America in Disarray: When Cheap Propaganda is Considered Art

presdon

This election cycle has been fraught with craziness that has exceeded the imaginable.

Bernie Sanders, the wild-haired Jew from Brooklyn managed to defy all odds and naysayers and build a movement of young people that swept the country. And then he killed it.

Donald Trump, the New York billionaire turned reality TV star has managed to win support from a large share of the working class by tweeting, scapegoating and expressing nonsensical policies, even though he was a daddy’s boy born into the establishment with a silver spoon in his mouth.

And recently, cheap propaganda masquerading as “renegade art” has been overtaking our sound- and airwaves. Some weeks ago, Indecline, an artist collective, exposed castrated-Trump statues in a coordinated and dramatic manner on the streets of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Seattle and in Union Square, New York. While some critiqued the works, many adored these statues and reveled in the douchebaggery of public body shaming, jeering and cursing at the statues. The fact of the matter is that Indecline’s work was far from being subversive. It grotesquely expressed the mainstream liberal revulsion at Trump himself, while avoiding the much harder task of addressing his policies and the reasons he is successfully appealing to many Americans. A real look would damn liberals, the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton, so that was out of the question for art that attempted to be a popular hit and grab mainstream media attention.

The corrupt liberal establishment has mocked the poor, the uneducated, the dark skinned and the indigenous for years while continuing the policies that jail and disenfranchise them. They have ceased to appeal to the working classes, bothering only with those who can pay to play. And here comes Trump, the joke, the demagogue, with his little hands, his orange hairpiece and his comic demeanor and he actually talks to poor people and acknowledges their suffering.

Historically, fascists rise within corruption- inside a system ruled by a liberal class that ignores workers. Therefore, Indecline’s “renegade art” actually serves Trump and his cause.

He can now say- “you see, those elitists in their big cities are making fun of me, and therefore of you! The system only mocks us!” Never mind Trump’s own hypocrisy, the situation plays into his hands. Lest we forget, Adolph Hitler was widely ridiculed for his high-pitched voice and jerky hand movements in much the same way before his rise to power. Every third grader knows how that ended for liberals.

But there’s no surprise that Indecline’s work has been embraced by an ecstatic, somewhat frantic media; this contemptuous and divisive approach was echoed well by liberal establishment favorite, the Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who has called half (!) of Trump’s supporters “a basket of deplorables”. Never mind that Clinton is in a virtual deadlock with Trump in recent polls.

The one and only redeeming quality to Indecline’s works was the fact that the statues were illegally placed in the public realm before being thankfully removed. But now Moishe Mana from Mana Contemporary has commissioned additional castrated Trumps and has decided to terrorize commuters in New York-New Jersey (for crying out loud, isn’t commuting into Manhattan torturous enough?) and in Wynwood Miami by placing them on his adjacent property.

Whereas the original statues were cheap shots aimed at grabbing mainstream media attention by playing on people’s loathing of Donald Trump’s racism and misogyny, these commissioned pieces and their legal placement on property owned by Mana are cheap propaganda per se.

And, finally, yet again, these elections expose a glaring hypocrisy of the liberal establishment. One can easily guess the reaction in the mainstream media to large statues of Hillary Clinton with a double mastectomy or genital mutilation.

Originally published on Counterpunch here.