Thursday, October 18, 2012

I keep pressing "escape" but I'm still here.

In case any of you have been in a coma for the past few months, we're in the final days of elections season. It is one of the few times I long to escape Florida to some remote region of the world. Living in a swing state is hazardous to one's mental health.

Heading out on a ride around the back roads of our county, it is impossible to escape election advertising  You can fast forward through television political advertising  but you can't avoid the stuff on billboards and those small signs stuck along every street and back road  "Vote for..." signs are everywhere. On one remote road, two homes, the only two homes in the whole area, had identical signs in their front yards. Zeal? Humor? Some weird flocking behavior? I wish I were brave enough to knock on a door and inquire.

This area is predominantly conservative Republican, with a large dash of Tea Party. Go into any local waiting room, and there is a good chance FOX commentary is on the TV. There are many liberal and moderate Democrats and independents, of course, but it's socially easier to vote your mind rather than post it on your front lawn. There's been a change this election, however. There are almost none of the more exuberantly ugly or socially insulting displays anywhere. The guy down the road who 4 years ago had a swastika and confederate flag by his front door has nothing but Halloween stuff this year. We've seen nothing that goes beyond normal conservative political sarcasm. That's a refreshing improvement.

We have only a few more weeks of the silly season. Maybe it will be fun to see if we can find a stretch of road without a political sign. On the other hand, maybe we could make a game of counting them and crunch the numbers. Notify the local press of our findings. (Escape! Escape! Escape!).