They are starting to pop up in front yards all over America and they capture exactly what most of us are feeling right now about the presidential election: "EVERYBODY SUCKS 2016."
I laughed out loud the first time I saw one on someone's lawn in Natick, Massachusetts, on my way home from the airport last week. I noticed it because cars had pulled over and people were taking selfies with it.
Finally, someone had captured exactly how I feel about the presidential election.
I don't like either candidate. Neither does my husband. Our relatives, who run the gamut from hardcore Republicans to raging liberals, feel the same. And I believe that when the vast majority of Americans think about their choices this November, they agree with that sign: Everybody Sucks.
Recent polls show a neck-and-neck race
, but I'm not sure that's accurate, because we aren't measuring apathy. In one Twitter poll, 90% of people believe a "hard to open pistachio" would make a better president than either of those two.
And one Minnesota town has just re-elected a dog as its mayor.
If that's not a sign that people don't like politicians, send me another one.
If a pistachio can get 90% of the vote, I'd imagine that if "neither" was a choice on the ballot it might just get 100%.
In the past four months, I have conducted my own informal presidential poll of sorts as I've traveled around the world delivering speeches. On planes, in taxis, standing in line at buffets, drinking a beer at hotel bars and sitting with folks at breakfasts, luncheons and dinner events, I've been asking people from all walks of life and political leanings their opinions about the election.
There have been a number of things that strike me.
I haven't met a single person who seemed "excited" to vote for Clinton. I'd describe it as more of an "I have no other choice, and there's no way in hell I'm voting for Trump" sentiment.
I put myself in this camp. I think Trump would be a total disaster yet I still shudder at the thought of another career politician as president. And while I'm ecstatic to finally see a woman running, I just wish it was a woman I was truly excited about.
I've met lots of people who are voting for Trump, but most are quick to acknowledge the major problems he poses as candidate. Their excitement is rooted in the belief that maybe -- just maybe -- someone who is as offensive and belligerent as Trump might just blow up the government and thereby fix it. I understand why they feel this way.
From Texas to Kansas, Florida to Ohio, Arizona to Virginia and everywhere in between, people are shaking their heads at the thought that Clinton and Trump are our choices for president.
It's made for some pretty hilarious memes in my social media feed, like this one of Bernie sprinting with the caption "When you hear Hillary's health is fading."
The things we are prioritizing are also laughable: Clinton and Trump's health? Tax returns? Seriously, can we talk about the issues that actually matter? Even the NBC forum on the candidates' fitness to serve as Commander in Chief was a joke.
Trump is so "over the top" that he walked all over Matt Lauer instead of being called to the mat for trashing a Gold Star family or saying he knows more about ISIS than our generals. Never forget, Trump used five deferments to avoid the draft in Vietnam.
Yet not a single question about it during the Commander in Chief forum. Will it hurt him? Not one bit.
Clinton was grilled and while she did an excellent job on the substance, she has since tripped on her own hubris -- and it may have just cost her the election. She normally takes the high road, but she stooped to calling millions of Americans' "deplorable" for supporting Trump.
Someone on her team might want to call Mitt Romney and see how well that strategy plays in a general election. At an event in Colorado last night, one gentleman introduced himself to me as "one of the deplorables ... hey, at least Trump is something different."
The reality is, this election will be won not on the issues, but by sound bites. And there's no one better than Trump at sound bites -- he files them faster than bankruptcies
-- and they are zingers. His latest
, "Today they build cars in Mexico and you can't drink the water in Flint," definitely got me thinking, "you know, he's right about that..."
And the sound bites are what we'll be tuning in for and talking about after the debate. I'm happy to admit that while I'm eager to hear the issues being debated (particularly the economy and North Korea's new nuclear capability), I can't wait to hear the zingers.
And I'm not alone. When it comes to media consumption and behavior, we are increasingly a sound-bite society.
According to a recent study by Columbia University, 59% of links shared on social media are never actually clicked on.
And even when we're not ill-informed, we're still arguing about politics and not listening to one another or discussing the issues.
TV anchor (and past debate moderator) Jim Lehrer told the New Yorker
that "the more people are talking, even sometimes over the top, or ill-informed, the better," pointing out that even a debate some viewers find vulgar or unhinged "exposes and illuminates, and people get something out of that."
I disagree with Lehrer.
What are we getting out of "over the top" and "ill-informed" discourse by both our presidential candidates and ourselves? The answer is a race to the bottom.
I try to forget the candidates and think about the office and role itself. The office of the president should be one of substance. And things of substance are very often predictable, boring and stable. So, while I'm not excited by either candidate, I know who I'm voting for.
Tuning into a presidential debate hoping to see a cage fight is fun in the moment, but it says more about us than it says about the candidates who are insulting one other. And I am guilty as charged.
Like the sign said: Everybody Sucks 2016.