Right Makes Write

 

http://thepeoplescube.com/images/TeaParties/Obama_Spread_Your_Wealth.jpg
 
For anyone familiar with the marches on Washington during the Vietnam, Reagan, and Bush eras, Saturday’s anti-Obama march was a parallel world. With the Democrats firmly in power, the opposition is the former silent majority, now the vocal minority. And they are employing the same demonstrative tactics the left used when it was on the outs, including strident posters.
 
I have been criticized for leaning left because I critique right-wing pundits and give “unequal” airtime to pro-Obama graphics. So in the spirit of fair play, I present some posters produced by the anti-Obama opposition, some of them clever, others not. The images shown here promote the Tea Party movement and are culled from The People’s Cube and other sources.
 
For the same reason I take issue with the flagrant use of Hitler’s image to vilify George W. Bush and other presidents, the transposition of Obama as a Soviet/Red (top) and the smearing of the Democratic party as Marxist (below top) shows a decided lack of imagination and historical knowledge. First, socialism as a practice (i.e. Sweden) and Soviet Communism (remember the breakup of the Soviet Union) are quite different political beasts. Representing the Obama administration with the hammer and sickle is as stupid as smearing it with a swastika. Equating the Green movement (below second from top) with fascism is, well, obtuse.
 
The Shepard Fairey “Change” and “Progress” posters are fair game for parody. And the poster (top) does a good job of send-up, but the message is skewed. Just as George W. Bush was not a Nazi for starting the Iraqi War, President Barack Obama is not a “commie-fascist” for advocating a government-subsidized health care plan. 
 
That said, the graphics emanating from the Tea Parties serve the same purpose as those used at anti-war or civil rights rallies, to propagate a message, right or wrong. So, in the spirit of spirited debate, may the best posters win.  
http://thepeoplescube.com/images/Denver/Opiate_of_the_asses2.jpg
 
save the planet
 

you lie
  
 king george didn't listen
 
 USSA spreading misery equally


About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes a weekly column for The Atlantic online and is the "Visuals" Columnist for the New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of over 160 books on design and visual culture. And he is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I am neither a conservative nor a liberal; both party ideologies disgust me. I am equally disgusted, however, by the inconsistent language applied to each, and by the use of this forum not to discuss potential relations between design and ideology, but to use the auspice of the former to smuggle in the latter.

    While I believe that every man is a precious end-in-himself, and that no man’s need is a moral or political claim on another man’s mind, effort, products, life; while I think the police, military, and courts are government’s only legitimate function, *I am no more “anti-Obama” than I was anti-Bush.*

    I reject what both believe in, and what they stand for, i.e., their *ideas.* I reject altruism, statism and all variants of collectivism. Certain historical figures concretize, and some aesthetics symbolize, those ideologies and their consequences; to invoke them may be legitimate, depending upon the context.

    I will be unsubscribing with the close of this discussion given that I already participate in many political forums which identify themselves as such.

  2. I am neither a conservative nor a liberal; both party ideologies disgust me. I am equally disgusted, however, by the inconsistent language applied to each, and by the use of this forum not to discuss potential relations between design and ideology, but to use the auspice of the former to smuggle in the latter.

    While I believe that every man is a precious end-in-himself, and that no man’s need is a moral or political claim on another man’s mind, effort, products, life; while I think the police, military, and courts are government’s only legitimate function, *I am no more “anti-Obama” than I was anti-Bush.*

    I reject what both believe in, and what they stand for, i.e., their *ideas.* I reject altruism, statism and all variants of collectivism. Certain historical figures concretize, and some aesthetics symbolize, those ideologies and their consequences; to invoke them may be legitimate, depending upon the context.

    I will be unsubscribing with the close of this discussion given that I already participate in many political forums which identify themselves as such.

  3. I am neither a conservative nor a liberal; both party ideologies disgust me. I am equally disgusted, however, by the inconsistent language applied to each, and by the use of this forum not to discuss potential relations between design and ideology, but to use the auspice of the former to smuggle in the latter.

    While I believe that every man is a precious end-in-himself, and that no man’s need is a moral or political claim on another man’s mind, effort, products, life; while I think the police, military, and courts are government’s only legitimate function, *I am no more “anti-Obama” than I was anti-Bush.*

    I reject what both believe in, and what they stand for, i.e., their *ideas.* I reject altruism, statism and all variants of collectivism. Certain historical figures concretize, and some aesthetics symbolize, those ideologies and their consequences; to invoke them may be legitimate, depending upon the context.

    I will be unsubscribing with the close of this discussion given that I already participate in many political forums which identify themselves as such.