For The Symbol Minded

According to the commander-in-chief: “as long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve.”  Is this encouraging? Or megalomania?

There is apparently “a new tide of optimism is sweeping across our land.” That optimism looks something like this:

Screenshot (80)

It was also said that “This is our new American moment. There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.” That economic miracle looks like this:

medianearnings1

We were also told that: “Reverence for those who have served our Nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem.

And we’re back to Colin Kaepernick.

Like everything else Trump does, the current conversation has to be about a feud as well. There is an irony to the non-sequitur rants too, since what Trump is upset about, prima facie, is deictic and relies on context. Not everything is analogous to blind men groping animals. Yes, sometimes things change by angle of perspective, like sectioning an orange:

hindu-and-the-elephant

But sometimes things are more straightforward. This isn’t necessarily helpful, as being out in the open is often the best place to hide. It used to be that the truth was hidden by a lack of access. However, nowadays no one can keep a secret anymore. And even though the truth “gets out”, that doesn’t mean we can grasp it. There are so many points of access and subsequent interpretations of the same events that information becomes disinformation. So in the end, you can’t tell the difference between real and fake, which means it doesn’t matter if there is an objective truth. This means all things can be done in the open because we won’t know whether to believe it or not, or even which side to take:

Screenshot_20180201-210136

So, by analogy, Trump firing his adversaries is, on the face of it, similar to Nixon firing Cox. To do otherwise, to demand nuance of all things, means we lose the obvious.

For example, those upset about taking a knee and disrespecting the military during the national anthem (and it’s lyrics) have forgotten the Green Beret origins of such a pose:

Screenshot (81)

Also, when Sanders does this:

badsalute1-2

it’s a reference to antifascists:

badsalute5

And when Queen Bey does this at a sporting event:

2680242.main_image

it’s acknowledging historical moments in sports like this:

Carlos-Smith

When West Point cadets get in trouble for this:

badsalute1-0-No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave

it’s because it also references this man:

badsalute2

There is also meaning in the recommended antidote of needing to always pledge allegiance:

goodsalute-openhand-bellamysalute

whether to a religion:

goodsalute-openhand-romansalute

or to a demagogue:

goodsalute-openhand1

or to a dictator:

goodsalute-openhand2

So when Trump says: “Each day since [inauguration], we have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission” – don’t get lost in interpretation. Take him at his word. He has a vision. He believes he is righteous in his actions. And he’ll make us all suffer to see his point of view.

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