Leading up to Sunday’s premiere of Sacha Baron Cohen’s new political satire stunt series, Who Is America?, there was a media blitz of politicians and talking heads pre-emptively getting ahead of the stupid-ass things they said to Cohen when he was in disguise as one of his Who Is America? characters.
From Sarah Palin to Roy Moore, who is even threatening to sue for defamation, they’re claiming they were “duped” into saying horribly offensive things—in line with extremist conservative views—by Cohen and his crew out on an apparent “total right-wing hit job.”
It’s a hilarious scramble to save face, because here’s the thing: folks, you can’t trick people into saying things they really believe. When these people thought they were in the company of a friendly ear with Cohen posing as a fringe conservative, they let their terrifying opinions fly with reckless abandon. More, they knew they were being filmed. Imagine what they say behind closed doors.
That’s a chilling hypothetical, considering that the centerpiece of Sunday’s Who Is America? premiere was a montage of conservative congressmen and lobbyists openly endorsing legislation that would support the arming of pre-schoolers and a training program focused on toddlers submitting to their instinct to kill with no guilt.
It’s a fictional plan that Cohen’s anti-terrorism expert character Col. Erran Morad, an Israeli former Mossad agent, says works in his country. (This is all made up.) That’s all these gun nuts need to hear to openly endorse the plan, cutesy-titled “Kinderguardians,” going so far as to agree to appear in a Sesame Street-style training video.
Who could really say how much of what these guys said came from Cohen goading them. But the fact is that they said it with cameras rolling, knowing it would one day be aired somewhere. And what they said is we should give four-year-olds guns and turn them into toddler soldiers.
The segment has obviously already gotten a ton of press but, honestly, these people deserve to be shamed outside of the context of a piece summarizing Cohen’s show or sensationalizing the controversy that it’s stirring. Should their careers be ruined? That’s for you to say. And here’s exactly whom you can say it about.
Here are the politician and lobbyists who argued for the arming of toddlers. Here is exactly what they said. Now go shame them.
Philip Van Cleave, president, Virginia Citizens Defense League
“[Toddlers] haven’t quite developed what we call conscience, where you feel guilty about doing something wrong. That’s developing. You’re learning right and wrong. If they haven’t developed that yet they could be very effective soldiers. This year in our state government, they had a bill put in where it would have made it illegal for someone four years old to 12 years old to have access to a gun. We killed the bill...They just think that children can’t handle them.”
Van Cleave takes part in an instructional video where he says, “Today we’re going to teach you how to stop these naughty men and help them take a long nap.” Guns are dressed up as stuffed toys called Gunimals, including Puppy Pistol, Gunny Rabbit, and “one for the girls,” the Uzicorn. How do you use it? Here’s a handy song Van Cleave sings, to the tune of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes: “Aim at the head, not the shoulders, not the toes.”
Larry Pratt, director, Gunowners of America
“This segment of the conversation would absolutely cause heads to explode in certain parts of this country…because they are so prejudiced against young people having guns, especially in a school.” When Cohen’s character suggests that toddlers make good gunmen because they don’t have a fear of guns instilled in them yet, Pratt remarks, “That’s a good point.”
“Toddlers are pure, uncorrupted by Fake News or homosexuality. They don’t worry if it’s politically correct to shoot a mentally deranged gunman, they’ll just do it. The science behind this program is proven. At age four, a child processes images 80 percent faster than an adult. Meaning that essentially, like owls, they can see in slow motion. Children under 5 also have elevated levels of the pheromone Blink-182, produced by part of the liver known as the Rita Ora. This allows nerve reflexes to travel along the Cardi B neural pathway to the Wiz Khalifa 40 percent faster, saving time and saving lives.” (Here Pratt is clearly reading a script, not understanding that he’s reciting jibberish, but it’s in the spirit of promoting the same child-shooter cause.)
Trent Lott, former Senate Majority Leader (R) – Mississippi
“I support the Kinderguardians program. We in America would be wise to implement it, too. It’s something we should think about in America: Putting guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens, good guys, whether they be teachers or whether they actually be talented children or highly trained pre-schoolers.”
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R) – California
“Maybe having young children trained and understand how to defend themselves in their school may actually make us safer here.”
Rep. Joe Wilson (R) – South Carolina
“A three-year-old cannot defend themselves from an assault rifle by throwing a Hello Kitty pencil case at it. Our founding fathers did not put an age limit on the Second Amendment.”
Joe Walsh, former congressman (R) – Illinois
“The intensive three-week Kinderguardian course introduces specially selected [children] from 12 to four years old to pistols, rifles, semi-automatics, and a rudimentary knowledge of mortars. In less than a month, less than a month, a first grader can become a first grenader.”
All of them in a montage
“When it comes to the safety of our children, the way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good kid with a gun. Happy shooting, kids.”