidate they're hoping to elect.

Sign in Middletown Township of Bucks County, PA (Photo: Casey Young)
Politicos might say any lawn sign is all about Democracy; freedom of speech. But lawn signs aren't so much about democracy as they are about mocking the intelligence of every registered American.

I can understand radio and TV commercials. Even robocalls. Of course they're all bull -- but at least there's an attempt to make a point. Most political lawn signs are far too small to fit a candidate's full name. Even the large ones barely tell you what party they're from.

They're unavoidable. You can turn off TV and radio commercials by simply switching the channel. You can hang up on the robocall, unless you want to believe Barack is really calling you in particular. How do you bypass the lawn sign? You can't take a different route. And if you did, there'd be signs there. They're everywhere. You can't look the other way because they are the every way you look. And if your neighbors happen to want to publicize their support, it's there day and night. If they happen to have a routing interest in State Rep, Attorney General, Congress, President, Vice, and a few local and state referendums, there's no seeing the lawn until November 5.

Until we decide that lawn signs are a poor substitute of programs of the candidates, we'll have to bear them as accepted methods of free speech. But along with that we'll have to take "10 Out Of 10 Terrorists Prefer Barack Obama/Bucks County Prefers John McCain."

Pennsylvania is a battleground state, and while Western Pennsylvania seems to be the ground where much of the battle is taking place, Bucks County is where the war will be won or lost. Bucks County normally rolls Republican, but this past year the Democrats have forged ahead in voter registration for the first time in years. But if someone or some group is trying to turn the election back to McCain with disturbing fear-baiting tactics like the Terrorists Prefer Obama messages, I'm betting it won't work. Lawn signs aside. Bucks County is smarter than that.

Bucks County resident Steve Young is author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful" ( and blogs at

Comments? Send a letter to the editor.

Albion Monitor   October 23, 2008   (

All Rights Reserved.

Contact for permission to use in any format.