Stealing political signs violates freedom of speech

Posted 23 October 2020 at 8:55 am


The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and the press—freedom of expression. Signs have been an important part of such freedom of expression since The American Revolution. That was the one that first rid us of our subservience to King George.

The Ninth Amendment to our Constitution guarantees other unnamed freedoms. Could Amendment Nine have envisioned the freedom to exhibit signs expressing our political preferences even though these were not specifically mentioned in Amendment One?

Would a handful of our fellow citizens deny our right to express such political choices on our own property?

As an aside, let me point out that the politics so many people profess to hate comes with a republican form of government, like it or not. Alexei Navalny almost died of Novichok poisoning as he pursued such a form of government in Russia.

It has been my privilege to have had a hand in putting up about 70 signs supporting the Biden-Harris ticket in Orleans County. Unfortunately, about 10 of those were replacements for others which the property owners charitably, or naively, judged must have “blown away”.  Well, guess what? The wires do not “blow away”, but in each case they went somewhere.

Whether signs that “blow away” are those supporting the incumbents or the challengers, it is flat out wrong for them to be helped to “blow away” by human hands whose owners do not respect the freedoms protected by the Constitution we profess to value.

This is how it begins, and Putin loves it.


Gary Kent