Mack White presents:
THE DICTATOR FASHION SHOW
Our first model this evening is Adolf. He's wearing a cream-colored shirt, brown tie, and a beautiful brown jacket ornamented with an Iron Cross. The red swastika armband on his sleeve gives a festive splash of color to the ensemble.
Our next model is Benito. He's wearing a snappy pair of jodhpurs, a lovely jacket festooned with medals and other ornaments, black belt, black shirt, and black hat with a tassel on top.
It's Party time! And for this formal occasion Party leader Joe has wisely chosen a stunning white jacket accented with gold buttons and black epaulets, and tasteful black pants.
Our next model, Fidel, is wearing a white shirt, black tie, and olive-green jacket with gold leaf pattern on the lapels and gold-green epaulets trimmed in red-a sharp outfit suitable for any occasion.
Next up is Mao. He's wearing a simple but eye-catching outfit consisting of white shirt, comfortable green jacket with red-trimmed collar, and a matching green cap with a Red Star.
Our next model is Saddam looking debonair in an ascot and green jacket lightly adorned with strands of red and dabs of gold on the epaulets.
Our next model Kim has chosen the classic lines of the Orient to ornament his cap, lapels, and epaulets; the red-and-gold color scheme contrasts nicely with his brown uniform and is accented by a golden star necktie-pin.
Our last model is George wearing a sporty, zip-up, light-grey, uniform-regulation tanker jacket with plain epaulets, Commander-in-Chief monogram, the Presidential Seal, and the American flag. Sleek, sensible, understated, yet always Patriotic-the perfect look for an American dictator.
In December 2004, President George W. Bush wore a military jacket while addressing the troops in Camp Pendleton.
This is the first time in U.S. history that a president has chosen to wear a uniform while in office. Eisenhower did not wear one, nor did Grant. When those men assumed the office of Commander in Chief, they ceased to be generals, and thenceforth wore civilian clothes, as befits the leaders of a free country. Only where people are not free, only in dictatorships, do leaders wear uniforms.
But now, at last, it has happened in America.
This should not surprise us. On at least three separate occasions, Bush expressed his desire to be a dictator:
"You don't get everything you want. A dictatorship would be a lot easier." Describing what it's like to be governor of Texas.(Governing Magazine 7/98)
-- From Paul Begala's "Is Our Children Learning?"
"I told all four that there are going to be some times where we don't agree with each other, but that's OK. If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator," Bush joked.
-- CNN.com, December 18, 2000
"A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it, " [Bush] said.
-- Business Week, July 30, 2001
Bush's jacket caused controversy upon its debut, and some defended it by pointing out that his jacket was not without precedent; other presidents, they noted, have worn jackets bearing the presidential seal. This is true; however, those were civilian jackets, unlike Bush's uniform regulation tanker jacket, which is quite military. Also, those jackets bore the presidential seal and nothing more; they were not festooned with additional emblems, like Bush's jacket. JFK (see below) looks like a civilian leader of the military. Bush, on the other hand, looks military-and not unlike the imperial officers in Star Wars (also of Austin Powers' nemesis Dr. Evil).
A leader a uniform is not the only sign of dictatorship. Consider the following
The Bush billboard in the photo above appeared mysteriously in Orlando, Florida, shortly after the 2004 election. It was later learned it had been sponsored by Clear Channel Communication. One month later Bush was sporting his new dictator duds.
Also in November 2004, not to be outdone
Yes, it's California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in Tokyo. Not only is he standing in front of a huge iconic propaganda portrait, he is also wearing a jacket similar to Bush's; it is not quite a military jacket, but the excessive ornamentation (seal, flag, monogram) is certainly suggestive of the military.
And there's something else disturbing about this photo: Since when do state governors wear jackets of any kind bearing official seals? What's going on here?
It would appear that the Bush-Rove-Nazi-Schwarzenegger nexus is test marketing these dictatorial trappings to gauge the reaction of the public: What percentage of the population finds them offensive? What percentage does not care? What percentage approves? etc.
I would not be surprised to learn that only a minority is offended, and that the vast majority sees nothing wrong at all with a president in full uniform or with gigantic, iconic propaganda posters of said "leaders." And yet, there is something wrong with it. For these are the visual cues that, historically, have always signified a military dictatorship. A uniform worn by a leader makes a fashion statement, as it were, that says, "This is a military government, not the civilian government intended by our Founding Fathers." And, as for those larger-than-life, iconic portraits of leaders more typical of Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, Mao's China, etc., those images say, "We are gods. Thus, our authority is not to be questioned."
So what's happening? What's up with Bush and Schwarzenegger's uniforms and billboards?
It would appear that Bush and Schwarzenegger's handlers are not only test marketing these visual cues of dictatorship, they are also conditioning the public to accept them. Gradually, leaders-in-uniform and leaders-on-billboard will be seen with greater frequency, until finally no one questions it-or, at least, none dare question it. Perhaps, too, the president, like Hitler, will at some point announce that he will dress only in uniform as long as the war lasts. Which, of course, will be forever.
And, should that day arrive, the president will not be the only one in uniform.
For some time, there has been talk in public school districts all over the country to require students to wear uniforms. As we all know, public schools are by definition government schools, thus public-school uniforms would amount to de facto government uniforms for children. Also, should a military draft be instituted, and should other kinds of government service be instituted for all the rest of us who are not fit for combat, then there could come a time when all of us, at one time or another, might be required to wear some sort of uniform.
And, looming over this unrecognizable, heavily militarized, collectivist, and Godless America would be giant billboards over every freeway bearing the iconic image of our leader Arnold Schwarzenegger. In uniform, of course.
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