So I Was Over the Top With the Stalin Comparisons?

How About a Salute to Go With Those Chanting Throngs?

By Published on .

Credit: Rick Husong
When last I compared the visual cues of Barack Obama's campaign to those accompanying fascist regimes, some people had a fit. Note that I was comparing the visual cues. I did not say the candidate or his followers were knuckle-dragging thugs. I simply said some of the art, combined with a football stadium full of eager, worshipping fans, might not be the best visual in the world. But you know what would be a really good idea on top of all that? A salute! To be clear, this guy has no official connection to the Obama campaign, but neither did Shepard Fairey at first. Someone in the Obama campaign had better stomp this thing out in a hurry.

And, yes, some of George W. Bush's more ardent fans had the three-fingered W salute, but that didn't really catch on. (Of course, it's hard to start a trend when you're wearing a straw hat and dressed like a dork at a political convention.) And Bush never gave a speech to a football stadium full of people. Again, this isn't about political positions, it's about visual imagery. (C'mon, post-modernists, you should know this stuff. Your intention is not what matters. It's the interpretation that matters. Already, the McCain team is having a field day with Obama's speech in Germany and all those magazine covers.) Perhaps Obama supporters should stop calling Republicans fascists long enough to go pick up a history book -- or even an art history book -- and stop themselves before it's too late.

Of course, the fact that it looks like a big fat zero (or possibly other things) might also hinder chances of it catching on.
Most Popular