The Economist shows the POTUS bellowing into a white megaphone with eye holes that make it double as a Ku Klux Klanhood, implying Trump has turned up the volume of white supremacists by his “both sides” justification of Charlottesville. The Economist’s illustrator Jon Berkeley told HuffPost,
“The KKK hood is a gift in graphic terms. It’s simple, and its menace is instantly recognizable. It’s been used to great visual effect by many illustrators and cartoonists… I do think that cartoons and illustration can have a strong effect on people’s perception of particular people or events over time ― maybe even more so as the credibility of the printed word is dented…. We live in interesting times… The supply of weapons-grade lunacy in every corner of the globe seems to have ramped up considerably in the past year, which just gives more to push against.”
The New Yorker illustrates Trump in a sailboat with a sail that resembles a KKK hood and their editor in chief David Remnick said of it,
“It’s a moment. Look, there’s been a Klan in this country and white supremacists in this country for hundreds of years. But the very idea that the president of the United States in 2017 would signal sympathy with that movement, and would do so with a kind of defiant insistence, is more than just a moment.”
Time‘s new cover image features a man behind an American flag at a 45-degree angle with a Nazi salute and he cover of Der Spiegel features Trump wearing a Klu Klux Klan hood, both by Edel Rodriguez, a Cuban immigrant. Rodriguez felt compelled to warn people about the danger of electing a man like Trump, in whom Rodriguez saw the qualities of a dictator. (Rodriguez produced the magazine’s iconic melting-Trump covers too.)
Another drawing by Rodriguez, made during the campaign, illustrates a debate between Clinton and Trump, with Trump a white hood. Rodriguez told the Huffington Post,
“At this point, putting him in a KKK hood is liberating. There’s no leap to make. He has stood up for White Supremacists, Nazis and the KKK like no president has before. It’s shameful and disgusting. Thousands of American soldiers lost their lives to bring down Nazism.”
Other graphics have been making the rounds like this illustration of Trump in the Oval Office with KKK hooded window shades and the gold T logos which forms a swastika in negative space by designers Mark Fox & Angie Wang. (I did a similar design back in December of 2015, when the idea of Nazi Trump in the White House was still a ridiculous joke… no one is LOLing anymore.)
And then there are the animated gifs that make the point even more cinematic, like the transforming “45” by L.A. based Joe Merrell and the swinging swastika by who, I’m not sure? Both chilling.
Trump can try to ignore these images but the reality is that we know that he considers them important, but only when they are positive. Magazine covers featuring HIM are status symbols. Swastika gifs with your face and Hitler’s, not so much. What is the old cliché?
“There’s no such thing as bad publicity?“
Lately, with this President, it’s the only kind he can get.