The New York Daily News is not holding back in its latest cover about Donald Trump's proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the US.
The headline is an allusion to the famous poem by Martin Niemöller, which criticized German intellectuals' unwillingness to stand up to the Nazis as the regime cracked down on the political freedoms of socialists, trade unions, Jewish people, and, finally, "me."
It's a comparison that works frighteningly well for Trump, whose campaign has been based largely on demonizing minority groups to invoke nationalist, xenophobic fervor. The campaign launched, after all, by insulting Mexican immigrants — when Trump described them as drug traffickers, criminals, and "rapists," and focused much of his campaign on an immigration plan that restricts both undocumented and legal immigration. And now he's increasingly focused on disparaging Muslims in the US and around the world — by suggesting Muslim Americans should have to register in a government database, false claims that thousands of people (including "a heavy Arab population") in New Jersey celebrated the 9/11 attacks, proposals to shut down mosques in the US, and now a plan to ban Muslims from entering the country.
What's worse, it all seems to pander to a sizable portion of Americans. Trump is still leading the polls in the Republican primary, as he has for months. And public polling suggests that many members of Trump's party like his anti-Muslim comments.
As Vox's Andrew Prokop explained, stoking outrage may in fact be Trump's campaign strategy:
These are the two strategic objectives that lead Trump to keep stoking offensive controversies.
First, he ensures his continued dominance of the headlines.
Second, he proves to the segment of Americans who might secretly agree with him that, once again, he's willing to say the things ordinary politicians of both parties won't.
The public support and attention help explain why Trump keeps making outrageous remarks even as his own party and the media, through covers like the New York Daily News's, continue to criticize him. Not only does his campaign seem immune to outrage, but it appears to thrive on it.