Yes, there was a user-generated poll on Facebook posing the question “Should Obama be killed?” Reports say a blogger at The Political Carnival noticed it, wrote about it, then alerted the Secret Service.
As of Monday, it was taken down, and yes, the Secret Service is probing just who posted it in the first place. Yet the boldness of such a question on THE most prominent social networking site Brings up a host of other questions.
Why do some people feel empowered to believe that, because they disagree with a president’s policies, he should be killed? Sure, there have always been a tiny number of people who felt this way, and an even smaller number who have acted on it. Yet what we’re seeing is something deeper and more virulent. It’s as if Barack Obama’s presence in the White House has unleashed a wellspring of pent up hatred.
This hatred, it must be said, has been fueled by the fanaticism of some right wing radio and television hosts. These folks and their supporters will adamantly deny they have any role at all in the Obama hating. Yet guns and ammunition are being purchased in record numbers, and some people are acting as though talking about killing the President of the United States is protected free speech.
These toads can say they’re entertainers, and their hatred is protected by the First Amendment. They’d be right on both counts. However, there is the small issue of acting in a responsible manner, and making your opposition clear while avoiding language that can trigger people to take violent action. Trust me, it’s not that hard to do.
Right now we don’t know who posted that assassination poll on Facebook. It could have been some bored kid, or it could have been a person with more sinister intentions. Either way, the poster used an add-on application, meaning that once it was taken down, the responses to the poll are no longer available. Despite the fact that I’m an idiot when it comes to computers, I have a feeling the Secret Service will find a way to figure out who posted it.
Which leads to the question, is the poll itself criminal? Certainly advocating that President Obama be killed is,but if whoever did this has a good lawyer, I’m sure the argument will be made that he or she wasn’t advocating anything. However, maybe that’s not the point. Why is anyone asking in a public forum whether our President should be killed? The answer to that question could go a long way toward explaining the hate that seems to flow from some at the mention of his name.
So, you tell me. Should the person who posted the poll on assassinating President Obama go to jail?