A friend from high school recently posted a product from Donald Trump’s online gift shop that they wanted which, obviously, sent me down a black hole to explore the political products of the Trump/Pence campaign.
While Hillary has been killing it with the merch game, I was curious to see how Trump stacked up. The short of it: everything is terrible. It’s the nationalist, exceptionalist garbage that you’d expect from a far right Republican candidate and, no, Trump does not disappoint. However, some things—whether intentional or not—are bright and shiny pieces of shit while others are straightforwardly awful.
So let’s get the bad out of the way: here are the eight worst things in Donald Trump’s online gift shop.
#BuildTheWall Men’s Tee
It’s one thing to say these types of incendiary, racist things that intend to criminalize minorities, it’s another thing to wear it with a hashtag, coaxing people to “get in on” this conversation. This isn’t disgusting as much as it’s fucking ridiculous.
#BigLeague Men’s Tank
Similarly with the hashtags, what is this tank? I can see a white man, smelling of beer, in a swampy backyard or parking lot before a football game or at the back of a pickup truck before a hunt in this. These men have no idea how to use hashtags nor do they actually use hashtags. Compound that with the fact that a web address is underneath it, you’ve got some very distressed men with fragile masculinity.
Trump-Pence Presidential Men’s Dry Wicking Polo
Designed For Dad™
Pantsuit On Fire Bumper Stickers
This is one of the many, many, many designed items that are the most Trump: a literal copy and pasting of something Hillary has done, without any personal spin, that is just repeated back with the words in a different order. This is the design equivalent, where her logo and words are rearranged to “make a point” that has no basis. Credit, though: this is more PC than “Trump That Bitch.”
Trump Pride Men’s Tee
Note that this shirt isn’t titled “LGBT pride” but “Trump pride.” Trump pride. This is also the point in looking at these products where you realize that everything is unnecessarily gendered for some bizarre reason.
Veterans For Trump Women’s Form Fitting Tee
Oh, now I get the gendering: the form fitting shirts are just to show off some tits. That’s not why I picked this shirt, though: this is one of many products that feature a degraded Trump logo that one would assume is supposed to appeal to his “base,” the heartland people who eschew city thangs like design and just want simple American life, you know what I mean? Back before all them “other” people started messing things up. Also, WTF is Trump doing for military people? He’s going to get them all killed.
Official Donald Trump Make America Great Again Cap – Orange / Camo
…a little on the nose, no?
Your Voice Bumper Stickers
This feels uncomfortably like something from 1984 and I really, really am mad about it. It’s also part of a series of products that riff off Hillary’s jargon, a la “I’m With Her.”
Those are the worst things and, no, they aren’t even that bad but they really are pretty offensive.
In another category, where bad turns to worse, are items that are sacred for being so absurd that they reach the bottom of the barrel only to circle back to the top: these are the best things that I found on his site.
America’s Ticket Playing Cards
Yes, playing cards. Yes, playing cards from a casino magnate, whose work hasn’t entirely been successful as he’s always had a financial pad from daddy. Does his audience know that this is some sort of trolling, that this is a way to enable their “Entertain meeeeee!!!!” casino, gambling natures? More than the strong armed “BUILD! A! WALL! HASHTAG!!” clothing, this feels most “them” as it is the McDonalds™ of merch.
Lying Hillary Signature Men’s Tee
Credit where credit is due: who knew that the word “liar” fit in so nicely inside of the name “Hillary”? Yes, this technically makes her name “Hilliary”—which is very close to “Hillarity”—but don’t tell that to them.
Hillary: SAD! Men’s Tee
I am actually obsessed with this shirt and am going to buy it once he loses because it’s so hysterical. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s a co-opting of meme culture, directly aimed at the alt-right, but without the actual weight of critique which is what memes are for. Like the rearranging of her words previously and like everything Trump says in his bullying tactics, this is just spitting back a blind observation, no actual weight to what is being said nor any context given. (Also, this is what said high school friend posted on Facebook and I was immediately in love with how absurd this shirt is.)
Official Hashtag 3″ Buttons
For the Trump person who wants to pass as a Hillary person. The design cannibalizing of his campaign is very, very impressive.
Can’t get Shepard Fairey—or a similar popular artist or designer—to make some art in your likeness? Need some snappy visual praise to speak to your worth? MAKE IT YOURSELF! YOU ARE OUR VOICE, TRUMP. YOU DON’T NEED US OR ANYONE ELSE: DO IT YOUR FUCKING SELF.