Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
December 23, 2017

Trump’s Christmas Offensive

President Trump Holds A Rally In Pensacola, Florida - 8 of 72

I’m not sure when Trump did me in this month. Was it the visit to St. Louis where he blatantly lied about the tax bill, telling gullible citizens how it didn’t benefit him personally at all? Or, was it the Muslim hate videos he retweeted? What surely got me, though, was the Christmas card business.

The Trump 2017 holiday, well, Christmas cards. Photo: Ron Sachs. CNP/Mega

Yeah, the in-your-face holiday Christmas card in “wealth redistribution” gold made it hard for me to examine the White House pageant any further. (If you’re looking for an insightful take on Melania’s equally obsessive, White House Yule Tide makeover, don’t miss Jia Tolentino’s “With the White House Christmas, the Image of Melania Trump Transforms from Fairy-Tale Prisoner to Wicked Queen.”)

If you were paying any attention at all, the man spent the whole month on a relentless crusade (allusion intended) to remind everyone “Season’s Greetings” or “Happy Holidays” was somehow sacrilegious. The drummer boy never missed an opportunity to remind anyone and everyone (especially at the Roy Moore endorsement rally in Pensacola) that proper respect must be paid to the Christian holiday in our Christian nation with the intonation of those two words.

Photo: Andrew Harnik, AP. President Donald Trump points to sign that reads Merry Christmas as he arrives to speak about tax reform at the St. Charles Convention Center, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, in St. Charles, Mo.

And, don’t tell me the heavy-handedness was comparable to anything.

The most browbeating time of the year?

In the end, like everything else the ineloquent Trump hammers to death, this too became a parody of itself. Just check out the illustration by Nicolas Ortega that accompanied a NYT op-ed about how Trump weaponized the holiday in the name of the fundamentalist far right. (And don’t miss the singing angel!)

Credit Nicolas Ortega. From NY Times op-ed on Trump leveraging Christmas to perpetuate a fundamentalist agenda.

I’m glad they weren’t the only one’s who saw the harping as that insidious.

Our tweet tied the audacity of the Christmas card with Trump’s call out of the anti-Muslim videos. The impact of the iconography at this time of year was unmistakable. And, how much separation is there really between Trump’s rhetoric and a live offensive?

Perhaps the best and the last word on the subject, though, was offered up in this BBC video, titled: “Should Americans say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?” It also contains the requisite editing sequence showing Trump mouthing his Christmas rant over and over. After looking into it, what the Brits reveal about Trump’s campaign is that Americans generally feel, to each his own. The video adds that only 55% of Americans will even celebrate Christmas anyway.

— Michael Shaw

(Photo 1: Andrew Harnik/AP. Caption: President Donald Trump points to sign that reads Merry Christmas as he arrives to speak about tax reform at the St. Charles Convention Center, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, in St. Charles, Mo. Photo 2: Joe Raedle/Getty Images. Caption: President Donald Trump walks on stage as he holds a rally at the Pensacola Bay Center on December 8, 2017 in Pensacola, Florida. Mr. Trump was expected to further endorse Alabama Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore who is running against Democratic challenger Doug Jones in the adjacent state.)

Comments Powered by Disqus

Refresh Archives

Random Notes