Escondido, CA


C’mon, leave political signs alone!

I get that some opponents of Measure B (the Lilac Hills Ranch initiative) feel put upon by the system, and think it’s unfair for “big developers” to have put up a countywide initiative and to outspend their opponents something on a factor of 28 to one.

I get that, but c’mon, quit taking down or defacing other peoples’ political signs! The First Amendment exists for a reason, to allow everyone, rich, poor, ugly, pretty, fat, skinny, liberal, moderate, conservative and libertarian— and yes, smart and stupid, to express their views. If you don’t like their signs, put up signs of your own. If they have already taken up all of the available real estate, then aren’t you a dummy for letting them steal a march on you? Find some other place to put the sign.

When I was in the middle of writing this column I got up to walk over to Country Junction and buy a bowl of oatmeal. I overheard a couple talking about how emotional the Measure B campaign was and how they had seen a couple of teens spray painting a “Yes on B” sign with a giant “No!” They were chuckling about it.

I mentioned this to a member of the No on B campaign who sighed across the ether of the cell phone and said, “It’s so disappointing.”

Just so you won’t think I’m only beating up on one side: on Friday we learned that some people who are in favor of Measure B have resorted to a sneaky high tech political dirty trick that is just as vile, if not more so, than spray-painting a sign: Someone has enlisted foreign spammers to spam the No on B page. Fake accounts (empty accounts with fake pictures stolen off the Internet), and hundreds of people spamming the “No” Facebook page with “I’m voting Yes” with foreign Facebook accounts based in the Philippines, Ivory Coast Poland and other random countries. A lot of the accounts don’t even have any English in them and clearly state they are based in another country. This didn’t cause a major problem for the campaign, but it’s rather like showing up at a rally and yelling and screaming to prevent the speaker from talking.

Whether you are for or against an issue, stop behaving like a child and behave like an adult. I see you there, crouching on your haunches, weeping, whining and wailing: “It ain’t fair! They are bad people! Sure, I believe in freedom of speech — but they’re WRONG!” And so you will weep about your side maybe losing this important election and how terrible it is, and why don’t people just do the right thing? Waaaaah!

There’s a word for that, and it’s TOUGH. It’s tough that people you don’t like are allowed to express their opinions and it’s tough that you might lose the fight. In the movie Braveheart the character of William Wallace, played by Mel Gibson, leads his ragtag army into battle. Some of his men demand to know if he has led them into a defeat. He says to them “I didn’t say we were going to win. I said we were going to fight!” So, if you have a cause, put on your fightin’ shoes and get to it. That includes people who are for Measure B. Fight for it if you believe in it.

People don’t win battles because they deserve to, they win because they do what it takes to win. Stop whining, stop cheating and go win your battle. And leave your spray paint can at home.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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