Letter to the editor: Why I hate political yard signs

Madeline Becker

“No, I really don’t have time to volunteer. But you can send me a yard sign.”

That’s a direct quote from 90 percent of people who have been asked to volunteer for a political campaign. OK, my statistic is slightly exaggerated and does not account for hang-ups or unusual excuses, nor does it aptly appreciate the occasional super volunteer. But it does capture the sense of political disengagement in the United States today.

We have been psychologically conditioned to despise campaigning. More often than not, volunteering for a candidate consists of two things: making phone calls and knocking on doors. Most people cringe at either option. What if someone hangs up on me? What if they slam the door in my face?

Throughout a season of campaign work, I’ve learned it’s inevitable these two things will happen, probably quite often. But you learn not to take it personally, and when someone appreciates your call (I swear these people exist) it makes up for a dozen hang-ups. Additionally, the intrinsic satisfaction you get by persuading a voter to support your candidate is much greater than that of sticking a sign in the front lawn.

I hope you all take the opportunity to get involved this election season.

Someone will be elected Nov. 6, so why not have a say in who will represent you? In fact, according to Drake University political scientist Dennis Goldford, ISU students could have more than just a “say” in who will win the 4th District congressional race between Christie Vilsack and Steve King. As you may have noticed, western Iowa is not a very populous area, and Goldford believes the population of Story County will decide this race.

My byline clearly indicates my bias when it comes to the candidates, so I’ll save you my spiel and encourage you to research the candidates yourself. I’m convinced Vilsack will be the right choice for most of you.

In conclusion, while volunteering for a campaign makes you 100 times cooler, most important is that you all take a stand this November. Voting is not just a right; it’s a civic responsibility. Let us make sure the best candidate wins.