So I was behind a guy in traffic today, and I noticed he had a bumper sticker on the back of his vehicle that read “I LOVE AMERICA” in elegant script, all trimmed out in red, white, and blue. And I thought to myself, “What a load of horseshit.”
It’s not that I question the guy’s sincerity. If someone says they love their country, then that’s good enough for me. What the hell am I, a Republican? But there’s something so pandering and shameless and manipulative — and easy — about decking something in the colors of the flag. The worst part about it is, it works. Politicians know it, too. Last year both Obama and McCain used the colors of the flag exclusively for their stickers and t-shirts and yard signs. Ditto for Bush and Kerry in ’04, and Bush and Gore four years before that, and every other mope who’s ever run for president for as long as I can remember. People eat that shit up with a spoon and ask for more.
But I got to thinking, what would the red, white, and blue do for messages that aren’t so positive and patriotic? I mean, shit, if it works for meaningless tripe like “God Loves America” and “Love It or Leave It,” imagine the wonders it could do for less popular slogans, ones that might really need a boost to catch on.
I came up with three samples below. Let’s see how these non-patriotic messages look wrapped up in the flag.