World War II propaganda posters (see below) played a big part in maintaining civilian support during the war years. It’s primary purpose was to instill hate for the enemy while boosting morale on the home front. The posters focused on patriotism and duty to the cause but a secondary purpose of the propaganda campaign was to deflect any criticism that might surface as the war effort dragged on.
Poster art has long been a favored tool of propagandists and with that in mind, I thought that Republicans might appreciate a little help in selling their message to Americans. After Mitt blew it in 2012, the rallying cry from the right has been, “Hey, jackass…the problem isn’t the message! It’s a great message! It’s a wonderful message! We just need to articulate it better so the 47 percent of idiots out there can understand it!”
Absolutely right. Having the middle class pay for the debt by slashing social programs like Medicare and unemployment benefits while the richest in society get their taxes reduced is a great message. So is arming grade school teachers to the teeth and loosening up gun laws even more. Background checks? Are you kidding me?
Reduce spending on education and increase funding to the military. Demonize gays and immigrants and shove probes in women’s bodies whether they want it or not. What is there not to love in the right’s message?
So here’s what I thought: Why not use those propaganda posters from the past and tweak them to help sell the Republican message? Mark Fiore inspired me with his short video so here we go. Buy A Gun (based on a Norman Rockwell WWII poster) is the first in a series of posters which hopefully will help the GOP get their message through to all. It’s the least I can do.
If you have any ideas for future GOP propaganda posters, post them in the Comments section.
World War II Propaganda Posters
While we’re on the topic of posters, you really need to check out The 16 Most Hilariously Ineffective Propaganda Posters. These are actual posters that the gang from Cracked.com thought could use a little commentary on the poster’s messaging and problems. Some very funny stuff.
One of my favorites…
#2. Loose Talk (USA)
Hey, asshole, don’t try to impress your date by blabbing about weapons-manufacturing installations and top secret attack plans: You never know who’s listening. Just do what the rest of us do and lie about your penis.
“Don’t turn now.”
“What? What is it?”
“A guy with a giant ear just sat next to us.”
“What do you — holy shit!”
“Joe, I told you not to … Wait. Is that Hitler?”
“Probably. Honestly, I’m way more impressed by the giant ear part.”
“And why is he dressed like Charlie Chaplin?”
“I’ve never seen anything like that ear. That’s just grotesque.”
“OK, now he got up and started walking.”
“Do you think he heard us?”
“I think he’s crying.”
When you get done laughing at that first set of posters, you might want to check out the first part of the series: The 17 Most Unintentionally Hilarious Propaganda Posters where you’ll find stuff like this…
#12. Building a Better Tomorrow (USSR)
The Soviet Union is building a better tomorrow. And we’ve got the modest, one-bedroom apartments to prove it!
Look, we get that it’s probably hard to convey emotions like pride when you’ve never seen anyone smile without the assistance of vodka. But the star of this poster doesn’t seem to be saying, “Welcome to your new apartment!” so much as, “Oh God, they took everything!” Propaganda 101: Never use a bereaved man whose left eye appears to have been beaten halfway shut to make you feel good about the future.