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Socialist Party of America

Socialist for LD22 Pos 1

Jonny Meade statement on Donald Trump’s use of Nazi iconography in recent campaign ads

Thu, Jun 18, 2020
Olympia, Washington

Media Contact:

While researching political ads running in Washington State, I discovered something disturbing. Many call Donald Trump a Nazi when speaking about his racist dog whistles and authoritarian policies. While Donald Trump’s administration has referenced Nazi slogans such as “the fourteen words,” never before has Donald Trump used actual Nazi iconography… until now.

An official Trump campaign ad that began running on Facebook on June 17, 2020, uses a downward-pointing red triangle. The text claims that “dangerous MOBS of far-left groups are running through our streets and causing absolute mayhem.” The ad links to Trump’s official campaign website with a petition calling for classifying “ANTIFA” as a terrorist organization.

This ad’s opening sentence word count is 14, artificially maintained by the odd hyphen. Additionally, the ad was run 88 times.

Anti-fascism (ANTIFA for short) is the idea that fascism has no place in a free and democratic society. It isn’t an “organization,” it’s an idea, just like anti-racism or anti-sexism. Unfortunately, actual terrorist organizations are operating throughout our country and even here in Washington State. These hate groups know what symbols like the red triangle mean.

In Adolf Hitler’s concentration camps, Nazis used symbols to identify people based on their religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and politics. The red triangle represented political enemies, such as anarchists, socialists, or anti-fascists. The more famous pink triangle represented LGBT prisoners. And everyone knows what the yellow triangle meant: Jewish people.

US Army Center of Military History’s article on the “Liberation of Major Nazi Camps” features more details (warning: graphic photos).

The inclusion of the red triangle on Donald Trump’s ad is no mistake or coincidence. It is here to signify that Donald Trump wants people to know, via Nazi iconography, that he views anti-fascists as political enemies in the same way Adolf Hitler and the Nazis did. Nazi symbolism is used for one purpose: as a call to violence. Donald Trump is calling for genocide and for the murder of anti-fascists in the same way millions were killed by the Nazis during WW2.

In addition to this being one of the most depraved, disgusting, hateful, and unethical ways to campaign, this ad has no place on Facebook or any other political platform. The red triangle is a call for violence against political enemies. While we live in a country with free speech, political ads containing calls to violence are an embarrassingly low bar to set, and immediate or imminent threats are specifically exempt from protections under the First Amendment (US Supreme Court in Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 US 444, 1969).

Please join my campaign and the Socialist Party to demand that the Federal Election Commission investigate Donald Trump and his campaign committee for violations of US law and to call on Facebook to remove Donald Trump’s ads from their platforms.

Sign the petition demanding the FEC investigate Donald Trump’s campaign for campaign ethics violations.

We also specifically call upon the Washington State Republican Party to denounce Donald Trump’s use of Nazi iconography in his campaign ads.

We all deserve better than this. Never again shall our country dignify the idea of imprisoning or executing people for their political views, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.

In Solidarity,

Jonny Meade
Candidate for WA Legislature
District 22 Position 1