I want to express my thanks to local businesses who did not permit any political advertising in their spaces during the recent primary and special election period.
Political decision-making has become such an extremely volatile activity that citizens and neighbors who live in proximity may struggle to find ways to do so peacefully and lovingly during the political season.
Surely it could be wonderful if there were spaces in which true discussion and dialogue over issues could take place. I would applaud any effort in that direction. But I think that a community needs to have “safe” places in which to gather. This would be a place where one can go without having to declare one’s alliance or even think about it.
When there are candidate signs posted in the window of a business, that business then appears as though they are a campaign headquarters. A potential customer may feel as though they need to have loyalty to that candidate if they patronize the business. Or, conversely, they may feel as though their own views and choice of candidate are not welcome. Such signs in the window of a business, to me, seem to send an aggressive message to the public. It is almost as if the business does not want my patronage if I do not align with its view.
I think that we need less aggression, not more, during our periods of political thrashing about.
So, again, thank you to all the local businesses who refrained from proclaiming their own political favorites in their windows over the summer. I hope that you will continue during the upcoming midterm election season.
And to those of you who did not refrain, please think about it more deeply.
Soapboxes out on the sidewalks, people proclaiming their views from such a vantage point, citizens arguing and discussing points with the speakers — now that could be interesting.
Susan Conner, St. Anthony Park