Driving down Lake Street yesterday. Saw this billboard between Garfield and Harriet Aves on the north side of Lake. Didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Free speech. I’m for it. I don’t agree with Mitch McConnell that money equals speech. I can think of many differences between the two. I don’t agree with the U.S. Supreme Court that a corporation is, for constitutional purposes, a “person.” Again, I discern important differences.
But if some fine American wants to publicly make the argument that America has become or is becoming a socialist state and that this is a desecration of the sacrifice made by U.S. troops in World War II (the specific visual reference is Iwo Jima), then I would strenuously defend his or her right to make that idiotic case. I would like to hear the facts and arguments that “person” would invoke.
In this instance, the “case” is made entirely by dog whistle with no facts or arguments in evidence. There isn’t even a declarative sentence, only a provocative and intellectually insulting question. And, unlike televised political advertising, there is no requirement for anyone, not even some blandly named Americans For All Good Things front organization, to publicly take ownership of or responsibility for a billboard message.
A word — “GreMar” — appears in the lower right corner of the billboard, next to a drawing of an eagle. I have, so far, not be able to trace it to a person or organization that is willing to discuss the ad but I have calls out. The same word, with the eagle, has previously appeared on billboards with righty political messages.
I support free speech. I crave better, smarter, more honest speech than this which I, personally, consider to be a desecration of the sacrifice made by U.S. troops in World War II.