OK, Not an Accident

While I do not generally favor the use of Gamatria* in politics, there is a significance to these numbers.  1488 is a commonly used argot of Neo-Nazis, referring to both Hitler and the “protection” of the “white race”.

As the good folks at Psychology Today observe, “Once is a coincidence; twice is a tendency; three times is a rule.”

As Richard Dreyfuss noted in Jaws, “This is not a boat accident.”

On Thursday, June 18th, Facebook removed ads that the Trump re-election campaign began running the day earlier, citing the company’s policy against promoting organized hate. At the center of the ads and of the controversy was an inverted red triangle. The same symbol was used by Nazis to mark political prisoners–Communists, Freemasons, people who had helped Jews–in concentration camps.

If your reaction is, “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,” consider also that the first sentence of the ads contained 14 words, and a total of 88 ads were purchased by the campaign to be run on Facebook.

Fourteen words, 14, symbolizes a popular alt-right slogan, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” Eighty-eight, 88, stands for Heil Hitler—H is the 8th letter of the alphabet. Together, 14-88 are often used to signal allegiance to an alt-right group and the ideas of White Supremacy.

A mentor used to say, “once is a coincidence; twice is a tendency; three times is a rule.” So it would seem that in this case, the red triangle may not just be a red triangle, that it may stand for something else.


A White Power symbol posted by the U.S. president’s re-election campaign, “Team Trump,” helps to legitimize the alt-right movement. When the symbol is shared by the U.S. president himself and by Vice President Pence, observers might wonder if many people actually condone the alt-right movement’s goals and values.

This signaling may be far more sophisticated, and far more malicious, than I had previously thought.

*In Hebrew, every letter is also a number, and Gematria is a sort of mysticism where the numerical characteristics of  sentences and word connote a greater meaning.

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