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This past week Snoop Dogg released a music video showing a mock assassination of a clown faced Donald Trump. The ensuing sound and fury revealed liberal hypocrisy and some very dark truths about our current political climate.
Donald Trump has lived a charmed existence. He was born to an extraordinarily wealthy family and inherited a hefty fortune along his father’s successful real estate company. That is a pretty fantastic way to start off life.
Trump’s string of good luck has continued in the political realm as well, for he has been blessed with the best (meaning the least effective) enemies any candidate, and now President, could ever hope.
In the cacophony of anti-Trump voices shouting their disapproval this week, a few have risen above the din, most notably Snoop Dogg’s controversial video. The music video for the song “Lavender (Nightfall Remix)” shows the iconic, old school rapper pointing a pistol at a Trump stand-in adorned in full clown make-up, President Ronald Klump, and then pulling the trigger, followed by a cartoonish bang.
A music video from an attention-starved rapper two decades removed from the peak of his cultural relevance would usually not garner very much attention, except this time the President of the United States took the time to comment on it, which means a lot of people took notice of it.
Trump tweeted in response to the video, “Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!”
While the idea of “jail time” for artistic expression is legally a bit absurd considering the First Amendment, the essence of the tweet is accurate. Liberals and the media would go bananas if someone had done a similar thing to an Obama look-a-like. They rightfully went berserk when right wing boor Ted Nugent ranted that Obama should “suck on his machine gun” during a live concert. Hell, liberals even went crazy when a rodeo clown mocked President Obama by wearing an Obama mask. In the case of attacks on Trump though, the media response has been considerably more muted.
The reactions to the Snoop-Trump feud from fellow entertainers have been quite illuminating though. Actor and fellow rapper Ice-T commented on the controversy to TMZ, “I think it’d be terrible (if someone made a video where Obama gets shot), but Obama wasn’t the same kind of guy as Trump. It was very hard to make an Obama joke because of his race, and Obama was such a smooth character. I think Trump brings a lot of these jokes onto himself.” So, Snoop Dogg made a video of him shooting Trump because the President is White? Good to know, thanks for the insight, Ice.
Not to be outdone, Shad “Bow Wow” Moss, an actor and rapper, chimed in with his own unique brilliance. Bow Wow tweeted, “Ayo @realDonaldTrump shut your punk ass up talking shit about my uncle @SnoopDogg before we pimp your wife and make her work for us.” Way to stay classy, Bow Wow.
Ice-T’s and Bow Wow’s tweets reveal the philosophical rot at the core of the opposition to Trump. Trump is routinely labeled a vulgar, misogynistic bully, by his enemies, and his “get tough” talk against protestors at his rallies, and the “Access Hollywood” video are solid evidence that proves their point. But with Snoop Dogg’s mock assassination, Ice-T’s explanatory tweet saying Trump brings these attacks on himself in part by being White, and Bow Wow threatening sexual violence against Trump’s wife, charges of Trump being a vulgar bully and misogynist by his opponents ring pretty hollow, if not down right hypocritical. You cannot intimidate someone with violence, blame the victim because of his race, and then sexually menace their wife and maintain any moral high ground whatsoever.
The reality though, is that this is just how Trump wants things to be. That is why he jumped at the chance to engage Snoop in a pop culture/twitter war, instead of being “presidential” and ignoring Snoop’s video, like President George H.W. Bush did when rapper Paris released a particularly menacing song titled “Bush Killa” back in 1992.
Snoop Dogg, Bow Wow and even Madonna with her “I’ve thought about blowing up the White House” comment at the Women’s March inauguration weekend, may think they are taking Trump down a notch with their blustery attacks on him, but the exact opposite is true. These public spats greatly empower Trump and weaken his enemies, first by allowing Trump to play the victim, and second by lowering the discourse to Trump’s level, where he excels.
Trump’s voters, even the marginal ones in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania who voted for Obama twice but put Trump over the top this time around, only get pushed further into Trump’s corner with these blatantly hypocritical attacks from entertainment elites. These luke-warm Trump voters see the double standard liberals apply to Trump as opposed to the democrats, and it reinforces their decision to have voted for him.
Napoleon once said, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”, which would be wise words for liberals to take to heart in regards to Trump. This week, Trump has been stuck in the muck and the mire of his healthcare initiative. As Trump flounders with the tedious monotony of governing, he hungers for these celebrity feuds as they are like oxygen to him and red meat to his base.
This week, Trump desperately wanted to change the subject from his governing struggles to anything else, and Snoop’s clown video gave him a frivolous, but more entertaining subject to divert people’s attention.
Trump is a master at manipulation and pushing liberal’s buttons, it is how he won the election, by irritating the right people, like the mainstream media and Hollywood. He has only continued that strategic needling as President as evidenced by his tweet in response to Snoop’s video. Trump thrives by keeping liberals in a constant state of hysterical irritation, forcing them to react to him out of emotion and not thoughtfully respond to him using reason. Democrats and liberals need to get a grip and stop getting sucked onto the playing field of emotion by Trump, and keep things calm, cool and rational, if they want to come in from the political wilderness they currently inhabit.
By ratcheting up the invectives though, both Trump and his foes may be playing a dangerous game. As Marco Rubio said in response to the Snoop video, “Snoop shouldn’t have done that…the wrong person sees that, he gets the wrong idea and you can have a real problem.” Little Marco, for once in his life, is entirely correct.
Here is an anecdotal piece of evidence to ponder, I was recently listening to a private conversation out here in Hollywood where a bunch of liberal acquaintances were talking about Milo Yiannopoulos, the alt-right firebrand, and how much they truly despised him. More than one of them said that they “literally wanted to kill him”, which was shocking to me. If these thoughtful, intelligent and successful people were so flustered by an obvious and shameless provocateur like Milo as to hyperbolically speak of murdering him, I can only imagine how less grounded individuals will react when a top-notch, master troll like Trump sets out to push their buttons.
Those other, less stable individuals, are the ones who will not understand the subtleties and nuance of artistic expression or hyperbole, they will only know that Trump makes them feel an inordinate amount of rage and will want to assuage that discomfiting anger by any means necessary.
Recent events have shown us that intense emotions, mixed with fervent political beliefs, can lead to chaotic and violent actions. For example, the liberal protests against Milo at Berkeley that turned into a riot, or at Middlebury College where students got violent while opposing right wing author Charles Murray, or even when a masked man punched alt-right leader Richard Spencer in the face in broad daylight during inauguration weekend. Violence can never be permitted to encroach upon political debate or discussion. If you can’t win an argument and change minds with your ideas, you certainly won’t with intimidation and violence.
This is a perilous time in which we live, fraught with volatile emotions across the political spectrum. With this powder keg of fury just below the surface of our public square, it would be wise for all of us to be more measured and thoughtful in our speech and artistic expression. The language of political violence, while tempting and at times invigorating, can often lead to actual violence, and ultimately ruin.
Previously published on March 18, 2017 at RT.