To say that I’ve disliked the Trump presidency to this point is an understatement. POTUS 45 has been a national embarrassment at nearly every turn.
To recap: he’s tweeted near-constant nonsense, brought doubt and dishonor to the White House by way of the ever-growing Russia investigation, cozied up to some of the world’s most repugnant dictators while rebuking our traditional allies at nearly every turn, vacated American leadership in Pacific trade and climate change mitigation, tried twice (unsuccessfully) to ban Muslims from entering the United States, casually wasted tons of taxpayer money on trips to his own golf resorts, and taken aim at the poor and the vulnerable through his budget and healthcare proposals.
I’ve been outspoken in my criticisms of the administration to family and friends. Like many Americans, I’m ashamed of the head of state for our people and concerned about the complete disregard for facts displayed by his most ardent supporters. I’ve been moved to join political protests for the first time in my life because I’m a patriot, and I care about the Constitution and the republic’s future. This is a time in American history where citizens cannot be distracted by idiocy, and that’s why I’m furious with Kathy Griffin.
Griffin conducted a provocative photoshoot that included her holding a decapitated head resembling Trump. It didn’t look realistic, but it was gory and it struck a nerve with Americans across the political spectrum. The result was widespread condemnation from both opponents and supporters of Trump, and it was well-deserved. Days later, a tearful Griffin apologized and claimed she was the victim of relentless bullying by Trump and his family. It was embarrassing for her and for all Americans.
The tasteless photos and the ridiculous press conference that followed, in which she unveiled a lawyer hired to take legal action against the blowback any intelligent person would have expected, has dominated the news cycle. With the president being investigated by Congress and an independent counsel, leadership of liberal democracy shifting to the Franco-German partnership at the heart of the European Union, and Trump’s hawks saber-rattling at both North Korea and Iran (while also still fighting extremists in Afghanistan, Iraq and throughout Africa), the focus on a dumb and offensive celebrity stunt and her childish reaction was unnecessary noise.
I dislike the president and his policies, but I don’t find a fake decapitation amusing or useful. The hostility between the left and the right within our own borders feels to be at dangerous levels, with Republican politicians even suggesting that they should hire extremist gangs to provide security. Ironically, this suggestion came after a white supremacist assaulted three men for intervening after he began harassing two Muslim teenagers. He stabbed two of the men to death. The Griffin stunt only exacerbates these already high tensions and leads to the further degradation of civic discourse in this country.
There’s no doubt that right-wing lunacy has been prevalent for a long time, beginning with Timothy McVeigh’s Oklahoma City bombing and continuing with nooses and prison cells as a fixture at Obama and Clinton opposition rallies. It’s true that Ted Nugent called for Obama’s assassination, and that this White House invited him in as a guest. Sinking to the level of those idiots, however, is not the answer. It’s stupid no matter who’s on the receiving end, and in this case, it steals attention from people actually being hurt by this administration and its policies. An insufficient safety net is at risk of being torched by this Republican regime, and people counting on affordable health insurance are back to living in a state of fear for the first time in years. The environment really feels like a target of this president and his cronies.
So spare me the issues that Kathy Griffin is facing, because I really don’t care. She should have expected this backlash, and if she didn’t then she’s that much more of an idiot. There are people with real problems that are more deserving of sympathy than one dumb comedian. Americans need to focus on the wellbeing of their country, and not a selfish celebrity who’s getting exactly the sort of attention that this kind of behavior earns.