NYT op-ed: Trump assassination fantasies 'a social necessity'

Howard Jacobson, in his June 24 New York Times op-ed piece, "Why We Must Mock Trump," began by referring to the anti-Trump production of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" in New York's Central Park, as proof "that plays retain the power to shock and enrage."  Do productions of "Julius Caesar," played straight, generally "shock and enrage"?  I don't think so.  And this production is not straight Shakespeare – not with reference to President Trump's apartment on "Fifth Avenue."

At the end of his column, Jacobson asserted, "Derision is a social necessity."  Okay.  Imagine, say, Kathy Griffin holding what looks like the severed head of...Hillary Clinton.  Would Mr. Jacobson write a piece called "Why We Must Mock Hillary Clinton" – or would he denounce this as offensive, beyond the pale, an action to be condemned?  And if the severed head resembled Barack Obama, does anyone doubt that a media firestorm would ensue, protesting this inexcusable example of wishful thinking on the part of a vicious racist who should be prosecuted for hate to the fullest extent of the law – and more?

Mr. Jacobson acknowledged the absence of humor in communist regimes.  He continued: "The more monocratic the regime, the less it can bear criticism. And of all criticism, satire – with its single ambition of ridiculing vanity and delusion – is the most potent."  But where is the sense of humor among our anti-Trump leftists?  Donald Trump makes a sarcastic comment about Russian hacking – suggesting that if they have emails on Democrats, why, let's have them – and the left rushes to denounce Trump as a Putin agent.  Are leftists, in giving us images of a dead Donald Trump offering satire or wishful thinking?

Mark Twain once wrote: "Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense."  What personality on the left, political or otherwise, would Mr. Jacobson allow us to be irreverent to?  My guess is that we'd be accused of hate speech if we dared be irreverent toward a leftist.

Howard Jacobson, in his June 24 New York Times op-ed piece, "Why We Must Mock Trump," began by referring to the anti-Trump production of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" in New York's Central Park, as proof "that plays retain the power to shock and enrage."  Do productions of "Julius Caesar," played straight, generally "shock and enrage"?  I don't think so.  And this production is not straight Shakespeare – not with reference to President Trump's apartment on "Fifth Avenue."

At the end of his column, Jacobson asserted, "Derision is a social necessity."  Okay.  Imagine, say, Kathy Griffin holding what looks like the severed head of...Hillary Clinton.  Would Mr. Jacobson write a piece called "Why We Must Mock Hillary Clinton" – or would he denounce this as offensive, beyond the pale, an action to be condemned?  And if the severed head resembled Barack Obama, does anyone doubt that a media firestorm would ensue, protesting this inexcusable example of wishful thinking on the part of a vicious racist who should be prosecuted for hate to the fullest extent of the law – and more?

Mr. Jacobson acknowledged the absence of humor in communist regimes.  He continued: "The more monocratic the regime, the less it can bear criticism. And of all criticism, satire – with its single ambition of ridiculing vanity and delusion – is the most potent."  But where is the sense of humor among our anti-Trump leftists?  Donald Trump makes a sarcastic comment about Russian hacking – suggesting that if they have emails on Democrats, why, let's have them – and the left rushes to denounce Trump as a Putin agent.  Are leftists, in giving us images of a dead Donald Trump offering satire or wishful thinking?

Mark Twain once wrote: "Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense."  What personality on the left, political or otherwise, would Mr. Jacobson allow us to be irreverent to?  My guess is that we'd be accused of hate speech if we dared be irreverent toward a leftist.