Henican: Threats to Obama are no joke
There are some things even I won’t joke about. And you know me. I’ll joke about almost anything.
But there is no humor, as far as I’m concerned, in kids being abused. Too horrible.
Or in the Holocaust. Too huge and too horrible.
And I never, ever, ever joke about someone killing or trying to kill the president of the United States. Any president. Ever. We’ve had far too much of that in our history already.
So when someone puts up a Facebook page and asks, “Should Obama be killed?” — I’m all for the Secret Service paying a visit, even if it is just a kid.
And when a smirking Second Amendment absolutist shows up at a presidential speech with an assault rifle, I don’t understand why someone in sunglasses and an earpiece doesn’t immediately climb right up in that nut job’s face: “Get out of here! Now! No guns around the president!”
None of this has anything to do with party or politics. It has everything to do with common sense and sanity.
I bring all this up because, suddenly, there’s some very scary stuff being said out there. Some of it is supposed to be funny. I’m not laughing, and you shouldn’t be either. Some of it is just plain creepy, obsessive and mean.
It’s not about this or that policy. It plays to the ugliest prejudices. It’s tinged in violence. It challenges Barack Obama’s very legitimacy.
There was a piece the other day on NewsMax.com promoting the idea of a military coup.
That’s the kind of craziness I’m talking about.
I’m not saying all of it is racial. Some surely is. But former President Jimmy Carter reached too far in pairing Obama hatred with race.
There are many reasons to have differing views on health care. But no sane person takes polls about assassinating a president. No responsible analyst urges military coups. Some of this still hot-blooded rhetoric really does need to dampen down.
It’s time to remember that words have consequences. Inciting violence is not the precise equivalent of committing it. But it bloodies the hands just the same.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/henican.