It’s getting harder to figure who is suffering from a political cognitive dissonance more:
▪ President Donald Trump, who decried an ugly attempt at humor by a comedian by invoking the innocence of his 11-year-old son?
▪ Vice President Mike Pence, who managed to maintain a straight face while telling Notre Dame graduates that “character is destiny”?
▪ Or the everyday Trump supporter offended by the verbal hatred flowing the president’s way?
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It appears they have extremely short attention spans and defective long-term memories. For some odd reason, they all seem to have forgotten that Trump is the man who mocked a differently-abled reporter; spent years using the ugliest names to describe women who dared challenge him; bragged about being so famous he could casually sexually assault women, then defended himself against the accusations by declaring some of his accusers were too unattractive to be believed; called the wife of one of his chief political rivals ugly; and spent much of his adult life saying and proposing disturbing things.
Pence, who cherishes his public image as a man of faith as much as a peacock loves his feathers, signed up to stand side-by-side with Trump. Never mind all the years Trump spent demeaning the principles of faith Pence said he holds dear.
The vice president even joined Trump in giving the thuggish, murdering Vladimir Putin high marks on leadership just to slam President Barack Obama.
Trump supporters? They responded with joy and fell in love with him more deeply every time he bucked conventional wisdom and struck a blow against what they believe is political-correctness. Saying John McCain was no true hero because he was captured? Bold.
Attacking the Muslim mother of a U.S. Army captain killed in Iraq? Brave.
Declaring a federal judge unfit because of his ethnic background? Clear-eyed.
Saying he wanted to punch a protester in the face and would pay the legal fees of any supporter who did just that? It showed that Trump would take no crap.
After winning the most powerful office in the world, he invited to the White House a man who talked about killing Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and called Obama a mongrel. To his supporters, it proved Trump was fearless, unafraid to stick it to those snowflake liberals.
Laughing that no one would vote for Carly Fiorina because “look at that face” and wondering which part of Megyn Kelly blood was coming out of made him look tough, not like a cowardly, uncouth bully.
Kathy Griffin’s attempt at dark humor, with a pretend Trump-like severed head, crossed the line of common decency and common sense. She is rightly suffering the consequences of her actions, with canceled appearances and losing her New Year’s Eve gig with CNN.
It is beyond absurd for Trump or his supporters to cry foul when they’ve spent the better part of the past year reveling in ugly, violent imagery that turned into actual violence at Trump rallies during the presidential campaign.
Truth be told, we crossed the political Rubicon long before Griffin pulled her dumb stunt, or even before Trump officially became a presidential candidate. But Trump and his supporters happily led us deeper into that morass. It’s galling that they have the temerity to try to claim the high road now.
They helped lead us into the mud and can help lead us out if they showed a semblance of the decency they said Griffin lacks. Given the political climate, that would be a courageous act.