First, we have Germany’s Der Spiegel present us with Trump decapitating the statue of liberty and holding her severed head like a trophy. Britain’s The Economist has raised also a few eyebrows with its cover showing Donald Trump armed with a Molotov cocktail titled “An Insurgent in the White House,” telling us that “WASHINGTON is in the grip of a revolution.”
“The bleak cadence of last month’s inauguration was still in the air when Donald Trump lobbed the first Molotov cocktail of policies and executive orders against the capital’s brilliant-white porticos. He has not stopped.”
The mainstream media is not used to such blatant criticism of Donald Trump. This was the reaction of The New York Times‘ John Schwartz:
The Economist, holy cow, guys pic.twitter.com/0yPiLiqru5
— John Schwartz (@jswatz) February 4, 2017
The magazine’s own tweet advertising the editorial explains that “Donald Trump needs to be persuaded that alliances are America’s greatest source of power.”
The editorial goes on to explain,
To understand Mr Trump’s insurgency, start with the uses of outrage. In a divided America, where the other side is not just mistaken but malign, conflict is a political asset. The more Mr Trump used his stump speeches to offend polite opinion, the more his supporters were convinced that he really would evict the treacherous, greedy elite from their Washington salons.
His grenade-chuckers-in-chief, Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller, have now carried that logic into government (see Briefing). Every time demonstrators and the media rail against Mr Trump, it is proof that he must be doing something right. If the outpourings of the West Wing are chaotic, it only goes to show that Mr Trump is a man of action just as he promised. The secrecy and confusion of the immigration ban are a sign not of failure, but of how his people shun the self-serving experts who habitually subvert the popular will.
The Economist is certainly – in contrast with the American press – unafraid to criticize Trump in the strongest possible terms. The conclusion of the editors that “A web of bilateralism and a jerry-rigged regionalism are palpably worse for America than the world Mr Trump inherited” is undeniably true, as is their stark warning, that,
“It is not too late for him to conclude how much worse, to ditch his bomb-throwers and switch course. The world should hope for that outcome. But it must prepare for trouble.”
Indeed, and worse things have been said of Trump by others. One GOP consultant, Cheri Jacobus said in a series of tweets that the press must call out Trump for his lies and extremism and that “When they are treasonous, say so. Loudly.”
So far, Trump has managed to make things worse every single day of few short days of his administration. He has elicited a great deal of well-deserved mockery and shocking images like this, which present Trump not as the victim of anarchist, but as an anarchist himself, firebombing the world order in a rage made only worse by each criticism of his actions.
As The Economist says, if for Trump “chaos seems to be part of the plan,” then the world must prepare for trouble.
Photo: Twitter @TheEconomist