Is it Trump? or Hitler? Any would-be authoritarian dictator worth their fascism knows that style is everything. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Citizens can’t be convinced that the leader’s vision for a better nation will be awesome UNLESS they can catch a glimpse of that future.
How is that glimpse of the future seen? Through the use of propaganda. Propaganda are messages that illustrate ideas. Propaganda is meant to convince people that certain ideas are best, while other ideas are wrong. These days, some of the most persuasive propaganda often comes in the form of memes.
Attempts at voter manipulation are just one type of propaganda. These memes are small scale and specifically target certain political viewpoints.
Recently, we have entered new territory where the propaganda is coming not just from individuals or political parties, but from the State itself. This type of propaganda is worrisome for various reasons. It has also been traditionally frowned upon.
Presidents are not supposed to mix campaign events with State events. Trump is the one running for re-election as President. It is not the State itself, or the symbols of the nation such as the White House or the National Mall that are running for President. FOR EXAMPLE, party conventions are NOT supposed to take place in the White House.
People love spectacle and many respond to spectacle mixed with patriotism. It is why blockbuster movies combine some calamity with American ingenuity with a side of American exceptionalism. Aliens/disease/asteroids are invading earth, but ONLY the Americans will be able to fend them off. The world is eternally grateful. That sort of thing. You know that you have watched that movie 20 times.
Now mix that same spectacle with ‘nationalism’ and things get a little more interesting. Especially the type of nationalism that excludes certain people. You all know what is being referred to here.
Never shying away from controversy, Trump and his campaign have been bombarding Americans, and the world, with images that are reminiscent of the most famous nationalist movement thus far–Nazi Germany. Yikes!
Are you surprised? Let’s take a look at these images of Trump and compare them to some famous pictures from the Third Reich. It seems that someone is trying to emulate someone, but is it working?
So, the big question is—is it working? Is Trump’s slick spectacle of a wannabe Nuremberg rally actually getting any traction with the voters? Hopefully not.