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Right Makes Write

By: Steven Heller | September 15, 2009

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.


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