After a tumultuous and emotionally taxing election cycle, one often overlooked, yet nearly as abhorrent feature of this ordeal was the absolutely subpar and unacceptable campaign gear that supporters of each candidate supported. College students have always been the driving force behind the shirt and hat sales of elections in the past, however, this year, we were left with a less than ideal selection to choose from. Gone are the days of the simple, yet iconic look of the Reagan-Bush campaign shirts. No more are the slick designs of the Clinton-Gore ticket from ’92. It is our job as politically active NYU students to be more selective about the campaign gear we choose to wear until our strong message is spoken loud and clear to the candidate we support: make a better shirt for us to wear.
It was a bitter election; especially when the two most popular items from our top candidates were nothing more than what looked to be a new age Fedex logo and perhaps the most poorly constructed hat ever to grace the head of a president. There is no head shape that could ever make such a hat look as if it were well-designed for anything more than cheap production. However, the greatest offenders of campaign gear this cycle were the failed candidates. And by looking at the ideas their marketing offices came up with, it is no wonder that they lost. First off, let’s dispel the fiction that the Marco Rubio campaign didn’t know what they were doing when making the Marco Polo, they knew exactly what they were doing. Yet despite the dad joke humor, the shirt could possibly be the blandest look of the entire election. However, before we hand off the title for the worst idea for a campaign shirt, we must turn our attention to Jeb Bush. While he was a bit of a milquetoast politician coming out of the gates, could his 200 million dollar war chest invest in no better way to spice him up than this cringe inducing tank top? Bernie Sanders, the obvious winner in terms of campaign gear, still produced nothing more than an average logo for his fervent base to buy. It is time that we can proudly wear the shirt of the politician we support without quietly wishing for designs of elections since passed.
It is time that we stand united. It is time that we say no more to such injustices. It is time that, regardless of your political party, we hold hands and come together to deliver a message. We should not and will not buy any campaign gear unless it is up to the standards we have come to expect.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Jan. 23 print edition. Email Thomas Price at [email protected]