Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Uselessness of Yard Signs

Sean Quinn at

Organizers – the people out there killing themselves to win this election – hate yard signs with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns.

Barack Obama’s organizers hate them. John McCain’s organizers hate them. It’s because yard signs don’t vote – but they do generate a ridiculous amount of complaining that must be patiently listened to. Until yard signs sprout little legs and go to the polls on Election Day, in a presidential election with universal name recognition they are just a nice little decoration.

They’re little feel good things, making you feel like you’re on the team. There is nothing wrong with that – that’s not the objection. The objection is that there is limited time for organizers to accomplish a wide array of prioritized tasks, and in this election they’ve chosen to prioritize identifying, registering, persuading and getting their voters to the polls. Yard signs cut into the organizer’s sleep time – literally.

A lot of people aren’t going to like hearing this truth, but organizers recognize that the majority of people who walk into offices for yard signs are, for volunteering purposes – and this is a technical term – useless. In the majority, these people are not going to knock, they’re not going to make phone calls. Instead, they are going to throw the organizer’s incredibly precious, sleep-deprived time down a bottomless abyss of irretrievability.

Read the whole post -- some of the best parts are Quinn's made-up responses to complaints about yard signs (e.g., Asked about this dire situation in Virginia, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe responded*, “You have got to be $@!#ing kidding me. Is this a joke? I’m busy, I have to go.” -- where * indicates, obviously, that this is not anything that Plouffe has said but surely, somewhere, what he would like to have said).

No comments: