Violent Imagery; How Kathy Griffin’s Assault on the President exposes the Right

Dear readers,

Though I have not written much of late I would like to beg your readership again as I recount the experience of the last twenty four hours specifically in regards to Kathy Griffin’s decapitated Trump head photo and the right and the left respectively in terms of their responses to it.

 

Here is an image, in case you haven’t seen it. In this photo, posted to instagram, Kathy Griffin shows herself holding the brutal and bloody decapitated head of Donald Trump. In what can only be described as a hurricane of response, the entire internet it’s many different forms has exploded over this picture. Negative response has never been so tremendous. Kathy has suffered blows due to this image, professionally.  For instance, Kathy Griffin has been formally dismissed by CNN from it’s New Years Eve program.

Perhaps more damning though is that largely the majority of anti-trump liberals did not support this image. In fact, by and large, they have condemned it. I experienced this the last few hours personally, scrutinizing and observing the response to this image by fellow Democrat voters. I was very curious – after I first viewed the image – how fellow Democrats would respond. Would they cheer, and embrace this effigy of their hated political enemy and adversary to everything they believe in? As it turns out, no. By and large, they condemned it. In the hours following it becoming widely public knowledge, I have viewed seemingly endless criticism of this choice by Kathy Griffin. Not simply because it is a threat against the political leader of our country – at least in part – but also because it is tasteless, and lower than we should be. The going trend among liberals is that we should be better than this kind of behavior. That our opposition to a political opponent should be made through the rational argument of his or her position and not through violent, graphic imagery suggesting the death of that rival.

 

Now. Having said that.

 

What have I viewed from the right? As always, I do not close myself to the opinions of the right even though I consider myself on the left. It’s vital that I keep myself open to views that are not my own, even when they enrage and disappoint me. Yet the world is not solely that of my opinion; I need to know what the other side of the fence is thinking. Why they think that way. So, what did I see today, in response to this image?

 

Literally I saw the definition of hypocrisy manifest itself before my very eyes. While I openly condemned this photo in social media, the right took it upon itself in virtually every individual I know and speak to from that side to behave as though this was the first time this has ever happened in American history. Allow me to educate you, briefly, about the last eight years.

 

 

 

 

Only a few images that can be easily researched in regards to the violence that was expressed against Obama during his two terms in office. Yet when I confronted my conservative friends about this – commenting that I never saw their outrage over this, that they never came out to condemn this, I was greeted with excuses. Dismissive comments. Suddenly it was different. It’s not the same thing. This was wrong, this time. It wasn’t wrong then. All liberals must apologize for this, but no conservative had to apologize for these. It was an indictment of the entire Democrat party; yet these images and 8 years of threats against Obama somehow did not reflect on Republicans in the same way. However in this circumstance, we have an interesting and unique additional fact. There was an apology. Not so many hours after this image received it’s broadly negative reception, Kathy Griffin herself apologized for it.

She took ownership of what she did, accepted responsibility and apologized. Ted Nugent – did not apologize. However, here is Trump’s – not only the man Griffin targeted in this image but also the sitting President – response to Nugent’s behavior.

 

In this image we see the target of this image, current President Trump, attempting to make apologies for Ted Nugent’s vocal and violent assaults on Obama. So, what is the difference between what happened to Griffin and Nugent for their assaults on the President? Well, as I have already stated, Griffin is suffering professional repercussions including CNN dropping her. What did Nugent receive? Allow me to show you.

Yes, Ted Nugent was invited to the White House by President Trump. Imagine – if you will – if Kathy Griffin had posted an image of herself holding George W Bush Jr’s bloody head, and then was invited to the White House to take photos with the President in the oval office? I don’t even need to speculate on the response to that based on yesterday’s instagram image.

However, saving the best for last, here is possibly the most damning image in this entire debate between the acceptable level of violent imagery in opposition to the President be that President Republican or Democrat.

 

 

In 2016 Donald Trump suggested that ‘2nd Amendment People’ could solve the right wing’s issue with Hillary Clinton should she be elected President. For those not aware, the 2nd amendment is what protects a US citizens’ right to own firearms. It goes without saying that this statement is a suggestion that someone with a gun could have solved Clinton’s Presidency had she been elected. As in, assassination. As in, using a gun. As in, violence against her. As in, the man currently sitting in the office of the President suggesting violence against a political rival should she have become President.

That’s really all you need to know on this debate. To summarize. Liberals abhor, overall, Kathy Griffitn’s image. Professionally, she has suffered as a consequence for it. Conservatives, as a whole, did not abhor or oppose violent resistance to Obama’s Presidency, and Ted Nugent was invited to the White House.

At the end of the day, this debate has taught me one thing. The difference between Republicans and Democrats in the modern political paradigm is that Liberals are held to a higher standard. Republicans hold themselves to none. Their only demand of Liberals is – be better than we are.

 

Thanks for reading,

Fletch

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