Politics is often like sports. Strategy, highlights, wins and losses, all closely linked to sport. And now we have trading cards!
Topps, a real-life actual maker of trading cards, is producing a set of cards to commemorate and celebrate the campaign of Barack Obama. His face is already on a bunch of useless crap, so why not trading cards.
The packs will be put together from 90 cards and 20 stickers, with each card being about the president-elect’s life — from his childhood in Hawaii to his college days at Columbia and Harvard through his rise to the presidency.
So if you didn’t already read his two biographies or follow the two years of news coverage, now you can learn about Obama from trading cards. Clearly this is a new arena for trading cards, having poked away from sports into movies, wrestling, autosports, and frankly, a ton of random industries. But are we going to start seeing Senators and Representatives on cards? How about the Secretary of Agriculture? It might be a good way to get public information on elected officials into the hands of ordinary citizens. Then again, that information is already out there, so having a private company charge money for it is a bit dastardly, and possibly illegal.
What’s happening here is both disturbing and encouraging. On the one hand, we’re seeing politics become commoditised and put under the same consumer microscope as everything else. But on the other hand, people are excited about government again — if not for the first time ever. The worst case scenario of this thinking is that government will become a public circus, much in the way that Judge Judy, et al., have become the new public face of the ancient and groggy justice system. The best case scenario is that regular folks are clambering to get involved in government, on every level, and the take one step closer to that more-perfect union.
It’s a shame that these are from Topps and not from the Obama campaign itself. I imagine these would be a great way to raise funds for a campaign — every supporter would buy them for their kids, or themselves.
Either way, keep an eye out in drug stores and comic shops for these.