Cartoon: Reagan vs Trump


Get past the usual Mencken misquote – it leads you to the follow-on quote from that great editor: “Because the plain people are able to speak and understand, and even, in many cases, to read and write, it is assumed that they have ideas in their heads, and an appetite for more. This assumption is a folly”.


One thought on “Cartoon: Reagan vs Trump

  1. Footnote says:

    “A few days later I saw Adolf Hitler address a mass meeting in Berlin, on a square before a building so immense that it took up the whole block. This structure was the headquarters of the German Communist Party. A temporary united front was then in effect between the Nazis and the Communists against the corrupt reformists and social democrats.
    The square was literally jammed with twenty-five to thirty thousand Communist workers. Hitler arrived with an escort of nearly a thousand men. They crossed the square and halted below a window from which Communist Party leaders were watching. I was among them, having been invited by Muenzenberg, who was at my right. At my left stood Thaelmann, the Party’s General Secretary. Muenzenberg interpreted my comments for Thaelmann, and translated Hitler’s speech for me.
    My Communist friends made mocking remarks about the “funny little man” who was to address the meeting, and considered those who saw a threat in him timorous or foolish.
    As he prepared to speak, Hitler drew himself rigidly erect, as if he expected to swell out and fill his oversized English officer’s raincoat and look like a giant. Then he made a motion for silence. Some Communist workers booed him, but after a few minutes the entire crowd became perfectly silent.
    As he warmed up, Hitler began screaming and waving his arms like an epileptic. Something about him must have stirred the deepest centers of his fellow Germans, for after awhile I sensed a weird magnetic current flowing between him and the crowd. So profound was it that, when he finished, after two hours of speaking, there was a second of complete silence. Not even the Communist youth groups, instructed to do so, whistled at him. Then the silence gave way to tremendous, ear-shattering applause from all over the square.
    As he left, Hitler’s followers closed ranks around him with every sign of devoted loyalty. Thaelmann and Muenzenberg laughed like schoolboys. As for me, I was as mystified and troubled now as when I had witnessed the decadent ritual a few days before in the Grunewald. I could see nothing to laugh at. I actually felt depressed.
    Muenzenberg, glancing at me, asked, “Diego, what’s the matter with you?”
    The matter with me was, I informed him, that I was filled with forebodings. I had a premonition that, if the armed Communists here permitted Hitler to leave this place alive, he might live to cut off both of my comrades’ heads in a few years.
    Thaelmann and Muenzenberg only laughed louder. Muenzenberg complimented me on my artist’s vivid imagination.
    “You must be joking,” he said. “Haven’t you heard Hitler talk? Haven’t you understood the stupidities I translated for you?”
    I replied, “But these idiocies are also in the heads of the audience, maddened by hunger and fear. Hitler is promising them a change, economic, political, cultural, and scientific. Well, they want changes, and he may be able to do just what he says, since he has all the capitalist money behind him. With that he can give food to the hungry German workers and persuade them to go over to his side and turn on us. Let me shoot him, at least. I’ll take the responsibility. He’s still within range.”
    But this made my German comrades laugh still harder. After laughing himself out, Thaelmann said, “Of course it’s best to have someone always ready to liquidate the clown. Don’t worry, though. In a few months he’ll be finished, and then we’ll be in a position to take power.”
    This only depressed me more, and I reiterated my fears. By now, Muenzenberg wasn’t smiling. He had been watching Hitler, then nearly at the other end of the square. He had noticed that the crowd was still applauding. Before leaving the square, Hitler turned and gave the Nazi salute. Instead of boos, the applause swelled. It was clear that Hitler had won many followers among these left-wing workers. Muenzenberg suddenly turned pale and clutched my arm.
    Thaelmann looked surprised at both of us. Then he smiled wanly and patted my head. In Russian, which sounded thick in his German accent, he said, “Nitchevo, nitchevo.” — “It’s nothing, nothing at all.”
    My “crazy” artist’s imagination was later bitterly substantiated. Both Thaelmann and my friend Muenzenberg were among the millions of human beings put to death by the “clown” we had watched in the square that day.”
    Diego Rivera, “My Art, My Life: An Autobiography.”

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