The Uses of History and the Anti-Trump Protests

22 01 2017

Yesterday, there were protests around the world against the new US President. (As a non-American, I’ve leave aside the issue of whether it is tactically wise to protest a president before he has implemented any policies, an issue that has been debated by Trump’s opponents). What’s interesting to me is the ways in which the past is being used to mobilize supporters and and create historical narratives that link Trump to both the opponents of votes for women and the anti-Semitic America First movement of the early 1940s. For instance, some of Trump’s enemies have been circulating a 1941 Dr Seuss cartoon about America First, while others have been dressing as 1910s suffragettes.  (Luckily Trump doesn’t own any racehorses).