Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. I come to bury Trump....Oh wait, no I don't. I'm not one of the troubling number of prominent liberals who have spent months now openly talking, rapping, and, well, fantasizing about the assassination of the President.
The New York Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park performance of Julius Caesar, which is billed as a modern interpretation of the timeless classic, culminates with the stabbing of a Caesar who looks remarkably like President Trump. Et tu, class and dignity?
While a number of sponsors have pulled their support of the performance, it has received rousing standing ovations even amid (and perhaps because of) the controversy. Quite simply, it seems that a fair number of high-minded societal and cultural elites enjoy the idea of President Trump being stabbed to death on the floor of the Senate.
CNN host Fareed Zakaria is apparently one of them:
If you're in NYC, go see Julius Caesar, free in Central Park, brilliantly interpreted for Trump era. A masterpiece: https://t.co/RiJJnW3g8V— Fareed Zakaria (@FareedZakaria) May 31, 2017
Such a "masterpiece" might be excusable as a theater troupe acting in poor taste if it existed in a vaccuum, but it doesn't. Just last week, alleged comedian Kathy Griffin thought posing ISIS-style with Trump's bloody severed head was a good idea.
In March, a music video for the song "Lavender" featured rapper Snoop Dogg shooting a clown dressed up as Trump.
When Trump tweeted about the inappropriateness of, you know, shooting him to death in effigy, Snoop Dogg's nephew, rapper Bow Wow, responded by suggesting that he and the rest of the Dogg family prostitute First Lady Melania Trump.
“Ayo @realDonaldTrump shut your punk a— up talking s—t about my uncle @SnoopDogg before we pimp your wife and make her work for us,” Bow Wow tweeted. He quickly thought better of this, though, and deleted the tweet several hours later. How very gangsta.
That same month, Adam Pally, star of the short-lived FOX series "Making History," joked with a TMZ cameraman about going back in time to kill Trump and/or Adolf Hitler.
TMZ: Based on the time-travel element, how far are we away from actual time travel, would you say?
Pally: I don’t know. Soon. Isn’t Elon Musk working on something like that?
TMZ: Very possibly. Instead of asking what time period do you want to go to, if you could go back and spend an hour with anyone in history, who would you want to spend an hour with? And who would you not want to spend an hour with?
Pally: I’d have to kill Trump or Hitler.
Pally then joked that it would either be kill them or love them more. You know, because he's obviously such a loving guy and all.
In February, while doing a stand-up set in Dallas, comedian Eddie Griffin joked about someone in the city assassinating Trump like someone in the city assassinated President John F. Kennedy 54 years earlier.
“Do your historic duty. You guys assassinated JFK. Next time he comes to Dallas, stick him in a convertible, drive him by the grassy knoll, get the rednecks out to the grassy knoll,” Griffin said. “Y’all took out one president, you need to take out another. Y’all need to put Trump into a convertible and take him out, or better yet, the driver should take him out."
Earlier that month, rapper Big Sean busted a freestyle line on New York radio station Hot 97 about killing Trump with the same icepick he would use to kill ISIS.
Just two weeks earlier, during the Women's March in Washington the day after President Trump's inauguration, music megastar Madonna admitted that Trump's election had her thinking "an awful lot about blowing up the White House."
Even before Trump was inaugurated, liberals couldn't contain their desire to see him dead. In September, prominent liberal comedian Bill Maher joked about having the recently-released John Hinckley, Jr. kill Trump.
“I’m nervous," he told a stand-up audience in Washington, DC. "And I saw the headline today –- race tightening. Trump ahead in Ohio and Florida. If this race is even the week before the election, somebody is going to have to go out there..."
He trailed off before adding the punchline "Why do you think they let Hinckley out?”
This, of course, was a reference to the man who shot and seriously injured President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
Fellow comedian Larry Wilmore even fantasized about using a pillow to smother Trump. As Deadline Hollywood reported:
“Sorry everyone,” Wilmore said. “I don’t want to give him any more oxygen. That’s not a euphemism, by the way. I mean it literally. Somebody get me the pillow they used to kill [Supreme Court Justice Antonin] Scalia and I’ll do it — I’ll do it!” he said, then demonstrated. “I could get in trouble for that, actually!” Wilmore added, sheepishly, as the audience laughed.
After Trump's win in November, Matt Harrigan, the CEO of cybersecurity firm PacketSled, was forced to resign after posting on Facebook that he was "going to kill the president. Elect.”
When someone else responded that he needed to chill out and just get high or something, Harrigan responded, “Nope, getting a sniper rifle and perching myself where it counts. Find a bedroom in the White House that suits you, [expletive]. I’ll find you.”
This threat was just one of literally thousands of social media death threats the Secret Service reportedly had to sift through in the days and weeks after Trump's election. Mashable reported that by February, there were an estimated 12,000 death threat tweets--an average of about 1,000 a day each day since the President took office.
On Election Day, Monisha Rajesh, a features writer for the London Telegraph, called for the newly elected President to be killed.
