By David Codrea
“When I signed on to play the reluctant assassin Marcus Brutus in this production, I didn’t know Caesar would be an explicit avatar for President Trump,” actor Corey Stoll insists about Public Theater’s version of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in New York City.
No, of course he didn’t. Who could object to symbolically stabbing the president of the United States to death? The true threat here is “right-wing attacks.”
“Comedienne” Kathy Griffin appeared equally bewildered that some were upset enough by a staged photo carrying a prop of President Trump’s bloody, severed head. And actor Johnny Depp had no idea that his “joke” about assassinating the president would fall flat.
They were hardly the only “celebrities.” Actor Mickey Rourke said he would “love 30 seconds in a room alone with the little bxxxx” to “give him a Louisville Slugger.” Comedy Central’s Larry Wilcox expressed his desire to smother Trump with “the pillow they used to kill Scalia.” George Lopez tweeted out a decapitation cartoon, and a similar beheading was echoed in a Marilyn Manson music video.
Madonna asserted she “thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.” Robert De Niro said he wanted to punch Trump in the face. A rapper Snoop Dogg video simulated shooting a Trump double in the head.
Left unaddressed: How is it possible to hate a man like this and not hate those he represents? Issue advocacy voters elected Donald Trump because what he pledged in his campaign resonated with their values and the direction they’re determined to see the country move in.
The hatred is not just reserved for the president, as demonstrated after the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise and others during practice for a charity baseball game by an (“alleged”) leftist loon and Bernie Sanders supporter. And the excuse-making, finger-pointing and outright rejoicing by (“confirmed”) leftist loons drives home the point that the “suspect” is not alone in his malevolent hatred of all things not “progressive.”
Besides, Scalise brought it on himself. Just ask CBS News Correspondent Scott Pelley.
“It’s time to ask whether the attack on the United States Congress, yesterday, was foreseeable, predictable and, to some degree, self-inflicted,” he pontificated. “Too many leaders, and political commentators, who set an example for us to follow, have led us into an abyss of violent rhetoric which, it should be no surprise, has led to violence.”
Pelley and those like him exempted from guilt, of course. Like Trinity College Sociology Professor Johnny Eric Williams, who stepped it up a notch.
“Williams shared an anonymously-authored Medium post entitled ‘Let Them Xxxxing Die,’ which argued that the first responders to the congressional shooting should have let Representative Scalise and others die,” Breitbart reported. “The inflammatory post calls on minorities to refuse assistance to whites in potentially fatal situations, like choking, bleeding out, or drowning. The post then calls for those persons to not only watch as others die but to ‘smile’ as they watch, for letting them die is a ‘great service’ to the ‘universe.’”
We’re not talking some unemployed, unwashed Antifa street thug here. This guy is a “respected academic” and author, embraced in Ivory Tower circles as an authority in his field.
“The Left Has One More Argument—Kill Them!” a column by conservative commentator Ann Coulter was accurately titled. “What we’re seeing is the following: Prominent liberals repeatedly tell us, with deadly seriousness, that Trump and his supporters are: ‘Hitler,’ ‘fascists,’ ‘bigots,’ ‘haters,’ ‘racists,’ ‘terrorists,’ ‘criminals’ and ‘white supremacists,’ which is then followed by liberals physically attacking conservatives.
“If a few old a… conservative white men have to die in order to get the gun control issue discussed then I’m willing to take that risk,” another “comedienne” Marcella Arguello wrote in a since-deleted “tweet,” confirming Coulter’s thesis (and you’d think the daughter of refugees from El Salvador would know better).
But “don’t blame the left for violence in America,” SocialistWorker.org protested. “Right-wing violence [advancing] the reactionary agenda of intimidating and silencing the oppressed” is the true culprit, they predictably maintain.
“[I]t is clear that we have a divide, a major divide in America that does not seem surmountable,” talk radio host Rush Limbaugh observed. “It does not seem reparable. It does not seem like it is possible or even likely to find any common ground, when many Americans think that their number one enemy is the other political party, which is a fact on the left. Scary times.”
Indeed. And per a recent CBS poll, 68 percent of Americans see things getting worse. Only 7 percent see them getting better, while 73 percent answered “Yes” to the question: “Is the tone of the current political debate encouraging violence?”
“Draining the swamp means not only ejecting Trump from the presidency, but also bringing himself and everyone assisting in his agenda up on charges of treason,” Huffington Post commentator Jason Fuller declared, confirming that assessment. “They must be convicted (there is little room to doubt their guilt). And then—upon receiving guilty verdicts—they must all be executed under the law.
“Anything less than capital punishment—or at least life imprisonment without parole in a maximum security detention facility—would send yet another message to the world that America has lost its moral compass,” he elaborated in a lunatic screed that was approved by the editors and only pulled down after they were embarrassed by the outraged backlash.
If you were a Trump supporter, that’s you Fuller is talking about. That’s what he and those like him really want for you, for any family members who agree with you, for your friends and neighbors, and essentially for all in “red state/flyover” America. They want it for everyone who has committed the heresy of rejecting “progressivism” and instead chosen to support a Constitution delegating limited powers and declaring rights off limits from government encroachment.
This type of Killing Fields precursor is the kind of “thought” put out on a leading “progressive” opinion website, one with millions of regular readers, and one that garnered all kinds of supportive comments. The answer to Los Angeles Riots catalyst Rodney King’s plaintive “Can we all get along?” plea becomes clear.
What do you think? Is getting along possible with people who want you tried for treason or simply killed outright?
There’s a scene in the science fiction movie Independence Day where the president questions a captured alien invader.
“What is it you want us to do?” he asks.
“Die,” it hisses back.
When some “entertainer” symbolically executes Donald Trump, or some “pundit” makes excuses for it and reverses the blame, we need to ask ourselves what it is about the man they hate so much. The answer is the policies he says he stands for. That means they hate those who agree with those policies. He’s the symbol, an avatar of sorts, for all those who chose the vision of America he articulated over what Hillary Clinton offered.
Knowing this kind of rhetoric has not only entered the public discourse but is now prominent, and knowing that the low-hanging fruit has begun to act on it, who thinks now is the time to start enacting more citizen disarmament laws? Besides those who hate Donald Trump, and by default, anyone who advocates for his agenda.