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Political Paraphernalia: Election Leftovers (by Steffany Torrice)

This year’s presidential election created a market for more than for the John Kerry and President George W. Bush yard signs sported throughout past elections. This year, the fervor of anti-Bush sentiment swept the nation and it’s stores, to fulfill the demands of a generation of young, outspoken American voters.
“Before the election we had both Bush and Kerry merchandise,” said Matt Cochrane, department manager for Urban Outfitters on East Grand River. “Now, after the election, our Bush stuff is definitely selling more,” he added. The store’s political merchandise ranges from books to determine if one is a Democrat or Republican, to coasters featuring the president’s infamous errors of speech. [flames]
Although freshman Ben Couillard does not have an elaborate exhibit of anti-Bush memorabilia, he displays his political views proudly on his dorm room door. A small picture of the president smoking marijuana with leaves in the background proclaims the message, “Legalize the Bush.”
“Bush is a liar,” Couillard said. “I hate him.”
Couillard said he hasn’t gotten any reactions from people for displaying his anti-Bush sentiment, and despite Bush’s recent electoral victory, he doesn’t plan on taking his poster down any time soon.
Tom Page, store manager of Beyond the Wall on East Grand River said they had never carried any anti-president posters in the past. This year however, anti-Bush posters, such as one with the president and his father in place of Jeff Daniels and Jim Carey in a “Dumb and Dumber” poster, sold well.
“It’s been a range [of people buying these posters],” he said. “I wouldn’t say just students, because I’ve sold a few to family people,” Page added.
This is not the first time in American history that products representing political frustration have dominated store shelves. Throughout the 1960s and ‘70s, posters proclaimed the famous statement, “Make Love Not War,” and others depicted Adolf Hitler holding a Nixon mask.
The incredible controversy surrounding this year’s presidential election promises a steady stream of customers like Couillard throughout the upcoming years, who purchase items like posters, pins, and t-shirts to display their party affiliation to the world.

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