Do any of you remember this story about a reporter, who in the aftermath of a plane crash starting going through the luggage of the deceased passengers? Body parts likely weren't more than a few meters away from him. All these people had died right there, and here is this reporter unzipping the bag and casually remarking on the possessions of all these dead people. He got a lot of shit for doing that. It was disrespectful, inconsiderate, and in incredibly poor taste. I do have to wonder though what the reaction may have been if that journalist had picked up a charred, severed leg and proceeded to eat it right there on camera.
What the fuck am I talking about? I'm not talking about people literally eating the flesh of the dead, no. But the way politicians respond to acts of mass murder and terrorism amounts to the same. They're like vultures eating roadkill. At the Republican National Convention, Trump had a big appetite and he ate up the corpses of those dead cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Those were fresh, weren't they? Even a scavenger prefers fresh carrion if given the choice. Fresh casualties serve the politician's purpose especially well - wait too long and they just don't have as much potential.
Murder is the greatest gift an authoritarian tyrant can ask for. The more bodies, the better - the tyrant can consume them all. A woman in California murdered by an undocumented immigrant - politicians fed off her for months, growing stronger as they did. To them, she wasn't a victim, she wasn't a human being with a family and her own story - she was nothing more than food. The thousands who perished on 9/11 gave the vultures and crows a feast for years. The feast was so abundant that the American people surrendered their civil liberties to the Patriot Act and consented to an endless war in the Middle East. Thousands of soldiers died in those wars and they were consumed too. Every dead soldier gave an empty suit a chance to pay lip service to a sacrifice and win some votes.
This summer has seen awful acts of mass murder. An attempted coup in Turkey cost hundreds of lives. Erdogan, one of the foulest vultures of them all, is still gorging himself. The aftermath has given him leave to eliminate every last dissident down to a person who merely changes the channel every time Turkey's dictator is on TV. The NRA loved how the victims of Orlando's Pulse Club tasted - every massacre strikes fear into the ignorant that this will finally be the tragedy that motivates the government to confiscate everyone's guns. The NRA and their gun manufacturer sponsors make a fortune as people hoard guns and ammo. Meanwhile, the government isn't feasting for the sake of gun control - they're looking for the kind of meat that tastes like scapegoating an entire ethnic group. Innocent Japanese Americans were put into internment camps just over 70 years ago, and some of you were born before our government apologized for it. You think that can't happen to Arab Americans in the 21st century? This country may elect a man who can make it happen. All Trump needs is a few more attacks. More bodies to feed off. Stupid as he can be, he's shrewd and cunning enough to pick those bones clean.
In Europe, there are bodies and there are also vultures. In France, the vultures are called the National Front. In Germany, they're PEGIDA. There are many who are feeding on the victims of Nice and Munich. They hope they can eat enough to turn public sentiment to their favor. Every refugee, every Muslim, every foreigner will be guilty until proven innocent. And on the waves of fear, right-wing vultures will ride into power and reshape the liberal democracies of Europe into their twisted image.
If you want to honor the victims of terrorism and mass murder, rise up against the vultures eating their flesh.