Peter Fonda is upset with the President's response to the oil spill in the Gulf. This isn't news; lots of people are and with reason. But Peter Fonda should know better than to say the things he's saying. I overlooked it the first time, but this time he's gone too far. In an interview with the Telegraph, he said this:
Peter Fonda, the star of Easy Rider, suggested to Mandrake that he was encouraging his grandchildren to shoot President Barack Obama.
“I’m training my grandchildren to use long-range rifles,” said the actor, 71. “For what purpose? Well, I’m not going to say the words 'Barack Obama’, but …”
He added, enigmatically: “It’s more of a thought process than an actuality, but we are heading for a major conflict between the haves and the have nots. I came here many years ago with a biker movie and we stopped a war. Now, it’s about starting the world.
“I prefer to not to use the words, 'let’s stop something’. I prefer to say, 'let’s start something, let’s start the world’.
This follows his braggadocio over sending emails with profanity to the White House.
"I sent an email to President Obama saying, 'You are a f------ traitor,' using those words... 'You're a traitor, you allowed foreign boots on our soil telling our military - in this case the coastguard - what they can and could not do, and telling us, the citizens of the United States, what we could or could not do'."
Here's my take. Criticize as you will. It's fine to be critical of the White House response. That's anyone's right, even public figures. But it is not fine to suggest that long range rifles should be aimed at the President of the United States, regardless of what you don't like about this country, and regardless of whether it comes from the right or the left. That goes far beyond the limits of free speech.
On this blog, we routinely criticize the right wing for making statements like this. We're outraged by it. Now we have it coming from one guy on the left, and in my estimation, that makes him just as much of a wingnut as the ones on the right. Forget patriotism. What Fonda just said was a threat and it should be treated like one.
Anyone old enough to remember how Jane Fonda was treated by this country when she went to North Viet Nam and criticized the war? She was ostracized as anti-American and unpatriotic. What Peter Fonda said went far beyond that. Far beyond.