Political tensions always run high in election years, but this election year in particular seems particularly tense. And prone to violence.
Republican candidate Donald Trump has gotten the most attention, with some of his rallies inspiring riotous protests, most recently in San Diego. Popular talk radio weirdo Glenn Beck was suspended from his satellite radio show, and may actually lose his time slot, for having a discussion with author Brad Thor in which they talked about a “patriot” taking Trump out of office should he win the presidency.
Talk which, frankly, sounded suspicously like a couple of dudes who hate Trump fantasizing about assassination.
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]I hope I’m wrong, and that Trump if elected can find a way to govern competently, but let’s at least admit that joking about a politician’s execution because they incite anger with their words and actions is out of bounds.[/mks_pullquote]
All of which is why the editorial cartoon from the Fargo Forum’s Steve Stark (it’s mislabeled as Trygve Olson, but that’s pretty clearly Stark’s signature) is hugely inappropriate.
It’s a play on the controversy over a gorilla which was shot by zoo personnel after a child fell into his pen (for what it’s worth, I think they were right to shoot the gorilla), but the flippant reference to shooting Donald Trump isn’t funny.
Not only is it not funny, it’s downright detestable.
Trump is a hugely polarizing figure. Many, myself included, find him to be a boorish and offensive. I think the Republican voters who made Trump their party’s nominee are going to look back at the 2016 election cycle with regret.
I hope I’m wrong, and that Trump if elected can find a way to govern competently, but let’s at least admit that joking about a politician’s execution because they incite anger with their words and actions is out of bounds.
What’s ironic is that people like Stark who are fond of criticizing Trump for his belligerent and, at times, extreme rhetoric seem to think it’s ok to aim similarly extreme rhetoric in his direction.