Stolen signs and rank partisanship.

My Biden sign was stolen over the weekend, as were Democratic signs all over Rockwall. I realize this is not an earth-shattering event. It is, rather, just another small, mean step in our community’s dizzying descent into partisan rancor. It is an attempt at intimidation close to an important election. It is also theft from private property. I called the police, who recorded the incident.

Some of the neighbors I talked to argued that “it must be kids”. The idea that teenagers prowl the night stealing and destroying signs, somehow, does not make me feel better. Neither does the excuse that “both sides do it”. Why do we have to constantly refer to “sides”? Are we so insecure now that we cannot contemplate agreeing on anything with someone who holds different political opinions? A couple of weeks ago this paper carried a letter to the editor by Mr. Reynolds. He described a trip he had taken to Oklahoma, having seen America at work, and loving the sight. My first instinct was to go to my ideological snarky corner and mutter: “how much are these workers paid, and do they get health insurance?” Valid concerns for sure, but they do not take away from Mr. Reynolds’ love for this country, which I share. I, too, want to see Americans happy in their work and in their life.

The country has grown much meaner since Mr. Trump ascended to the presidency. Walking down my street I saw a golf cart with a sticker that read: “Make Liberals Cry Again 2020”. Kids ride golf carts in my neighborhood all the time. Why pass on this toxicity to the next generation? Are only liberals mourning the 200,000 Americans dead of Covid-19? The fires in the West? The devastation of the hurricanes on the Gulf Coast? When did casual cruelty become a worthwhile goal? When did winning at any cost supersede human decency? Call me naïve, but I still believe that elections should be a contest of ideas, not a death match.

Looking around me, “Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All” is not what I see. Let us tone down the rhetoric, please, and start looking for commonalities rather than differences. I am a Democrat – that is unlikely to change in the near future. That does not make me an enemy of Republicans, just someone who disagrees with their political views.

Marie-Anne wrote this post. It was published in the Rockwall Herald-Banner, September 25, 2020. Unlike the disclaimer in movie credits, this is based on real events.

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