The list of thrifty and enterprising individuals who have turned lemons into lemonade is not a short one, and this election season has spurred many opportunities for such entrepreneurs to recast Donald Trump’s barrage of vitriol and infamous one-liners into catchy phrases to stamp on merchandise.
Take, for example, Trump’s dubious “Make America Great Again” slogan and the popular red hat that comes with it. The hat is the staple of a Trump supporter’s wardrobe, and from a bird’s eye view, the hat’s presence could easily turn a rally into a sea of red.
Let’s say one were to reject the slogan, which, in Mr. Trump’s words, refers to the “late 40s and 50s.” It was a time that, of course, was not great for women and blacks. And let’s say one were to reject a Trump presidency; again, this would be no great movement for women, blacks, civil liberties, human rights, and so on.
What better way to protest (besides casting a vote on election day) than to turn the populist’s own words against him?
This is why when John Oliver gleefully made the public aware of Trump’s ancestry and the origins of his family name–DRUMPF–it spawned a hat movement like no other. The “Make America Drumpf Again” slogan sold over 50,000 hats and the John Oliver segment broke HBO viewing records.
The “Drumpf” hat represented an outcry and a repudiation of the toxic election season. It also reclaimed the power of Trump’s tiresomely blasphemous and hurtful words.
“Trump has proven himself to be a vehement racist, and very insulting,” states Jeronimo Saldana, an activist for Latino and Chicano causes. “And what better way to mock him than use his own words against him.”
True to his word, Saldana has made his own hats–the “Make America Mexico Again” hat. He first saw the hat on a woman named Anna Gold and was inspired to start a GoFundMe campaign to create more.
The hat is a satirical statement acknowledging when America wasn’t so great for LGBT communities, blacks, and women. Additionally, it’s a sarcastic take on when much of America belonged to Mexico: Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and California all included.
Courtesy of Saldana.
“Initially the hats brought me a bunch of hate tweets and threats from Trump supporters who called me a ‘wetback,’ but it’s only served to show me just how dangerous Trump can be for the country and, as a result, It has me made stronger,” shares Saldana.
The response to the “Make America Mexico Again” hats has been overwhelming. So far, 20,000 hats have been sold, with all proceeds going to Mijente—a new political home for Latinx and Chicanx organizing.
Saldana points out that sometimes from afar, the hat bears such a close resemblance to the original Trump hat, that he’s been at the brunt of Trump opposition in NYC and is sometimes yelled at.
Another slogan Mr. Trump has blessed us with is “nasty woman.” He reflexively blurted the “such a nasty woman” comment to Hillary Clinton at the third presidential debate and it has stuck like mud.
The Nasty Gal empire, run by Sophia Amuroso, who recently made Forbes’ Richest Self-Made Woman list, has been busy making it big off of their “Nasty Women Unite” tees sold here.
It’s a delicious response to misogyny.
Much like the infamous “grab a p****” comment, “nasty woman” loses its power when women and men take it and make it their own, and in the process, garner support and awareness for an important conversation.
There is sure to be more fodder for merchandise hashtags and one-liners in the post election season, as the Trump movement isn’t likely to disappear soon.
But, like Saldana says, “You don’t have to be a part of the political process to take a stand, just wear a hat.”
Or a tee…