An Irish magazine is defending the cover of its February issue, which shows President Donald Trump with a bullseye over the left side of his head.
As if the image wasn't provocative enough, the magazine, Village, splashed the words "why not" in big, bold letters across the bottom, leading some observers to believe the publication was advocating for the assassination, or at least the attempted assassination, of the most powerful man in the world.
But Village insisted Tuesday that its cover is not encouraging violence, pointing to the fact that it didn't include a question mark after the "why not."
"It reads 'WHY NOT'. Then it links to the editorial which duly EXPLAINS WHY NOT," Village said in a Tuesday tweet.
The publication went on to acknowledge on social media that including a question mark "would signal equivocation or worse."
The Village article, published under the byline "Village," literally harkened back to the Middle Ages, highlighting how tyrannicide — the act of killing a tyrant — "has had support from various philosophers and theologians through the centuries."
St Thomas Aquinas gave the most substantial Christian argument for tyrannicide. He based his position on his arguments for just war and capital punishment and concluded: “He who kills a tyrant (i.e. an usurper) to free his country is praised and rewarded”.
The magazine went on to state that in Trump's case, however, assassination would be "unnecessary and disproportionate":
Trump is a fool, he will alienate friends and enrage enemies. He will breach the constitution, illegally enrich himself, fall out with his allies and make evidence-unsupported mistakes. Ladbrokes bookies have Trump at evens to leave office via impeachment or resignation before the end of his first term. Paddy Power has Trump to be impeached in his first term at 3/1, and 7/4 to not complete his first term in office.
The article then made the moral case for not assassinating Trump, saying that in the process of his potential impeachment or resignation, the public would become more aware of the "dangers of allowing power to an intolerant narcissist." As a result of that awareness, the article suggested, "institutions will be reformed, progressive policies enshrined and popular opinion inured against ever repeating the Trump mistake."
Given all of these reasons, Village concluded: "The calculus is clearly against violence, even in the case of Trump."
"Stick to democracy, rigorously but applied, as necessary, stealthily and aggressively," the magazine added.
(H/T: Washington Post)