Enough time has passed since the Parkland shooting and the astroturfed protests which followed that I think we can be blunt: David Hogg is on minute 37 of his 15 minutes of fame.
Strident, unfunny, thoroughly convinced of a nonexistent self-importance, completely uneducated about most of what he opines on and willing to lean on the argument from experience as a form of emotional blackmail, Hogg has transmogrified into the most intolerable of the Parkland advocates.
This would be wretched enough if it weren’t for the fact that Hogg has expanded his political franchising into issues that have nothing to do with gun control. He’s attacked money in politics, gender issues and pretty much anything involving President Donald Trump.
If you don’t believe me, let’s take his ham-fisted rejoinder to Trump’s all-caps tweet against Iran, which could theoretically earn him a visit from the Secret Service.
First, let’s have another look at Trump’s tweet:
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
And here’s Hogg trying to make a funny:
To US President Trump: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) July 23, 2018
Quoth the grinning Rage Comics face: “I see what you did there.”
The problem, as with so many things, is context. Trump’s tweet came after comments from the Iran President Hassan Rouhani that intimated war and a blockade of the Strait of Hormuz were both possibilities for the United States exiting the Iran deal and threatening sanctions against Iran for its ongoing ramping-up of its nuclear program(which, last I checked, they swore on a stack of Qurans they were vigorously dismantling).
“Mr. Trump, don’t play with the lion’s tail, this would only lead to regret,” Rouhani said during his Sunday remarks.
“America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”
That’s clearly a threat by a foreign power that’s potentially working on a nuclear weapon. Whether or not you agree with the caps-lock tweet is another issue, but it’s certainly within bounds after a nation threatens you with war.
Meanwhile, let’s look at Hogg. There’s not actually any political point in his snowclone tweet. Trump didn’t threaten the United States with “DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH” at any point; there’s no amount of verbal gymnastics that can accomplish that. It was just an opportunity to get a bunch of retweets from liberal followers who probably thought there was something deep about it.
Here’s where it becomes problematic: Hogg is threatening Trump with “CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE” and telling him to “BE CAUTIOUS.”
This is a little less giggly. Since Trump hasn’t actually threatened Hogg with death or war, Hogg’s words could be seen as an incitement to violence against the president. It’s certainly a threat. That’s the sort of thing that gets you a visit from the Secret Service, as Kathy Griffin discovered.
Perhaps what’s most telling is that Hogg draws an equivalency between Rouhani — who presides over a bellicose Islamist despotism where women are sentenced to prison for dancing — and Trump.
I needn’t point out that Hogg’s criticism of the authorities wouldn’t quite be so welcome in Iran, but that’s rather beside the point. It’s a bit like William F. Buckley’s old quote that “to say that the CIA and the KGB engage in similar practices is the equivalent of saying that the man who pushes an old lady into the path of a hurtling bus is not to be distinguished from the man who pushes an old lady out of the path of a hurtling bus: on the grounds that, after all, in both cases someone is pushing old ladies around.”
Perhaps I’m taking this too seriously. I’m fairly certain I’ve given more analytical thought to this than Hogg put into the tweet, which is indicative of just one of Hogg’s many issues.
Why this man is a public figure is beyond me. The point is, the sooner we forget about him, the better.