We’ve been selling our ever-growing collection of progressive shirts for years now, and have worked to keep our message fresh and up to date. Every now and then, however, I visit our Republican equivalents to see what they’re up to, and what I’m seeing today is that they’re having difficulty keeping up with the times.
A lot of the materials available on Republican political shops is still, four years after the fact, against John Kerry. There’s this anti-Kerry design, for instance, which bemoans the fact that political dissidents in the USA are not taken away and killed by the government.
It seems a struggle for many Republican merchandisers to get even as up to date as 2004. Republicans’ strong focus on opposing Hillary Clinton seems to be shaped less by the facts of her actual presidential campaign than by the fact that the Republicans already have an historical script of opposition to Clinton – one that’s over 15 years old.
The anti-Hillary Republican materials blend into an even more stubborn strain from the past that the Republicans just can’t seem to let go: The idea that the most important issue of the day is fighting Communism. Just take a look at this garbage: A graphic the Republicans put on their t-shirts, promoting Fred Thompson, reads, “Better Fred Than Red” – and a red Hillary Clinton is shown, with the Soviet Union’s Communist hammer and sickle in her hair, like an anticapitalist ornament.
What’s this graphic supposed to tell me, that Hillary Clinton is going to promote the interests of the Soviet Union? Memo to the Republican Party: The Soviet Union hasn’t even been in existence since Michael J. Fox was on the television series Family Ties every week. In short, there is no Soviet Union. Come to think of it, there is no more Fred Thompson for President campaign either.
That doesn’t bother the Republicans, who will still go ahead and say that Hillary Clinton is pro-Soviet. In their minds the past of long ago days is still alive. For them, the Red Scare of the 1950s never ended.
These Republicans still haven’t gotten over the self-destruction of the McCarthy Hearings in the 1950s. They still believe that there was a huge Communist plot to overthrow the United States, and that its base was in Hollywood. In fact, they believe that the Communist plot is still active today.
Thus, we get this other graphic, promoting Ron Paul. The promise is clear: Elect Ron Paul as President, and he’ll “get the Red out”. The “Red”, of course, is Communism. The idea is that Communists are still infiltrating the United States from, uh, somewhere, and are poised to take over the country, just like they supposedly have been for the last 60 years… any day now.
Ron Paul, they say, is going to finally purge America of the Red Menace… like Ronald Reagan promised to do… but apparently the Communist plot was undeterred by his presidency. Hm. Maybe the Republicans aren’t very effective anti-Communists after all.
Oh, but I’ve forgotten the most important Republican idea of all: Propaganda doesn’t have to make logical sense. It just has to frighten people.
So, in that spirit, let me make the following suggestion to the Republican merchants of fear: Go for the gusto. Use the following slogan. I won’t even enforce copyright protections on it.
Hillary Clinton Is The Communist Love Child Of Lenin’s Zombie and Che Guevara!