Political paraphernalia causing more hatred in an already divided state

As the 2020 election quickly approaches, yard signs and flags among other political implements are not what will move our country in a unified direction.


Cartoon by Steven Wicher

Those keeping up with the 2020 presidential election might be able to conclude that the majority of both parties only have one thing in common: a reciprocal contempt for the opposing side.
There have been many factors contributing to this extravagant dissension, but one of the biggest contributions is the ornate merchandise displays for each party’s candidate.
By no means should someone not be able to put up a yard sign or two showing their support for the Democratic or Republican candidates on the ticket this election. However, the excessive political paraphernalia has become nothing more than a tacky eyesore that only greatens the partisan divide.
Throughout Franconia, Upper Salford, and Lower Salford Township there are several Trump & Biden signs that line the streets. Over the summer there has been a spike of more than just signs indicating which candidate a household supports.
Huge Trump 2020 flags are pinned to decks and sheds that face main roads in the area like Route 113. Six-foot tall posters promoting Miles Arnott and Kathy Barnette are posted in traffic dense areas.
These all walk the line of too extravagant, but are not disrespectful, simply promoting beliefs to a greater degree. Be-that-as-it-may, “decor” that has Joe Biden in a bathtub or refers to Kamala Harris in a derogatory way is flat-out impertinent.
The Republican party, however, is not all to blame; the democratic party has also put out its fair share of inappropriate displays. Biden voters have put out several signs poking fun at President Trump’s hair that say phrases such as “flush the turd.” While some other signs are calling him an “unwanted Presidency” with several cartoon drawings of baby Trump.
These actions show close-mindedness and unwillingness to engage in a productive conversation with someone of opposing views. This is the last thing our country needs right now as we are already in a more divided state than ever.
According to the Pew Research Center, 75% of Democrats view Republicans as close-minded while 64% of Republicans view Democrats as close-minded. These numbers have already increased by over 10% in the past three years from both parties.
The candidates themselves have already made a very heightened political climate in the past year of campaigning and have demonstrated an environment in which Democrats and Republicans can’t talk to each other without arguing.
Both Biden and Trump have also released merchandise from their own campaign shops that have done nothing but make the other party mad. Trump has put out shirts calling to “Fill that Seat,” referring to the vacant Supreme Court seat that Democrats believe should not be filled until after the election.
Biden has also put out some eccentric merchandise including the notorious fly swatter that was released after the first presidential debate as well as a t-shirt that reads, “I paid more income taxes than Donald Trump.”
All of these factors combined have contributed to the great hindrance of politics in America today. As a country, we need to do better in finding ways to get Democrats and Republicans communicating again. Signs and merchandise, however, are just not the way to attain this.