Bombs Away, Mr. Trump
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Has there ever been a time in the history of the United States where everyone was happy with the direction the country was going? No; history is rarely new, so that is like asking if everyone today is happy about where the nation is heading.
“There has been a general shift throughout history from general disagreement with the government to it being culturally popular to dislike, disown, or even destroy the government,” says senior Andrew Sanders.
While fashionability of being anti-administration has risen, other American staples have fallen out of fashion, including a superstar who was once literally en vogue. At the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st, 2017, 1980s popstar Madonna wanted to start a revolution of love when she said she had, “thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House,” following with, “but I know th[at] won’t change anything.”
“I feel those comments were unnecessary and gave the wrong impression of the Women’s March. Even if it was said in the moment, public figures like Madonna need to be cautious what they say,” says junior Brooke Toops.
These comments were in direct relation to the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States just the previous day, and they represent a general feeling of extreme discontent over the 45th President.
“I doubt she meant it, but it was still dangerous to say as it sends a message that it is right to have violence as the first instinct. She has said her words were taken out of context and were not a threat, but what she said speaks for itself,” says senior Nathan Robledo.
Fans, a shortened term for fanatics, are known for following their idol into very well heated areas, but this hot political issue might be too sweltering for even the most fiery fans.
“Madonna may have intense fans that have her back, but she could easily lose a lot of them because there is enough terror and hate around that adding to it could be too much for some,” says sophomore Kenya Adams.
Beyond fans, the songstress has a bigger issue to deal with in the way of prosecution as her comments can be deemed a Class-E felony, which could lead to punishments including a year in prison. If such consequences could befall her for her threat, it is very important to determine if she even did threaten President Trump.
“It is ridiculous to say she threatened him as nothing could ever come of it. Firstly, what power does she have to bomb the White House, and secondly, announcing it in public like that would be very incriminating so it was likely just talk,” says Sanders.
The actual act of bombing is not what is being supposed, but rather the saying of the subjective threat itself: Madonna’s words might be used as evidence in a trial.
“She should be prosecuted like any other citizen without exception due to her celebrity status,” says Robledo.
That brings up another point of, after months and years of threats and hatred spewed by both Trump and his critics, whether or not comments like these would have made an impact if they were not made by Madonna.
“Celebrities impact the worldview of their fans; she has a right to her opinion and to say how she feels, but she should monitor what she says. Really, she is being hypocritical by saying similarly hateful things only in a different context,” says Toops.
These comments can only cause harm if they cause anything as they feed directly into the seemingly, but with hope not actually, irreparable chasm that divides America today.
“Madonna could easily have an effective influence for the better, but comments from her and others will just cause more division and, eventually, violence,” says Adams.
Many blame this divide on Trump, stating he started the cascading of this deadly train of dominos. Trump does not deserve absolution for the countless acts of ignorance and intolerance he has committed, and he may possibly have tapped the first domino, but he certainly did not align the path of dominos America has been trailing in this long winding journey.
“All the words that have been said are not helping to bring us as a country together, but we have never been together. This presidential season has only brought to light all the hate we have for each other in this country, it didn’t create it,” says Robledo.