Now, as I said, I don’t think that way. Shwasticka wearers, flag burners… I’m inclined to just shake my head and get on with my life. They're morons, biggots, idiots... that's fine, I'll have all the same problems with the PEOPLE that I would have anyway, but... the symbols themselves just aren’t all that important to me. Just makes it easy to identify the ignorant, I always say. (Though I still appreciate the symbolism of that Taliban motherfucker who tried to burn the American Flag and ended up lighting himself on fire in the process! LOL. I’m not completely heartless (or without a sense of humor) you know!)
But, in any case, for better of worse symbols are powerful. You can’t argue that. And with that in mind, I think it’s high time that LIBERALS pick a new symbol. The Jackass? Yeah… way too easy to work into jokes. Fine for the Democrats. At this point they've got it coming anyway. But LIBERALS need something to differentiate themselves from DEMOCRATS and to dispel this absurd myth the Right keeps yappign about how the LEFT who hates their country. (Actually, it's the RIGHT that hate their country. But that's neither here there there right now.)
And if you're down with what I’m getting at, you'll realize that the symbol of Conservatives is NOT the Elephant. THAT'S the symbol for Republicans. CONSERVATIVES have
And really? It’s perfect for them. Predetory. Thieving. A species that’s been around for thousands of years, but almost went extinct before 1980. It’s a good fit. And they’ve pretty much monopoliozed it, so there’s really no point in trying to get it back. (And I don't really want it anyway. I see no way in which it represents Liberalism.)
So let’s play their game for a moment. Think of another symbol that’s undeniabley American, completely patriotic, bordering even on sacred, that the Liberals could adopt that would be a good fit with our movement, show our patriotism, be unassaible from a “pro-american” point of view and also be something that the Republicans and Conservtaioves wouldn’t even really want to try and take back from us (even is they wouldn’t dream of denigrating it.) I’ve been thinking about that, and I think I have the answer:
The Statue of Liberty.
Now… there is a LITTLE BIT of tongue-in-cheek here, but in even in all seriousness, it really is pretty much a perfect fit.
The statue is of a woman. A POWERFUL woman. This shows our commitment to gender equality and feminism. (Palin, Bachman, Angle & company, along with Steele only show the Right’s commitment to tokenism. Well... And that precious few women of any real talent would (or should) be Conservative.)
She welcomed immigrants to this country. And let's face it, the people who are trying to kick out the Mexicans and build a 50 foot high electric fence, topped iwth barbed wire and patrolled by rabid pitbulls to KEEP them out sure as hell aren't Liberals
Think of her most famous inscription: Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. (Thanks Erin, I hadn't realized how apt that was until I read your strip.) The Right certainly has no claim to the poor. OK… they have their VOTE at the moment, at least the WHITE poor, but that comes down to MAKRTETING, not any real policy or empathy. And really, more and more, the Republican Party has nothing at all to offer to anyone “yearning to breathe free.” Sure they TALK a good game, but it’s all down to marketing. No Abortion. No Gay Marriage. No Sex. No Drugs. No free exchange of information. No Health Care. No free speech. No freedom from discrimination. No freedom from religion, despite a constitutional mandate for it. The list goes on and on.
The only freedoms the Right stands for are for Corporations to be free from any Government regulation, the Rich to be free of any taxation and for the Church to oppress all those who disagree with them, and proselytize without moderation, from a postion of legal authority. (Again, despite a Constitutional mandate that this NOT HAPPEN.) They only want any real freedom for those whose power is so great that they can pretty much do as they wish anyway. If there was every a party that stood up for the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” it has been the Democrats for the past 75 to 100 years. (And the Progressive Republicans, but let’s face it: those guys have been the victims of systematic political genocide over the past three decades.)
She bears a torch. That's another powerfully apt symbol. When a Liberal bears a torch, it is symbolic of a beacon, meant to lead people out of darkness. And if the Right tried to co-opt THAT, the obvious joke is that they needed to get a torch because they’re going BACK INTO the darkness.
She was a gift from another country, which represents the sprit of international diplomacy and peace.
Finally, along those same lines… she’s French. So even if this Liberal branding was wildly successful, they’d have to get over their Francophobia before they could seriously try to reclaim it.
LOL (I said some of it was tongue-in cheeck, didn't I?) But still.
Finally, think of the organizations that have already worked her into their logos: The ACLU comes to mind.
One final thought… The obvious political cartoon of the future might have a Bald Eagle shitting on the Statue of Liberty. Now I’d have no doubt that even after all the tears they shed over burnt flags, they’d have no problem joking about the desecration of an American Symbol that represented the Left. Hypocrisy thy name is Republicans, after all. But the cartoon would backfire somewhat because of the perhaps unintentional symbolism there in: First, that the Republicans aren’t really capable of doing anything except shitting all over everything. That’s pretty much where they are as a party. It’s working for them, but still… THAT’S REALLY ALL THEY’RE DOING, right? Second, that, try as they might, all the RW Eagle-Shit in the world cannot move, bury, or destroy the statue. And no amount of RW shit-slinging will dissuade us from our path. Because the path of Liberalism is right. The path of Progressivism is GOOD. And for ME, there is no greater, more apt symbol of the kind of freedom that is represented by what is so derisively referred to by these RW hypocrites as “the Left.” THAT is the only REAL freedom. The only freedom that REALLY allows all human beings the rights that were promised them. And for my part, I would rather allow a million people to make (what I may believe to be) bad decisions affecting only themselves, than to stand in the way of even a single person’s pursuit of happiness. THAT is freedom. And THAT is what I see in this Iconic, Patriotic, All-American Symbol.
Now… if only I ever saw any evidence of that in AMERICA.
THIS is Liberalism.
And we should stake our claim to this, the same way the Right did with the Bald Eagle. If you're with me, make sure to add a picture of Lady Liberty to you blog or website, assuming you don't have her on there yet. Not because we need to get all weepy over symbols like they do... Just because it'll PISS THEM OFF. (And do so while representing our values in many way.)