Barack Obama’s campaign store now features a $45 T-shirt designed by Beyonce and Tina Knowles. And it tells you everything you need to know about this campaign’s confused and discombobulated take on the United States.
The shirt itself is a hideous mishmash of fonts and slogans. The phrases are idiotic and meaningless. “I’M IN!” reads one, suggesting either that you’re working with the Obama campaign, or that you’ve finally achieved access to the McDonald’s restroom.
“YES WE CAN,” says another.
“WORDS DO INSPIRE,” says a third – which, of course, we already knew. The problem for Obama is that words also mean things. So when Obama promises jobs, transparency and accountability, open access to hearings on health care, and the like, we expect him to keep his promises. Obama’s problem isn’t that words inspire – it’s that words matter.
“A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things,” says a fourth slogan, apparently cribbed from the script of The Avengers.
“GREATER TOGETHER. GREATER TOGETHER. GREATER TOGETHER,” repeats a fifth slogan, in ever-increasing intensity. In Obama’s world, individuals mean nothing; the collective is everything. This is pure fascistic sloganeering – the word fascist comes from the Latin fasces, meaning a bundle of sticks that, bound together, create a weapon.
And, finally, the favorite slogan: “TRANSFORM A NATION TOGETHER.” The shirt actually creates an American flag out of this phrase. What is it about America that needs transforming? Not trimming around the edges … not minor changes. Transformation.
This T-shirt sums up the Obama campaign in a nutshell. Empty slogans, dangerously collectivist ideas, and transformative vigor, all wrapped into a chaotic conglomeration of anti-Constitutional incoherence. The Obama campaign’s biggest problem, though: under Obama, nobody has enough cash to pay for a $45 T-shirt.