The last vestiges of civil discourse have recently been thrown out the window by washed up rock and roll star and Tea Party favorite Ted Nugent. At a recent NRA convention the singer, in a disgusting and vile rant, compared the President of the United States to a coyote urinating on your sofa which should be shot. The rock star then proudly declared that in a years time that, if the President were to be reelected, he (Nugent) would either be dead or in jail.
These comments were so clearly a threat against the life of the President of the United States that the Secret Service is actually going to question Nugent and ask him to clarify what it was that he "really" meant. Of course as we all know, Nugent is a celebrity (or former celebrity) and will almost certainly be let off the hook without even a slap on the wrist. Yet if you or I made such public threats against the President we'd probably be labeled a public menace and arrested on the spot -- and rightly so. In case you didn't know, threatening to assassinate the President is a serious matter.
Now, I'm sure Nugent's supporters will argue that their favorite washed up rock star was "only joking" about killing the President. As if making treasonous threats against our nation was "all in good fun." But the reality is that such threats are not all in good fun. Don't believe me? Just imagine a leader of a foreign nation (say Egypt) making those same comments. Wouldn't all of us be taking those threats very seriously?
Most rational people realize that Ted Nugent is -- well, not rational -- nor a real threat. He's simply a celebrity and an entertainer with a bully pulpit. The real problem as I see it is not so much his outrageous threats on the President's life, but the fact that so many Americans seem just fine with them. Even Democrats and the so called "liberal media" haven't really made that big of an issue of them. In fact, the April 18th edition of NBC's Today show didn't even mention the most important part of Nugent's tirade: the I'll be dead or in jail comment. They treated this story in a "aw isn't that cute" sort of way -- well, it isn't cute.
More than anything this sorry episode illustrates that the art of public discourse is truly a lost art. Americans no longer disagree with each other, we demonize each other. If you don't agree with me, you're not only wrong (which is a perfectly fine to say) but you are in fact "evil" to the core: an enemy of God, country, and are doomed to burn in an everlasting torment. And worse than that, you are nothing more than an animal that must be eliminated from the face of the earth.
All of this is big talk for someone who has never actually served in the military. Oh yes, he does use automatic and semiautomatic weapons to hunt and kill defenseless furry critters. But apparently even he doesn't feel as though that's "macho" enough and so he resorts to "bad ass language" to get in good with his NRA buddies. Of course "bad ass language" is usually a sign that one is not a "bad ass" at all, but someone whose experience of death is limited to comic books where no one is truly dead as long as the artists live.