Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Severed decency

When you're an avowed anti-Trump person yet have unified a large majority of the entire U.S. population against your expression of Trump hatred, you've accomplished something.

Comedian Kathy Griffin has apologized for a photo of herself holding what appears to be a bloody, decapitated fake head of President Trump, despite sweeping bi-partisan disapproval of the image.

The photo, taken by celebrity photographer Tyler Shields, was posted by Griffin and Shields Tuesday to their social media accounts.

"I caption this 'there was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his ... wherever,'" Griffin tweeted, referring to an exchange between Donald Trump and former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly during the primary season.

I don't shock easily, but I have to admit I was jarred by that photo of a severed head. I guess it's because it bore a strong resemblance to a head in the aftermath of being decapitated, which was likely the whole point. I have seen online footage of terrorists be-heading America citizens so I'm quite familiar with that gruesome sight of a severed head.

To me, the saddest commentary of this whole incident is how pleasantly surprised political righties (myself included) were in that even the most ardent anti-Trump voices unequivocally condemned Griffin's actions. The reason that's sad is because too many people have become so jaded by political discourse that we almost don't expect there to be a minimum standard of decorum. However, the fact there is a "bridge too far" for leftists is oddly refreshing.

Nevertheless, there are likely some who will brush this off as part of "the new normal" in political discourse. If you're one of those people, then Benny Johnson of Independent Journal Review has some things to share.

Do you think this photo is OK? Fine. Lets talk through a few things.

I don't typically play the 'Imagine if a Republican Did This' game, but it's becoming harder & harder to take people seriously.

Consider what would happen if a Emmy & Grammy award-winning celebrity, who is also a part-time CNN commentator, posed proudly with a bloody, decapitated head of Obama 130 days into his Presidency?

I bet you can guess.

The levels of existential meltdowns & garment tearing inside the chattering-class would reach Defcon 10.

Shame. Firing. Banishment. Loss of future, just to start.

And it would be rightly deserved. The act of glorifying a President's decapitation should make the most rock-ribbed partisans recoil in horror, because... decency.

Let's say you disagree with me & you think President Trump deserves this.

Can you at least admit that the President is a human & this dehumanizes him on a level that is dangerous? Like, glorifying his death. You know, Trump has a 11 year-old son? Would you wish *anyone's* innocent 11 year-old to see the dramatization of their parent's beheading?

Oh, you still think it's fine?

Ok, forget Trump. On the very basic, human level, can we agree that a handful of *Americans* have been actually, publicly decapitated at the hands of ISIS on YouTube in very recent memory? Not to mention countless of thousands of other Christians & Muslims alike. So to glorify the barbaric action is perhaps disrespectful to the dead?

Still don't agree with me?

Can you name one thing this does to help our political discourse, like, even a little bit?

You can't because, like much of our dialogue, this is intended to raise the stakes. It's intended to inflame Trump supporters & make them seethe. It's intended to disgrace the office of the Presidency & dehumanize the person who holds it.

If you support it, you're a bad person & you're playing a dangerous game with our democracy.

There's no question that President Trump has said some things which in and of itself diminish the office of the Presidency. But as long as his detractors engage in this kind of discourse, Trump will continue to gain the high ground by default. It really is a vicious cycle.


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