Trump as Captain Queeg

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

TRUMP AS CAPTAIN QUEEG

I’ve always admired a good political cartoon. As I read about Trump’s not-so-subtle hint to his followers today about taking the law into their own hands, a caption for a cartoon presented itself that I willingly offer to anyone interested in sketching the image:

In the upper right quadrant, a building with the words “Supreme Court” tucked above the pillars.

On the left side, in the background, a big banner:
TRUMP RALLY TODAY

A crowd of people are leaving, heading in the direction of the Supreme Court; several at the front are toting automatic rifles. One says to the other:

“What the use of having a second amendment, if we don’t use it?”

(The additional reference, in case anyone should miss it, is to Trump’s alleged quip to the effect that “what’s the use of having nuclear weapons, if you don’t use them?”)

Of course, this suggestion for a satiric cartoon reflects a profound crisis in American social life. It is, unfortunately, not something that has surfaced out of nowhere. One only has to remember that the Secret Service was very busy in the first two years of Barack Obama’s first term as President. It is my understanding that death threats against our President arrived on a frequent basis; nor is Trump the first high profile public person to utter snide disclaimers that are meant to provoke the susceptible. I distinctly remember someone with a high political rank saying of Obama’s campaign visit to North or South Carolina, “I cannot speak for his safety.” People who make such statements know perfectly well what they are doing, and it is not in any way intended to promote civility and respect in political discourse.

That the Presidential nominee of the Republican party would even dare to hint that political assassination might be one way to punish the democratic outcome of an election verges on outrageous behavior. It would be appropriate for the Secret Service to conduct an interview with Mr. Trump that is broadcast on live TV. He deserves to be interrogated, publicly, for eight hours, non-stop, in the same manner that Hillary Clinton recently had to endure. We’ll see how long it is before ball bearings begin to quiver in the palm of Trump’s hand.

But that’s another day’s cartoon.