Remember when Cathy Griffin, that comedian no one thinks about, did that weird piece where she held up a severed Trump head?
That was an odd moment. People got really, really offended, as they ought to be, if for no other reason than because that means Mike Pence would be President. I don't like Donald Trump, but killing him is an extreme reaction, as is holding up a severed head like that. Needless to say, Cathy probably could've done a slightly better job at expressing her message.
But is this bad for society? Is it really? For one, as art, it's not the worst thing. The more you learn about art, the more you realize it's batshit insane, and this isn't the craziest piece of political art that probably came out that week, just the most popular. If this was intended to be a piece of art that inspired some type of feelings in others, it succeeded on that front, even if again, it was not a great idea.
I've heard people say how terrible politics has become, how uncivilized it is, how little respect we have for the other side. That's true. Partisanship has been a growing problem in politics. But you know what else is a problem in politics? Apathy.
An apathetic populace allows the government to use flying death robots to kill innocent families half a world away, it's what allows people not to even know what net neutrality is as that very right is taken from them, it's what breeds the forces of evil in a society. I much prefer an angry but politically active populace to a calm but inactive one. We can work out the kinks later on the angry thing, but at least people pay attention.
People should be angry at politics. For example, anyone who isn't angry about how we treated the 2008 bank crisis probably works at a bank, or simply isn't educated on the issue. Should people want to kill each other? No, but people should take politics as something more than a spectator sport.
There are problems from this. I'm a progressive, and I've spent a lot of my life learning about politics from really cool people. When Trump got elected, you got a lot of uneducated Buzzfeed liberals coming in and making my side look not great. I don't like that. I wish those people would read a bit more on some of these issues, and (this is personal preference) be a bit more to the left on some things (I'm looking at you privatization of public services neoliberals. We've seen how it's worked in schools and prisons, and it's not helping). And they do make my side look really stupid. But I prefer them here than on their couch, not aware of the terrible things going on in the world. Cathy Griffin can cut off all the imaginary heads in the world, as long as she remembers to vote.
Note: Don't kill people.