For the second week in a row, Time Magazine has put President Trump on its cover, this time sanding over a crying two-year-old Honduran girl with the caption: “Welcome To America.”
The viral photo was taken by John Moore of Getty Images on June 12 when the girl and her mother were detained on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Time matched it up with the president to provide an instant reminder of the crisis Trump created with his “zero tolerance” policy toward undocumented aliens who cross the border to the U.S. to seek asylum from the terrors of their homeland – an asylum Trump’s administration longer grants.
It was on June 12 when this two-year-old Honduran asylum-seeker was photographed by @jbmoorephoto, crying as her mother was detained near the U.S.-Mexico border. Nine days later—her image having helped force a president's hand—she's on the cover of TIME. https://t.co/DAtIpMoUUK pic.twitter.com/k3FRvqWpUw
— Andrew Katz (@katz) June 21, 2018
Instead, for crossing the border, the mother was arrested on criminal misdemeanor charges, which forcibly separated the tiny child from her mother and sending her many miles away to be put into a form of detention.
After a massive outcry that crossed political party lines, embraced al religious faiths and caused anger and frustration among many Americans, Trump signed an executive order to end the policy of separation – after spending weeks saying he didn’t have the power to do so.
Late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel spoke for the reaction of many people when he sarcastically said, “Thank you, Mr. President, for lighting the house on fire and now taking credit for putting the fire out.”
Kimmel said the credit really goes to the “massive public outcry over the controversial policy” which “forced the president’s hand.”
Trump’s sudden and rare reversal, should it survive the coming legal challenge (which is a big if), addressed his public relations problem caused by images of crying babies in cages but it is actually just another cynical turn.
The order does not reverse the “zero tolerance” policy that got that mother arrested, and it does not undo the policy put forth by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that ended the historic American attitude that the doors are open to asylum seekers who come from places and situations where their lives are in terrible danger.
Instead, Trump’s plan, if it succeeds the legal test, is to imprison the children with one or both parents for an indefinite period, and then most likely deport them back to the country where they were victims of domestic violence or the terror of gangs or corrupt governments.
Last week’s Time cover pictures Trump as a king looking into a mirror, in an illustration by Tim O’Brien, as a way to visualize the president’s handling of the Russia interference and Trump campaign collision investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) June 7, 2018
In its newest cover story, Time Magazine asks the question, “After Trump’s Separation Policy: What Kind Of Country Are We?”
“With each passing month he is testing anew just how far from our founding humanism his “America first” policies can take us,” writes Time, “And over the past two months on our southern border, we have seen the result.”
Time makes the case that Trump is abandoning, destroying, rejecting many of the values and global friendships that have been built over the past 70 plus years, downplaying human rights as a policy and embracing the world’s most authoritarian dictators as pals.
“What values does America’s billionaire President embrace in place of the Founders’?” asks Time. “A kind of gimlet-eyed competition.”
“Trump purports to run the country as a business, the most meaningful metric being exports vs. imports: if you have more than your counterpart, you’re a winner, and the other guy a loser.”
“But even in the bloodless world of accounting, “goodwill” has a place on the ledger (the left side; it’s an asset) and the U.S. may be writing down a loss.”
“It was Alexis de Tocqueville, the French observer of the early American character, who recognized the danger of placing too much value on business, law, and order at the expense of the higher values,” notes Time.
“Warning of the country’s obsession with material gain and the enforcement of order necessary to pursue it, he wrote, ‘A nation that asks nothing of its government but the maintenance of order is already a slave at heart.'”
Trump doesn’t even try to speak to all Americans, preferring to play only to his political base – which we now know includes not just Republicans and conservatives, but also white supremacists, neo-Nazis and right-wing fringe conspiracists who believe almost everything they, and the president, hear on Fox News.
So the key to the Time cover image is that little girl who cries not just for herself and her mother, but for all refugees, and in many ways, for the majority of Americans forced to endure the regime of a president who does not speak for them or share their vision of an America where making money is important, but so is being a good human being.