Inspection- On Trump Inciting Murder
Now we’re on to the next outrage. Anyone who has sat back and just observed the past 20 plus years knows the talk show format. Say something even more outrageous. Wait: let the rage build, double down… then shift to claiming it’s a joke, sarcasm, misinterpreted by dullards, or that old right wing chestnut: the mythical “Liberal” media. Then say something else outrageous. But as far as all those “claims…”
Hey wait. According to current conservative mythology, isn’t it liberals who overdo nuance, excuse behavior with logic twisted explanations, over explain and argue about meaning of words like “is”?
Well as least “is” is present tense-based, and hence that was truth-based. But moving on to dunking the political heretic was so much fun and always so damn convenient to the Reich wing’s demand for their kind of political correctness.
When being accused of lying, Trump hasn’t even got “the meaning of ‘is'” going for him given his take Hillary out comment. The ISIS/ISIL comment must seem safer ground, in comparison. He had his spinsters spinning his sentences into what they never, ever could have meant. Then he used a version of that playground fecal nugget used by a bully when he’s caught, “I was KIDDING,” in this case a very late, “It was SARCASM.” Timing so bad in this case it fools no one except those who are in on the “joke:” keep trying to play those not really fooled as if they were fools.
Most of what needs to be said has been said about what wasn’t even close to mere dog whistle. Even if “sarcasm,” it still qualifies as an open invite to assassination.
Luckily this kind of rhetoric has made Donald’s polls sink faster than a mob boss given cement shoes… for now. But this kind of rhetoric is no surprise, and not only because it’s Donald Trump. The competition for pundits and pols to say the next, even more outrageous, thing has been longstanding… long before Trump stood up and started calling everyone names to work his way up towards being the name calling president in chief.
I know the military, I like the military, but the military didn’t get all those new Gitmo prisoners to confess. Yous a buncha LOSERS! LOSERS! What LOSERS you are!“- what to expect from a President Trump, 2017.
Here is where we start looking under the rocks of a topic, looking at what no one seems to be discussing…
When does free speech so endanger the rights of others it should no longer be legally acceptable? Where’s the line? When does free speech actually negate freedom?
Like when discussing guns, this is where I get myself in trouble with what should be a simple, common sense, premise: no right is absolute.
You can’t argue with irrational people is a given. Gun rights advocates usually respond to these kinds of questions with insults. Free speech absolutists usually respond to these kinds of questions with insults. I try to start a rational discussion by giving examples; admittedly extreme ones: like obviously we agree machine guns have no place in the hands of prisoners, or a defendant in court while on trial for murder, or no shouting fire in a crowded theater. They never, ever, have responded to those examples of limitations. They just offer more personal insults. Of course responding would have been easy: just point out these are extreme examples. They never do.
I think they don’t respond because I would follow up with, “That’s my point. Absolute claims met with extremes prove absolute rules really don’t work. There are exceptions to every rule.” Then I would go to the more logical approach, “What those limitations should be is the real discussion. Arguing as if there are none is a non-starter, because obviously there are.”
Inciting others to commit murder, or threatening to do so… Well, at one time I thought both were illegal. Actually they are, but you’d never know it sometimes. Enforcement seems highly selective, at best.
You may notice when the rare times someone’s prosecuted for threats it’s only the little guy who get prosecuted, and usually it’s threatening the president. Pundits and pols who threaten or incite? Well, it’s supposedly all part of the game. At best they may, I repeat may just get a visit from the Service.
Why is it I imagine the content of said meetings may go like this…
“Oh please, pretty please, Mr. Trump, be little more careful. You make only going after the rabble harder.”
Now, if Donald Trump was led away to be prosecuted maybe we might take our threats and inciting murder laws more seriously. Why has threatening the president often become the exception to this incredibly lax view of threatening the lives of others, or inciting? And even with the forementioned “rabble,” why is it ex-husbands too often get the chance to murder their ex-wives after many threats, but a woman obviously standing her ground against a husband who threatened to kill her several times ends up in prison for endangering her children? WHO was endangering the children?”
Notice even when the rabble catch a break it’s men?
Seems there’s some tiered level of who must obey the law, and who slides.
Oh, wait, I live in the US. Duh.
Diving in deeper, is there some constituional right to this? Free speech makes enabling a murder OK?
I think if people who threatened to murder someone became high profile targets of enforcement maybe we’d become a safer, more sane, more civil society.
Of course this is where the insults come.
Go back a read your Constitution, stupid!
OK. Guilty as charged. I remember now. The Constitution is pro- murder. First amendment: “The right to incite or threaten to kill shall not be infringed.” This being covered by free speech is not unlike how a violent prisoner’s “right” to have a steady supply of submachine guns is covered.
Again: “no right is absolute.”
But for those who still insist on hanging on to their free speech/2nd Amendment constitutional claims, let’s go here… someone threatening to commit murder, or encouraging others to, is threatening to deny life, liberty and the pursuit. That’s pretty damn basic. We can either have threatening and inciting as exceptions, or not. But we don’t even have that. Instead we enforce unequally.
“Seems there’s some tiered level of who must obey the law, and who slides.”
”Oh, wait, I live in the US. Duh.”
Yes, there’s is a constitutional phrase for this: unequal protection. As with all things there are always exceptions. But I vote for far, far less exceptions and far more enforcement. I vote for having a saner society where; no matter what one’s racial, sex, social or economic status, when threatening the life of others, or encouraging others to commit murder, one gets prosecuted, assures, when convicted, they lose their freedom.
And, since unequal protection in most cases negates any truely sane definition of freedom, we would be a more free society for it.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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