In late September, the best-selling item in Amazon’s yard sign category was a big blue sign for Trump 2020, reading “Keep America Great.” If you’ve explored much of America over the past few months, chances are you’ve seen these signs with your own eyes. And if you, like me, begin thinking of Trump’s unending lies, those signs really make you pretty angry.
But there’s a band-aid to get us through to election day. Go to this site and hold up your phone in front of any one of those Trump signs, and a bit of augmented reality magic will replace “Keep America Great” with one of 132 different, terrible, factual actions Trump has taken during his first term in office.
Trump proposed slashing federal education funding by $9.2 billion.
Trump withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council.
Trump left the Paris Climate Accord.
Trump praised low Black voter turnout.
The project is by a group that calls itself Trump Against Trump. “We are a bunch of advertising students, recent graduates and young professionals who cannot withstand another four years of gaffes, stupidity, and terrible policies,” writes the project’s art director and product manager Kai West over email. “Not all of us are American, but all of us do believe that better leaders make a better world.”
This tool took time to create: five months, to be exact. Most of that time was spent digging up the aforementioned facts of Trump’s presidency, as the group made an effort to include a point that pertained to each of the 50 U.S. states—depending on where you live, your geolocation will change the facts you see. You can go through the entire list on the Trump Against Trump site, that is, if you don’t feel like perusing your neighborhood for Trumpers with your phone in hand.
Overall it’s a cutting use of technology to repurpose Trump’s own signs against him. But will it change any conservative’s heart to support Biden? No, of course not, and that’s not the project’s goal, either.
“With Trump Against Trump, we never intended to swing Republican minds,” writes West. “We just wanted to educate as many non-voters as possible, and also give them a glimpse of how Trump’s policies have affected their state and, consequently, them and their loved ones.”
Meanwhile, for liberals, it’s something of a self-soothing tool, a way to get a laugh in at the tragic absurdity of this presidency, even if it doesn’t actually change how anyone votes.
That said, if you don’t like the project, there’s no need to look up my name on Twitter to complain. Trump Against Trump has set up a “hate mail” address for all partisan complaints.
“We plan on collecting all the gold we get there,” writes West, “and turning it into a fine book for ourselves.”