Liberals. Hitler. Smiley Face. Dumb. In fact, in a year with some steep competition, it’s the dumbest logo of 2008.

This gem graced the cover of Conservative pundit Jonah Goldberg‘s book Liberal Fascism. And while it’s not a logo in the absolute purist terms, it’s still close enough, and dumb enough, to be named The Dumbest Logo Of 2008. How come, you might ask? Well, there’s the idea that folks on the political left are fascists. That’s dumb. Fascism is a political ideology that trends towards the right. Then there’s the idea that the smiley face somehow represents liberals. Which it doesn’t. So that’s dumb too.

Smiley face history

hitler-mustache-smiley-faceThe smiley design can be traced back to some cat called Harvey Ball, a commercial artist in Worcester, Massachusetts who created the face in 1963 for an insurance firm that wanted an internal campaign to improve employee morale. Franklin Loufrani, one of the people who claim to have designed the ubiquitous mark, has marketed the logo since the 1970s through his company Smiley World and owns the rights to the logo in over 80 countries. The smiley face logo was also used for years by Wal-Mart (hardly a darling of the left) until their attempts to trademark the iconoclastic character blew up in their face and they began a chain-wide phase out. In fact, nothing in the smiley face logo connects it with anything ‘liberal’ at all. And if that wasn’t dumb enough, Goldberg’s book features the logo with a scribbled Hitler mustache.

Liberals. Hitler. Smiley Face. Dumb.