Thursday, December 24, 2015

Washington Post Cruz Cartoon: American Version of Charlie Hebdo

      Recently we were treated to the American version of Charlie Hebdo, the French publication that was protested and had several of its employees killed by radical Muslims who took offense to the printing of cartoons of Muhammad. This parallel incident involved Ted Cruz and his supporters after an inflammatory cartoon was printed of the Republican presidential candidate and his children by the Washington Post. And while Mr. Cruz and his automaton supporters did not protest outside the offices of the Washington Post, or shoot anyone inside (not yet anyway), they did become quite emotionally exercised over the cartoon.
      The response by the senator-hoping-to-be-president and his wild-eyed devotees was of course not physically violent. But it was born of the same instinct to take extreme umbrage with any little criticism, that motivated radical Islamists in the French incident. After all, both incidents involved a published cartoon that was unflattering to men who their respective votaries characterize as prophets. And insomuch as one lived 14 centuries ago in the Middle East, and the other lives in American modernity, the similarities in the knee-jerk emotional response to defend over such a seemingly inconsequential item as a cartoon seems uncanny.
      Senator Cruz shamelessly using his children as a human shield in campaign-related videos, then crying foul when his political adversaries call him on it, seems not only hypocritical, but unbecoming of the timber needed to be a good president. Mr. Cruz would do well to study Ronald Reagan, and how he responded (or more to the point did not respond) to much worse criticism about him in both cartoons and parody. Or if the Texas senator is incapable of thinking back that far, he could study the non-responses to such nonsense by George W. Bush. President Bush suffered much greater indignities at the hands of political rivals in media, and employed a tactic which seems sorely missing from Mr. Cruz's political arsenal, he ignored them.
      The emotionally charged Cruz zealots would be well served to read some history of this great nation. In the early decades of the republic, newspapers in many ways were more partisan than the media is today. A political adversary's family members were routine fodder for political criticism. Now I am sure that some of the more radical members of my own political ideology will call me a traitor, libtard, troll, Hillary supporter, or myriad other childish insults that those who are insecure in their beliefs use to stifle the free speech of others who disagree with them. It chagrins me greatly to see some on my side using this tactic of the Left designed to shutdown speech they fear, it engenders even more solicitude in me that it is aimed at those on their own side politically.

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