When I first saw the controversial pictures of What’s-her-name holding up a mock up of the severed head of our president, my mind immediately jumped to a similar controversy during Obama’s administration where images of the president with cross hairs over his face circulated in social media along with the same outrage we’re seeing today. The only difference, it would seem, was the ruling party, and the political affiliations of those who were upset.
The backlash over what was, let’s not beat around the bush, a concerted and deliberate PR strategy employed by a failed comic hoping to stoke the flames of the Right to gain prominence among the Left leaning media machine, was swift and justified. Americans were disgusted, or at least, lots of them were. Plenty of folks, however, remain dead set on picking a team and defending their teammates regardless of actions – even when they’re the actions of a desperate woman clinging to the last bits of fame she can reach.
Facebook, as it so often is, serves as a political echo chamber for whatever beliefs you choose to fill your feed with, allowing even the most ludicrous of defenses to circulate as though they’re logical. In this case, it’s things like that famous picture of Obama in cross hairs that leave some on the Left claiming these recent pictures are not only fair game, but appropriate based on the precedent set while their candidate was in office.
I’m not kidding, the legitimate defense people are using for a woman posing with the fake severed head of a sitting US president is nothing more than pointing at Republicans and shouting, “they started it!” And some people seem to think that makes sense.
As I’ve taken some fire for before, I try really hard not to pick a side when it comes to things like this, because I think side-picking may be human nature, but it’s not always productive. Because of that attempt at objectivity, I’m not calling on the justice system to arrest this crazy lady any more than I wanted them to arrest Ted Nugent while Obama was in office. Sometimes people say or do tasteless things that appall or offend us, but the response isn’t always to call the government in to regulate how we convey our feelings. If she threatened the president, she should face the consequences, but claiming she was calling for others to harm the president is no different than those on the Left claiming Trump is responsible for racists committing hate crimes since he took office. That kind of twice-removed blame placing isn’t productive or fair. Sometimes people are just idiots, monsters, or racists. We should hold people accountable for their own actions, not for what we extrapolate others may be motivated to do through their interpretation of them.