This afternoon I stopped by the Franklin County Early Voting Center to photograph the anti-gay and arguably-racist signs littering the lawn in front of the old Kohl’s Department Store on Morse Road in Columbus. (see pictures below)
My first thought, seeing the signs from a good two blocks away, was: what a really bad idea. Not because I was offended by the signs – which I was. But because the guy displaying them obviously doesn’t understand Franklin County.
Franklin County voters are moderates, especially on the Republican side. Just look at Party leadership to understand why these signs will not have the intended impact. Not only is the head of Franklin County’s Republican party gay, but Franklin County Republicans sent Auditor Clarence Mingo, an African American, to represent them at the Republican National Convention.
These signs most assuredly will backfire.
Morse road is a major East/West through way. A LOT of people drive past these signs during the day. And I predict they will have two possible impacts:
1. Franklin County Democrats seeing these signs will be offended, angered and motivated to vote.
2. Franklin County Independents (and maybe even some Republicans) seeing these signs will be offended and angered and may just change their mind about stopping to vote for Mitt Romney and other Republicans who they thought were moderates.
As I was leaving I had a short conversation with Richard, the man responsible for these signs.
Without any prompting at all, he began telling me how Muslims wanted to destroy America and how they killed, beheaded and sodomized our ambassador to Libya before dragging his body through the street (his source was Newsmax – I asked) and also how Muslims would kill gay people (which he laughingly referred to as “shit hole fuckers”) instead of just putting up offensive signs about them.
I didn’t bother telling him that he and his sworn enemy seem to have a lot in common – at least when it comes to hating “teh gays”. I also didn’t ask about the character/color sign. I don’t think I could have handled the answer.