Opinion: Pay attention to the far right’s use of memes to stir extremism

Michael D’Antonio is the author of the book ” Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success ” and co-author, with Peter Eisner, of the book ” High Crimes: The Corruption, Impunity, and Impeachment of Donald Trump .” James Cohen, PhD, is assistant professor of media studies at City College of New York and co-author with Thomas Kenny of “Producing New and Digital Media.” The opinions expressed in this commentary are their own. View more opinion on CNN.

(CNN) A man, armed with a machete and a knife and expressing White supremacist views, was arrested near the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters on Monday as Washington awaits a rally of diehard Trump supporters set for Saturday. The adornments on his truck flashed old-fashioned signs of hate, including a swastika — an old-fashioned symbol in an era when right-wing extremists are more likely to rally behind internet memes. Whether old or new, these symbols have one thing in common: They are meant to terrorize.