Trump, Obama and the Nature of Fascism

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

The latest Trump scandal hitting the news – the interment of children in cages, the forcible separation of screaming toddlers from their parents. It seemed to have touched a level of inhumanity which is breathtaking, even by the standards of the current US administration; an administration which already feels like the court of Caligula set to an episode of bad reality TV, with a soundtrack handily provided by the loony toons.  Fortunately, the president has stepped back, has issued a decree which will reverse the vile and traumatising project of cleaving immigrant parents from their kids – though the practise of locking them all up in the same cage still seems to fall somewhat short of a positive exercise in empathy and human rights.

As a result of such events, Facebook was deluged with a variety of memes: but all carrying the same essential message.  Trump, it was averred, is a fascist.  Some of these were done with wit and verve: the image of a famous brand of margarine appeared, with Trump’s big sniggering face gurning out, underwritten by the slogan ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Hitler’.  Others were significantly more serious; a host of images appeared split into two halves: on the top a photo of immigrant children who have been imprisoned in 2018 in American border camps, on the bottom images from Nazi concentration camps of emaciated Jewish children – wide, haunted eyes gazing out from behind writhing barbed…

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