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Commentary

Auchter's Art: The plot to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer

JPA335 Defending the Gov Whitmer Kidnapping Plot copy.png
John Auchter
/
Michigan Radio

With all that is currently going on (raging European land war, economic trauma, Lindsey Graham's hurt feelings, etc.), it's understandable if the trial for the four suspects charged with plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has fallen off your radar. It certainly has for me.

Yes, part of the reason is the overwhelming amount of other news to doom scroll. But another part is the four men themselves. I don't like to think about them. They make me uncomfortable. Not for a reason you might expect — anger, fear, disgust. I feel sad for them.

This feeling likely comes from having grown up spending a considerable amount time with guys who smoked a lot of weed and said a lot of really stupid things making really stupid plans. I kinda know guys like this, and they were obviously way out of their league in dealing with the FBI.

Nevertheless, I absolutely believe they deserve to be on trial. Planning and plotting to kidnap and harm an elected official (and clearly having the means to do it) is definitely something our legal system is there to prevent. (January 6, 2021 is a pretty good example of what can happen when stupid plans are allowed to be executed.)

And while I may be inclined to feel sadness, it's not hard for me to imagine what others might feel about this situation. There is a well-documented history of Black men in this country not being given the benefit of the doubt as reflected in their disproportionate rate of incarceration, especially when drugs are involved. So I'd expect that if "they can't be held responsible — they were high" works for four White guys, it'd be pretty hard to reconcile.

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

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