Originally Published: June 3, 2017 6:08 a.m.
Comedian Kathy Giffin has apologized for her photo shoot that included a decapitated head of the president, but that should not be the end of our discussion on this issue.
Some Americans are upset and calling for Griffin to be punished (she has already lost her job co-hosting the New Year’s Even show on CNN). Others are upset and asking how is this any different than when former rock star Ted Nugent said in 2012 that Barack Obama should suck on his machine gun and said: “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will be either dead or in jail by this time next year.”
They also point to groups that burned Obama in effigy. Why? Do they think that excuses Griffin’s behavior? It does not.
All Americans need to tamper down the partisanship and the rhetoric. What Kathy Griffin did was wrong. What Ted Nugent said was wrong. There is no defending either of them.
It does not matter if you like the current president or not, what makes us the shining example of democracy in the world is that Americans respect the peaceful transition of power. We always have, and hopefully we always will.
But it’s more than that. It’s showing respect for our fellow citizens and who they chose to put in that office. We may not agree with the choice, but we should all love our country enough to respect the office and the safeguards our founders established.
If you are a Trump supporter, you survived eight years of Barack Obama and America looked pretty much the same as it did when George W. Bush left office.
If you are an Obama supporter, you will survive the Trump years, and America will remain largely the same as it was on Jan. 20, 2017.
Congress, the courts, and voters have always been the checks and balances against the unpopular actions of the president. They will continue to be.
Threatening the life of a president, even if it’s only a joke meant to resuscitate a dying comedy career, is not acceptable. Neither is an onstage rant by a one-hit wonder where you suggest killing the president is a good idea. President Trump should not have rewarded Nugent with a visit to the Oval Office for that reason alone.
Americans of all parties should unite to decry anyone who engages in such behavior, no matter who the president is. Respect the office, even if you don’t respect the person in that office. You do have an option if you don’t like the sitting president. Organize, campaign and vote. Violence is never the solution. There is no room for hypocrisy on this issue.