Spicy Salafist Memes for Angsty American Teens

As we enter the sixth month of the Trump presidency and he continues to do relatively little differently from either of his neoliberal predecessors, the id of the catlady continues to howl at the injustice of not having a first female president. Kathy Griffin, a 56 year-old childless "comedian" and LGBT advocate who otherwise never makes any sort of headline, recently went viral because of a gory photo-shoot depicting her holding up the severed, bloody head of Donald Trump.

While it's not particularly novel to kill a president in effigy—especially considering the last three (and their opponents) have all been likened to Adolf Hitler and therefore made fair game for signaling violent resistance in the minds of some—I don't think we've seen something quite like this in recent public memory. The only exception would be the beheadings that ISIS broadcasts of its victims. That's how mad this neighbor of Kim Kardashian is about having a White male Republican president. She thinks he ought to have his head chopped off. (So does Cher probably, among other middle-aged pro-LGBT West Coast liberal celebrity women).

The shock value is there for sure. And yet, like a robot that appears too human, it seems to have crossed into an uncanny valley of repulsion. At least in public, everyone is vocally opposed to the image. Griffin's spot with CNN has been terminated. Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of Trump's opponent, has denounced it as about assassinating a president. Outlets like Fox News and Breitbart were quick to condemn and scorn. Even celebrity garbage news site TMZ got in on the scoop by reporting that young Barron Trump had seen the image on television and been frightened by it. Who could not empathize with the first family?

However this is really just the response that people are required to give to fantasy political violence with a dose of realism. Of course one cannot spout that they are okay with graphic depictions of the president being killed and would therefore tacitly support such things happening. And while we know somewhere around 50% of the public hates him and wants him impeached, that isn't necessarily a good gauge for murderous intent.

Surely, there are those would not be opposed to Trump's genuine beheading. As their boiling rage at having a more right Bush for four years instead of a more left Clinton was already high time preference to begin with, the drift toward terrorist mimicry is far from surprising.

So between a bombing in Manchester and a bombing in Baghdad we have a faux-beheading in Bel Air. While I understand that from summer 2015 until the end of 2016, liberal women whipped themselves into a rabid frenzy over the imperative of stopping a rapist nazi Hitler from becoming president, what has Trump done six months later that would deserve a beheading? A failed "Muslim travel ban?" Perhaps deporting some Mexicans? Approving a pipeline?

People like Griffin are filled with an absurd amount of outrage considering how unaffected they are materially and socially by the policies implemented (or not implemented) as well as continued by Trump. The polarization of these comfortable radicals and entertainment talking-heads has not tapered off, though their ability to get attention for denouncing Trump has. He's the president now. The election is over. People have other things to do.

People who aren't Kathy Griffin at least. And now she's getting her fifteen seconds of fame and/or shame.

Though again, I can't help but suspect people who hate Trump wouldn't be particularly upset if something terrible happened to him. And that makes Griffin's exoterically disgusting photo-shoot esoterically assuaging. And since the left believes Islam has nothing to do with terrorism, they can easily appropriate the methodologies of ISIS in their fantasies about exterminating conservatives. (Never mind that ISIS would probably behead someone like Kathy Griffin anyway).

Perhaps the only people on the left who wouldn't celebrate the death of President Trump just like they celebrated the death of the super-conservative Justice Antonin Scalia are those who realize President Pence would be much more of an orthodox Republican.

So when the other ones call you a murderous nazi Hitler for thinking the United States should have a border wall, remind them they think Trump should be beheaded for letting Paul Ryan fumble the repeal of Obamacare. Weird timeline for sure.

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