When Financial Times writer Mark O’Flaherty tweeted at Rajesh, “I have no words…always wondered when a Nazi-scale atrocity would next arise. here it is…Here it is…” Rajesh replied, “it’s about time for a presidential assassination.”
A week earlier, another journalist--Los Angeles Times freelance reporter Steven Borowiec--tweeted his desire to see Trump dead. After Time Magazine tweeted a link to a photo gallery with the caption "See Donald Trump's life in pictures, Borowiec responded "I would rather see Donald Trump's life end."
Borowiec was fired, but a much higher profile liberal writer, Ross Douthat, faced no consequences for a tweet back in January of 2016 that made reference to killing then-Candidate Trump.
"Good news, guys," he said in a since-deleted tweet. "I figured out how the Trump campaign ends."
His tweet was accompanied by a video from the 1983 movie "The Dead Zone," which features Christopher Walken as a man who tries to shoot a politician played by Martin Sheen.
Unfortunately for Douthat, the Trump campaign continued, and as it did and violence between Trump supporters and liberal demonstrators plagued Trump rallies across the country, liberals in the media began debating whether using violence to "stop Trump" was actually justified.
Liberal site Vox.com was forced to suspend deputy editor Emmett Rensin after Rensin openly advocated for riots at Trump rallies.
Advice: If Trump comes to your town, start a riot.— Emmett Rensin (@emmettrensin) June 3, 2016
That charming directive was followed by claiming that it's "never a shame to storm the barricades set up around a fascist" and eventually concluding "Listen, if Trump is Hitler then you've got no business condemning rioters. If he isn't, you've got no business pretending normal is better."
Similarly, The Huffington Post published a lengthy diatribe from blogger Jesse Benn entitled "Sorry Liberals, A Violent Response to Trump is as Logical as Any."
[A] lot of people seem shocked and appalled at this perfectly logical reaction. In the face of media, politicians, and GOP primary voters normalizing Trump as a presidential candidate—whatever your personal beliefs regarding violent resistance—there’s an inherent value in forestalling Trump’s normalization. Violent resistance accomplishes this. In spite of this, such resistance is apparently more offensive and unacceptable to societal norms and liberal sensibilities than the nastiness being resisted in the first place.
That's right: Violence is justified because Trump is just so terrible. But it isn't just Trump who liberals have fantasized about assassinating. Liberals also talked shockingly frequently about killing the last Republican President, George W. Bush.
Even before he was elected in 2000, CBS' "The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn" showed a picture of Bush with the graphic "Snipers Wanted" printed over it.
By 2004, Bush's presidency made liberals so deranged that Nicholson Baker even devoted an entire novel (entitled Checkpoint) to two characters sitting in a Washington, D.C. apartment debating the merits of killing President Bush "for the good of mankind."
Two years later, the film "Death of a President" imagined the assassination of President Bush and even won the Critics Prize at the Toronto Film Festival and five other British film awards.
Open talk about killing Bush wasn't limited to fiction, though. The man the President defeated in the 2004 election, Senator John Kerry joked on Bill Maher's television show.
MAHER: You could have went to New Hampshire and killed two birds with one stone.
KERRY: Or, I could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania and killed the real bird with one stone.
Rather unbelievably, this wasn't even the first time that Kerry joked about killing a member of a presidential administration. In 1988, after President George H.W. Bush was elected, Kerry cracked a joke about shooting Vice President Dan Quayle.
"Somebody told me the other day that the Secret Service has orders that if George Bush is shot, they're to shoot Quayle,"he said.
Shortly before Kerry's loss to Bush in the 2004 election, U.K. Guardian columnist Charlie Brooker concluded his analysis of the upcoming race thusly:
On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?
Two years later, New York Comptroller Alan Hevesi lamented the position Bush had put Hevesi's friend, Senator Chuck Schumer, in by saying during his commencement address at Queens City College that Schumer would “put a bullet between the president’s eyes if he could get away with it.”
So unhinged were liberals in the Bush era that even a Nobel Peace Prize winner said she wanted to kill him! On two separate occasions, even.
In 2006, Irish activist Betty Williams told a group of schoolchildren (!) "Right now, I would love to kill George W. Bush." She said almost the exact same thing a year later at the International Women's Conference in Dallas, telling an audience "Right now, I could kill George Bush. No, I don't mean that. How could you nonviolently kill somebody? I would love to be able to do that."
Long after Bush left office, liberals were still fantasizing about the idea of him dying a horrible death, as evidenced by the producers of the hit HBO show "Game of Thrones," who put a prop Bush head on a spike in a 2012 episode.
For 17 years and two Republican Presidents now, a startling number of prominent liberals have been talking about and, dare one say, dreaming about their deaths. As crazy and terrifying as this may sound, they do so with enough frequency that it seems that wishing death upon a Republican President is simply how a startling number of prominent liberals will respond to a Republican presidency.
This is also sadly ironic, because for people who constantly tell the world how peaceful, loving, and tolerant they are, they sure do think about murder an awful lot.