At the College Art Association in February 2017 a colleague told me “This is your period.” Still in shock over the election results, I could not have anticipated how true his statement was. My book视觉宣传，展览和西班牙内战金博宝188app有四年前出版。对比双方的视觉文化和展览：民主选举产生的共和人民阵线联盟左派和金博宝188app凝聚周围的法西斯将军佛朗哥，在1936年7月18日政变的领导者之一的右翼民族主义联盟。金博宝首页贵族，大部分的天主教会和军方都起义的骨干力量。政变的一个重要理由是，1936年2月的民主选举是被操纵的。我不禁想到了我的西班牙语爷爷维森特巴西利奥贝尔弗和他的兄弟何塞，谁在他们的投票地点，以证明选举结果担任代表他们温和的左翼政党。寻找我的家人的信息，因为我知道我的祖父反对佛朗哥，位于他哥哥的监狱记录的档案战斗。有时期间或战争结束后，他在集中营（任期），那么监狱举行。当他被假释，条件是内部流放 - 他永远无法回到他出生的城市。在另一个档案，我发现他和我祖父对结果签了字的选举文件。他们的名字用红色下划线了。 I can only assume that my grand uncle was deemed a grave danger because of his commitment to his party and participation in the electoral process.
I spent years trying to understand how the Nationalists created a cult of personality around Franco, whose dictatorship ended with his death in 1975. Their effort to craft his image was buttressed by imagery and ceremonies of absolute monarchy and the military, including photography, print culture, and Catholic iconography. Like President Trump, Franco was familiar to wide audiences. The latter appeared in newspapers and magazines that celebrated his military exploits in the Spanish colonies in North Africa and his role in the brutal suppression of a miners’ uprising in 1934. Depicted astride a white horse in photos, postcards, and a painting, he resembled Spain’s patron Saint James, known as the “Moor slayer,” entwining religious fanaticism, racism, and anti-leftist political views. I remember trying to explain Trump’s fame to friends in Spain, a reality-show star staging a simulacrum of entrepreneurship and corporate prowess. Since he could bend and bully aspiring entrepreneurs to his will and demonstrate his mastery of business, years later, he could convince many that he could “run” the United States. Similarly, Franco could apply his brutal military tactics to crush what he called the godless, leftist, Bolshevik, Jewish, Masonic enemies and restore order. Psychiatrist Antonio Vallejo-Najera, an admirer of Hitler and promoter of eugenics, warned against the anti-Spanish leftists, bearers of the degenerate “red gene.” Such strategies to dehumanize ideological opponents are familiar to us now. As we have seen, Trump has leveraged deeply rooted racist and anti-Semitic tropes and promoted new versions of witch-hunt tactics directed at progressives.
Today, we have an even less majestic image of the leader’s body embodying the nation in Trump’s ever-present red MAGA hat. His incessant tweets also further his all-pervasive persona, an updated version of Mao’s pronouncements in the Little Red Book or big-character posters and murals. Many Trump propagandists are now looking to past autocrats, studying the ways in which they consolidated their grasp on power, undermined democratic institutions, creating chaos, promoting hate and violence. Trump’s dramatic appearance at the Truman Balcony when he returned to the White House from Walter Reed Hospital led to #Mussolini as a trending topic on Twitter. Trump’s escalating nationalist and violent rhetoric, the administration’s propaganda, and his anti-democratic tactics are leading many to recover history, finding parallels between Mussolini’s appearances on balconies and pairing纳粹鹰符号withTrump’s “America First” eagle design. My colleague was right, my scholarship on fascist propaganda, which I assumed would be of interest to a limited audience, is now chillingly relevant.