There’s an expression among military circles that dictates action when faced with a superior you would rather not deal with.
“Salute the rank, not the man.”
The distinction is clear. An officer of the United States military is an honorable and respectable individual, distinguishing him or herself from the rest of the world because of their strict adherence to values.
For instance, a strong sense of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage are all things soldiers must have. A soldier of the U.S. Army knows that his duty is to serve and protect the people and uphold the Constitution.
So it should come as no surprise why the leaders of Fort Knox decided to cancel Ted Nugent’s concert after the right-wing, washed-up guitar hero and gun rights activist made remarks that some have construed to be a threat on the life of a president.
The offensive remarks? Nugent declared at a recent National Rifle Association convention that if President Barack Obama was re-elected, then Nugent will “either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”
The remark itself seems inoffensive at first up until the path of common sense leads to the realization that Nugent was alluding to the assassination of an American president, one that he himself might orchestrate.
Nugent has since defended himself after the Secret Service decided to have a civil chat with the rocker, and while the Secret Service have expressed that they will be continuing an investigation into his affairs, Nugent’s fans and Twitter followers have been in an uproar against his concert’s cancellation as well as what some feel to be an encroachment on the First Amendment.
Let’s make things perfectly clear — Nugent in no way represents the thoughts and feelings of all right-leaning Americans, nor does he represent the thoughts and feelings of fellow gun enthusiasts, owners, and activists. Most of us are responsible and sane adults who don’t make a habit of threatening our politicians with violence such as chopping off their heads, as Nugent so eloquently suggested during the same convention that he made the offending remarks.
That being said, Nugent also doesn’t represent what a true American citizen should do and instead represents everything that is wrong with these right-wing celebrity blowhards that think that they can relate to the Republican base.
We’re not stupid. I don’t think a single responsible and intelligent Republican voter would so much as waste their breath on a statement insinuating a threat against an elected public official.
Shooting a 10-point buck is worth more than shooting some unworthy Capitol Hill lobbyist sycophant. At least the deer can do something to put food on the table.
Nugent’s remarks were an absolute threat against the president and the only reason that he wasn’t arrested by the Secret Service is because he weaseled out of it by calling his threat an analogy.
Although provocative, his words weren’t entirely condemning since they were worded so broadly. However, given the context and his past suggestions for Obama to “suck on (his) machine gun,” he hasn’t exactly made a good case for himself.
Nugent is an embarrassment to the American Right, to gun owners across the nation and to every service man and woman who he pretends to represent.
In America, we do not threaten our elected officials.
The US president should be the most respected and feared man on the face of the Earth because he is the leader of the Free World and Commander in Chief of the most effective, lethal and professional military force to ever exist in the history of human civilization.
Obama as a person, and as a politician, might be contemptible — whose only hopes of re-election are the incompetent foul-ups of the GOP and its celebrity supporters — but Obama the president is just that, the President of the United States of America, and so long as he is president, he will be given the proper respect as the privilege of his rank demands.
James Wang is a history freshman and may be reached at [email protected].