Because politics is now mostly just about memes, the Romney aide Etch A Sketch gaffe has now resulted in “Shake it up, America,” an ad campaign by Ohio Art, the company behind every flip-flopper’s worst nightmare. (Meanwhile, they’re likely psyched to see their stock trading 50 percent above its traditional price.) “Etch A Sketch is a lot like politics,” reads an ad posted on the campaign’s Facebook page, which has nearly 7,000 likes, “there’s a lot of gray area.” Debatable, given today’s polarized political environment, but Etch A Sketch is clearly all about reopening the space for creative political expression that the two-party system had shut down. As one promotional tweet taught us, Etch a Sketch–style politics includes not only “Lefts, Rights” but also “Ups and Downs,” two political affiliations we had sadly forsaken.
Another particularly clever ad has “Politically, we lean right down the middle. Which way did you lean?” written vertically, once from bottom to top so you have to tilt your head to the left to read it, and once written top to bottom so you have to tilt your head to the right — the ultimate liberal-conservative ID test. We fully expect to see campaign workers, voters and, yes, even candidates touting either GOP-red or Democratic-blue (coming in mid-June) Etch a Sketches on lanyards around their necks in the weeks ahead.