WASHINGTON – In what is being hailed as a landmark act of political recycling, hundreds of tons of yet-unsold Thai-flag themed accessories are being shipped to the United States, where they will be given as a gift to members of the US-based Republican Party.
The decision was announced today by a consortium of small business manufacturers and retailers who collectively have about 900 tons of tacky red, white, and blue colored knick knacks which are not expected to be sold, now that the People’s Democratic Reform Council (PDRC) has scaled back its anti-government protests.
“We didn’t want to see so much merchandise go to waste, no matter how ugly it is, and with the PDRC down to one main protest site, we had to think creatively,” explained Kittirat Uropong, a spokesperson for the businesses.
“So we started hunting online for some organization that could use several million red, white, and blue hats, T-shirts, belts, ribbons, handbags, headbands, sunglasses, face-painting kits, whistles, dog sweaters, bumper stickers, wristbands, Christmas ornaments, ball-point pens, coffee mugs, temporary tattoos, and iPhone covers. As it turns out, the only group with the same taste as the PDRC is the Republican Party.”
After contacting Republican leaders in the US and consulting with their own accountants, the consortium reached a deal in which the items would be donated to the US political party in exchange for shipping costs, a large- tax write-off and political favors from Republicans who have influence in US foreign policy and business.
“The Republicans were very accomodating,” said Kittirat. “They even offered to withdraw support for future elections in Thailand as soon as they got elected to the US presidency. I had to tell them that we were not the PDRC and didn’t care about politics. We just sell things.”
As of today, hundreds of tons of tri-color junk had been trucked from the former Bangkok protest sites and were being loaded into container ships at the port of Laem Chabang. It is expected that the approximately 4,000,000,000 items will arrive in the US for customs clearance in 45 days.
Although no official acknowledgement of the donation has been made public by the US Republican Party, several American journalist and political analysts who have learned of the deal have described it as a logical match between similar ideologies and fashion sense.
“The PDRC tried to take the Thai flag and appropriate it into their own elitist minority ideology, as a way to mask their anti-democratic policies with a protective layer of patriotism,” observed New York Times writer Thomas Fuller. “The Republicans have a long history of doing more or less the same thing.”
The donated flag-themed accessories are expected to be distributed to Republican party supporters at candidate campaign rallies and politically-motivated crowd events beginning this summer, including at large gatherings by the right-wing Tea Party movement and anti-abortion protests.
When asked whether American conservatives might hesitate to wear recycled protest gear that was modeled after the flag of a foreign country, Kittirat laughed.
“The average American couldn’t find Thailand on a map,” he said. “And the average Republican doesn’t even know that other countries exist.”