What does it say about our country, the United States of America, when we allow for some of our own government members to downplay another member joking about murdering a colleague?
Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona posted an anime fantasy video last week that depicted his face on another character killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Joe Biden. A recent House resolution censured Gosar removing him from both the House Oversight and Natural Resource committees. Even as the resolution passed, the majority of Republicans grouped together to vote against the proposal after Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy maintained that Gosar had already served his “penance” by deleting the video which Gosar initially claimed he didn’t know the contents of. How could Gosar not know what he posted?
As the final votes came in, Gosar was seen collecting back slaps and fist bumps from GOP colleagues along the back wall. What does this tell about us as a country? Well, it tells that some members of our government condone violent media. Plain and simple. It also tells that these same members will use freedom of speech as a way to say violent media is okay- that the intent wasn’t “real”.
In a recent statement from his website, Paul Gosar said, “If this cartoon “incites violence” and needs to be banned and me “punished” for it, then the Cartoon Network, Disney and all of Hollywood must be shut down and “punished” for all the cartoon and film violence they portray. Really? Is Paul Gosar really trying to put himself in cartoons and a cast of characters like Tom and Jerry? I’m lost in Gosar’s child-like and void mind. How can we as a country elect childish officials like this, to begin with?
Kudos to the two Republicans – Reps. Adam Kinzinger (Illinois) and Liz Cheney (Wyoming) for voting for the censure resolution. What Adam and Liz demonstrated in their vote was that they wouldn’t let their political party affiliation blind them from simply being good people.
But, censuring Gosar is not enough. He needs to be fired. Gone from government and public service forever. We should also say goodbye to all his friends who gave him fist-bumps in the corner like he was some freedom of speech champion- some savior who went to an extreme necessary length to portray Democrats as being “over-emotional”.
The truth is there’s a pandemic of elected officials catering to ignorance in this country. They think that words and visuals don’t matter because they’re not actions- that redefining the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” won’t contribute to any systemic racism against Chinese people living in the United States- in the forms of verbal and physical harassment. They think that you can just “playthings off”- that Lysol injections to prevent COVID was just a joke and that no one would try it. They think that you can glorify taking off masks and being against the vaccine mandate because it’s an expression of personal freedom.
How much longer are we going to allow our country to be run by these types of baseless and crude politicians? How much longer are we going to let them use “freedom” in any context even when it hurts our freedoms and health? How much longer are we going to elect “leaders” who spend more time behind their Twitter channel doing violent video creations than actually speaking with citizens on how they can improve their lives?
To me, patriotism is about calling a spade a spade and speaking the truth when things aren’t working for your country. Until elected officials like Gosar are fired and never elected again, the United States is going to continue being a country that caters to the ignorant and condones violence in the guise of freedom. The world is watching and shaking their heads. Now is the time for a change.
Watch the Trevor Noah video below for additional context: