Der neue SPIEGEL. Ab jetzt zum Download und ab morgen im Laden erhältlich: https://t.co/qv6ihBqCQm pic.twitter.com/xtfI9YL2yW – DER SPIEGEL (@DerSPIEGEL) February 3, 2017 Edel Rodriguez came to the United States from Cuba as a political refugee in 1980.
Do we still know what real fascism looks like? We’re all used to absurd Holocaust analogies by people who simply can’t appreciate the scale or meaning of the attempted industrial-scale extermination of an entire race of people, and yes, of course political cartoons by their nature exaggerate to make a point, but there ought to be limits.
We risk desensitising people to real evil when we make fatuous comparisons between another country’s elected politician we don’t approve of, and that country’s enemy which represents an actual existential threat to civilisation. In a pre-Isis context, this sort of cartoon might be fine, but the decapitation of liberty is a reaction to a travel ban from places where they actually decapitate humans – by the thousands. So is the artist saying that a travel ban from countries infested with Isis is as bad as Isis itself (who actually literally decapitate people)?
We’re not going to post graphic images of actual Isis beheadings here, but if you’re the kind of person who can’t see the difference between an unpopular domestic policy and the execution of people by butchery, then perhaps a google image search might do you some good.
But this is a sure thing: the majority of decent people will not be won over by this extreme visual rhetoric. And again, if you don’t think a majority of decent people need to be won over, you’re part of the problem.
The irony – which most will not fail to appreciate – is that a German magazine should pause for thought: Der Spiegel can’t afford to be too smug when there is evidence of a growing right-wing populist reaction in its own country following migrant-linked terror attacks and sexual assaults. It is the sort if smugness that could well lead to the rise of the right in Germany, and all indications are that it will be a lot uglier than Donald Trump.