TIME

DEMOCRACY’S AGING PROBLEM

Images of suffering children have a unique power in politics. They forced the Trump Administration to end its policy of ripping migrant children from their parents at the southwest border. In 2015 a photo of a dead 3-year-old who drowned trying to reach Greece also inspired policy changes across Europe. But the goodwill did not last.

Three years on from that awful image of the late Alan Kurdi lying facedown on a Turkish beach, the wave of sympathy in Europe has almost entirely vanished. The politics across the Continent are now more toxic and divisive than they were before. Italy’s hardline Interior Minister Matteo Salvini insists that his country’s ports are closed to all new arrivals. Angela Merkel’s 2015 decision to open up Germany’s borders to hundreds of thousands of refugees has provoked strong

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