The message from the photo in Der Spiegel couldn't be any clearer. In Donald Trump's America even the flag is in for a grope. They find that Trump is the messenger announcing that democracy in the US is at a dead-end.
The real story is that of the last 35 years. Since the 1980 Reagan Revolution, a conservative syndicate has systematically strived to destroy the foundations of liberal democracy by elevating the economy, selfishness and social Darwinism above all.
The real story is that of the last 25 years. Since the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, the Democrats, the leftists and liberal forces (as has happened with New Labour in Britain and the Social Democrats in Germany) have capitulated to globalization as if to a law of nature. Step by step, they have abandoned a significant segment of their voters: workers and the lower-middle class.
The real story is that of the last eight years, during which Barack Obama has been president. For many Americans, his presidency remains an ignominy and a disgrace because racism has such deep roots in American history and now appears to many whites as a matter of survival. Sometimes it seems as though it's all they have left.
\Hillary in prison, to hell with the environment, a wall on the Mexican border, bomb the shit out of ISIS, beat them up: Trump assembled a political platform of horrors. His tax cuts would make Reagan's radical capitalism look quaint; he would "cancel" the Paris climate deal; he would establish a climate of hate and mistrust against blacks, Hispanics, Muslims and all other minorities; he would appoint ultra-right-wing justices to the Supreme Court and would thus determine the societal climate on decisive social questions such as gun ownership and abortion for a long time to come.
The hair-raising logic underpinning this platform is that the country is still suffering from the consequences of the economic and financial crises that have dispossessed parts of the middle class since 2008. Those who nonetheless vote for Trump are acting roughly as logically as someone whose car, house and silver have been stolen -- but who invites the thief to dinner anyway so he can take the table and chairs as well.
It is clear that American society cannot continue down this road for much longer. The tensions that have been apparent in recent years have become too great, from the stagnating middle class to the structural racism that has become manifested in the country's prison system in such a way that it can now be compared to a new kind of slavery.
It is disastrous that a racist with fascist tendencies has come so close to taking over power in this country, a man who appeals to hate, greed and the basest of instincts, an agitator who plays people off against each other, who abhors losers and who adheres to the credo: might makes right. An authoritarian, narcissistic, manic, manipulative and dangerous liar who is capable of anything.