Friday, March 9, 2018

Republicans think they ARE the govt? National symbols not for partisan use

Do we have certain Republican officials who are just clueless about the law? Or more likely they just believe that our government and its symbols are, by nature, representative of themselves?
What has my mind circulating are reports of recent weeks in which both gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives and President Donald J. Trump are forced to address allegations that they’re using government-owned and -controlled symbols for their own personal use.

WHICH WOULD PUT them in violation of federal copyright laws, in which the government would have the authority to demand that people wishing to use such symbols seek permission first.

Permission that most likely would not be granted, if either Ives or Trump had truly tried to follow the letter of the law.

In the case of Ives, she’s getting hit because of a new campaign advertisement – one that attempts to give herself some high moral purpose because she was once a cadet at the military academy at West Point (Class of ’87). Implying that it makes her somehow more honest than a mere politician like Rauner, or even a pot-shot at Barack Obama.

It includes a photograph of a youthful Ives in cadet uniform, the portion of the cadet honor code that says she will “not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do,” and a black-and-white depiction of the West Point logo.

THE LATTER IS what possibly puts Ives in legal ‘hot water,’ since the logo is regarded as the intellectual property of the U.S. Army and is not something that can be used by anyone for personal reasons without explicit permission.

Which most often is denied by the military, on the grounds that the Army does not want to appear to be endorsing a person or cause – in this case, a candidate for office.

There are those who might be confused enough to interpret the West Point logo as evidence that the plebes (first year academy students) who someday will be Army officers.
Does this cross over the 'letter of the law?'

Is Ives in trouble with the Army? Who’s to say? The Capitol Fax newsletter that initially reported on this issue couldn’t get Ives, or West Point, to comment.

BUT I DON’T doubt that Ives (as in the campaign that’s trying to lead her to electoral victory over Gov. Bruce Rauner come the March 20 Republican primary) probably thought it was a natural they could use the logo to depict her.

Just as I’m sure Trump thought nothing of using the presidential symbol on merchandise being sold on behalf of Trump – and not the presidency in a generic sense.

There have been reports of coffee mugs bearing the presidential symbol being sold at the gift shop inside Trump Tower in New York, along with golf tees bearing the presidential symbol intended for use at golf courses that are part of Trump-owned resorts.

As though when we see that eagle with the olive branch clenched to the left and 13 arrows to the right, we’re supposed to assume the image of Donald J. – and not of the larger entity of presidential authority.

HOW LONG WILL it be before the presidential ego becomes so large that an effort is made to rename the United States of America as “Trump, the Country.”
Can anyone envision Tammy doing this?

I don’t expect to see anybody prosecuted for these potential violations of federal copyright. Heck, I fully expect to see the conservative ideologues come to the defense of Ives and Trump by denouncing the issues as politically-partisan attacks.

Particularly in the case of Ives, whom they probably think is entitled to use military symbolism to tout herself because the state senator from Wheaton who is challenging Rauner is a Republican.

Now if she were a Democrat, they’d be out to put her head on a pike. Something along the lines of how they often try to treat Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who has military service (with significant combat duty) in her record that they often try to diminish.


No comments: