Editor’s Note: I got the idea for this one from reading an editorial by longtime Republican spokesperson Peggy Noonan, who has written a biography of Ronald Reagan and was his speechwriter for many years. Pretty much anything clever that you remember Reagan having said was written by Ms. Noonan, and she is one more Republican with integrity who has now jumped off the Trump Train. This article was also inspired by the accurate name coined by comedian and talk show host Bill Maher for our president ... “whiny little bitch.”
The World Loves a Victim
9/11, I wrote an article about heroes and victims. The heroes that awful day
were the first responders who rushed into danger to save lives; everyone else
who died was a victim. This in no way diminished their tragedy; however,
victimhood alone doesn’t make a hero, although I received some angry emails
for saying so.
things enhance one’s status more than death. We’ve all known deadbeat dads
who became saints after they died, even though they never cared about their
families while alive. Presidents too grow in stature after they die: Sen. Bob
Dole practically swooned as he eulogized Richard Nixon — a lying crook and our
first president to resign in disgrace.
course, this isn’t just an American phenomenon. In the Islamic world, no one
is more revered than the martyr. In those places that most venerate terrorism
(e.g., Palestine and Saudi Arabia), the more heinous the suicide bomber, the
more admired he is, and the more richly his family will be rewarded.
Likewise, Christianity has always celebrated those who die for their faith — from its crucified founder and His early followers fed to the lions, to the Catholic church’s extensive hagiography of martyred saints. The Crusades’ centuries-long slaughter was abetted by both popes and caliphs, who offered eternity in paradise to those killed in the act of slaying the unsaved and the infidels, respectively.
of martyrdom is one facet of our admiration for the persecuted. Americans love
it when the rich and powerful pretend to be “one of us,” victimized by the
same vague forces as the rest of us. How else do you explain Donald Trump, a
billionaire born a millionaire, being elected to “drain the swamp” of his
fellow elites and oligarchs? Although he’s merely one more Republican born on
third base pretending he hit a triple, his besotted followers see him as a
Although conservatives control the White House, the Supreme Court, both houses of Congress, much of the media and nearly every state house, they fret about the perils of rampaging liberalism. When Trump isn’t whining about the obsequious sycophants in his own party — who never seem to be loyal enough (e.g., they “do very little to protect their president”) — he’s whining about persecution from Washington Democrats, who have virtually no influence at all, and from a hostile press.
in the Trump era, apprehensive potential right-wing victims are amassing
ever-larger arsenals, even though crime rates are down, and armed civilians are
more likely to shoot their own family members than burglars. But on the Right,
the real boogeymen aren’t so much criminals as the threat posed by government
to one’s home and family.
ironic that right-wing patriots — who love the military so much they
disingenuously conflate NFL players’ protests of police brutality with
disrespect for our armed services — harbor such paranoid fear of that same
military. It’s also odd that conservatives think the Second Amendment will
protect them from a government that they, ironically, voted into office. And,
finally, it’s amusing to picture beer-bellied hunters in camouflage gear
holding off the Army’s M1A1 Abrams tanks with their AR-15 Bushmasters.
frightened by my commander in chief’s hostility toward a free press, in which
I’m a very minor cog, so I too plan to exercise my Second Amendment rights,
which recently wounded congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.) has deemed
“unlimited.” I’d like to protect my home with a TOW missile launcher. If
Trump wants to take it from me, then he can pry it from my cold, dead hand.
Would that make me a hero or a victim?
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