Last Sunday, I watched from my living room window as two people installed a surprisingly large campaign sign in my front yard.
I had ordered it from my local Democratic Party, and they had arranged the installation. My husband and I exchanged glances and wondered what the reaction would be in our suburb. We live in Tennessee, in a county that voted for Trump 65%-35% in 2016.
Over the past week, I’ve watched several cars slow down in front of my house. Since we live at the front of our subdivision, nobody who enters can miss the sign.
2018 was the first time I’d ever had a sign for a candidate in my yard. Before 2016, I was an informed voter but always felt discouraged that my vote really didn’t mean much in such a red state. After Trump won, I realized that I had not done enough to help Hillary win. I promised myself that I would learn how to make a difference. This was the beginning of my journey toward activism.
On Friday evening, I heard a knock on the door. Expecting a delivery, I was surprised to see a woman I didn’t know. The petite lady introduced herself as one of my neighbors from further down the street. She let me know how much she liked our sign and urged us to not let anyone scare us into taking it down. She mentioned that one of the other neighbors had posted to the subdivision’s private Facebook group (which I wasn’t in) that he found it offensive. She had responded to the post and said she disagreed and decided to come tell me in person how happy she was that it was there. It was lovely to meet her and feel the support. Being a Democrat in a red state can feel isolating.
Saturday morning, we got an email from another one of our neighbors. Here’s part of it:
I was delighted to see your Biden sign go up. Don’t let anybody bully you into taking it down before the election! I had a fit of giggles the first morning I saw it on my way out! I was so impressed with the guts it takes to put that up around here.”
Saturday afternoon, we came home to a note taped on the door. I was apprehensive, thinking that the hate mail was finally here. Imagine my surprise when I found yet another note of support. It read in part:
“Thank you for expressing your views. Please do not let anyone intimidate you.”
What a sad time for our country that the common theme to the supportive messages I received was one of worry.
My friends and neighbors should not worry about me feeling intimidated. I passed that point five years ago. I’m tired of having issues that are important to me ignored by my senator, my representative, and my state legislature. I’m going to go to bed on the night of November the 3rd knowing I did everything I could to ensure that Trump loses. And no matter what happens, I’ll rise on the morning of November 4th still committed to fighting on the side of democracy.
Now, I am off to start some “good trouble” by posting an invitation to form a Democratic Club for our subdivision to that Facebook group, which I joined yesterday.
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Good on you!
Each step furthers the journey.
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