Politicians toting and admiring guns for photo-ops have always carried some Freudian undertones.
Now, those Freudian undertones are being made explicit. Welcome #GOPdildo to the world.
Matt Haughey, probably best known as the founder of MetaFilter, decided on Friday evening to embark on a new project: transforming images of GOP presidential hopefuls holding guns into images of GOP presidential hopefuls holding dildos. He told Twitter about it:
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And then quickly emerged with his first couple pieces, a pair of beautiful tributes to Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee
Via Twitter direct message, Haughey explained to me the idea came to him while he was flying home several days ago, and that after searching for images, he "noticed the hilarious positioning in them, how everyone's eyes are all lit up in photos, and when I would swap something else in, it'd make for a good effect."
Over the weekend he created several more:
While it's mostly photos of active GOP candidates so far, some feature candidates who've dropped out or other GOP luminaries:
While Democrats aren't strangers to the gun photo-op, the ubiquity of them among Republican lawmakers and politicians frustrates Haughey, especially as they continue to provide political cover for the gun industry in the aftermath of mass shootings like last week's in San Bernardino. Often it feels like they're dressing up, he explained via DM:
There's something about them, how Huckabee and Rand Paul act all tough in the shots, like they genuinely think they're badasses for holding these ridiculous assault weapons. I've been around gun collectors (extended parts of my family) and there's something ridiculous in those shots that makes it easy to make light of them. These GOP guys look just like Dukakis in a tank wearing a helmet to me.
While Haughey has no problem with dildos —"everyone should have one and no one should feel any shame for owning one", he writes— he also knows it'd needle the politicians in the photos. He hopes it'll "deflate any power those images have, by reducing them to nonsense," and has a goal for how many he'd like to make by the time the election rolls around (336 days):
He's also compiling some of his creations (along with their sources) on a Tumblr, and he's asked people to submit photos for him to photoshop.
So far, though, he's only 'shopped a small portion of the GOP field. Let's hope he finishes soon: an entire GOP field carrying dildos —concealed or otherwise— is infinitely preferable to one where they're carrying guns.
Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at email@example.com