It’s two years old now, but the magazine cover above is trending again after last week’s display of racism. So much has happened since that many of us might have forgotten about it.
Holy sh*t. I live in the U.K. In living here, you get a very different perspective on the German view of Nazis than you do in the US.
For Stern to put this on their cover is *huge* in a way most Americans can't fathom.
If they're calling 45 out as a Nazi…he is one. https://t.co/rHDdtbvoOT
— Marisa (@MarisaWard57) July 20, 2019
The cover was especially noteworthy because the Nazi salute is banned in Germany. The magazine chose to portray Trump wrapped in the flag. That decision echoes the sentiment expressed in this statement below.
But when fascism comes it will not be in the form of an anti-American movement or pro-Hitler bund, practicing disloyalty. Nor will it come in the form of a crusade against war. It will appear rather in the luminous robes of flaming patriotism; it will take some genuinely indigenous shape and color, and it will spread only because its leaders, who are not yet visible, will know how to locate the great springs of public opinion and desire and the streams of thought that flow from them and will know how to attract to their banners leaders who can command the support of the controlling minorities in American public life. The danger lies not so much in the would-be Fuhrers who may arise, but in the presence in our midst of certainly deeply running currents of hope and appetite and opinion.
— John Thomas Flynn, As We Go Marching (en.m.wikiquote.org/…)
Though I would disagree with Flynn on many other things, in this he is mostly right. Trump’s fascism is native to the US. It is a toxic mix of Jim-Crow-white-supremacy, KKK-terrorism, manifest-destiny-cultural-imperialism, anti-immigrant-nativism and many other threads that have run through the fabric of the US for centuries.
Woven into the same fabric are the threads that make America what it is, and make it resilient to Trumpism. We should draw on those similarly ancient sentiments, of equality and liberty for all. A golden lamp by the harbor.
50 years ago, the Chicago Daily News published this editorial by Sydney Harris, it was almost certainly a response to invective leveled at anti-war protesters, possibly lingering from the ‘68 Democratic convention:
One of the most ignorant and hateful statements that a person can make is “If you don’t like it here, why don’t you leave?”
That attitude is the main reason America was founded, in all its hope and energy and goodness. The people who came here, to make a better land than had ever been seen before by the common people, had been rebuffed and rejected by their neighbors in the Old World.
They didn’t like conditions where they lived, and wanted to improve them. If they had been allowed and encouraged to, the Old World would have had a happier history, instead of the miserable tribulations that turned the eyes of the people to America as their last, best hope.
Now we find that many Americans — smug and fat and entrenched in their affluent inertia — are saying the same ugly thing to their neighbors: “If you don’t like it here, why don’t you leave?” — chicago.suntimes.com/…
I spent today with a man whose mom saved the July 21, 1969 Chicago Daily News for the moon landing coverage. (Column coming tomorrow.) It also contained this op-ed. 50 years ago. Unbelievable. pic.twitter.com/iwH5KC5xKI
— Heidi Stevens (@HeidiStevens13) July 19, 2019