Opinion: Kathy Griffin, There Are Lines Not to Be Crossed
*This article contains graphic images.*
There is satire and then there is this…
I want to make one thing abundantly clear before I continue; I am not a President Trump supporter. Never have been and never will be. Personally, find him to be crass, arrogant, and completely unqualified. I believe he is racist, sexist, and xenophobic. I also think that he is turning America into the laughingstock of the world. With that said, there are lines. Lines that should never be crossed by anyone. Well, Kathy Griffin has taken that line and left it so far in the dust one would be hard pressed to find it again.
Don’t get me wrong, there has been more than one (hundreds in fact) occasion in which I have wished the man would disappear. Or that I would wake up and find this entire chapter in American history was a bad dream. A sort of premonition warning us all away from the dangers of giving into hate and fear. However, I have never, and will never, wish the man ill. More importantly than that though, I fear the direction our country has turned when someone finds this appropriate. When an image like this is celebrated because folks, this is NOT America.
What have we become?
However disturbing the burning of effigies depicting our Presidents has been, this is worse. The image is incredibly graphic to the point of disgust. This is the kind of thing I would expect to see in nation’s not yet enlightened by democratic ideas or ones in which violence has long played a part in politics. It invokes the idea that violence towards our officials is somehow acceptable.
I know there are some who would argue that violence has always been a part of our political theater but not in the fashion depicted by this image. Yes, we have fought many bloody battles in the quest for our freedom. Sadly, I have no doubt that we will fight more. But not this way. Hopefully never this way. If I do have one wish for this country it is that we never dissolve into a nation who feels so disparagingly oppressed that we murder our officials. That the democratic system will hold better than that. The picture however makes me question, what have we become? Are we truly so divided now that there is a majority in this country who find this image appropriate? Even funny? I hope not.
The Freedom question.
Some will argue, quite vigorously, that the picture is simply a matter of freedom of speech or expression. For the record, I agree. However, as with many things, the question is not can she but should she? That is the question that we are all asked. Personally, I find it hard to believe this was simply an attempt to mock President Trump for his comments about Megyn Kelly during his campaign. An attempt at that could have been done much differently and with far more humor. Instead, I find it more plausible that she was being quite forthright with her opinion, as was the photographer. Therein lies the problem, that she thought this was okay. Despite the fact that she has offered an apology, it feels hollow. Perhaps too little too late. Now there are the consequences because every decision in life, good or bad, has them.
In America, everything is political
The fallout is easy to see. President Trump and his supporters now have another rally point in which to accuse the left of seeking simply to destroy the man. That we are nothing but a bunch of violent sore losers who are out for blood. It makes building a bridge that much harder. She’s also done her fellow celebrities no favors as they attempt to weigh in on the coarse of our country,
Reports state that the Secret Service is investigating Ms. Griffin for a threat on the life of the President. I don’t personally think that she was but I understand why they might.
Then there is the morality question. President Trump has a young son, who has apparently seen the image. According to the President he is, understandably, upset. One has to remember, however hard it can be at times, this is a man who is a father and grandfather. Trump tweeted to that effect earlier today.
Sadly, he is right, she should be ashamed, as should everyone who was not appalled.
There is a difference between trying to make a strong political statement and simply adding fuel to the fire.
Ms. Griffin, you have turned it into an inferno.
*This is an opinion article. The views expressed are those of the writer alone.*