In early August 2013, at the Missouri State Fair, a rodeo clown wearing a President Obama mask repeatedly asked the gathered crowd if they wanted to see Obama run down by a bull, while another clown started “bobbling the lips on the mask” (from the Huffington Post). This got members of Congress very upset, and the clown has subsequently been fired. But should he have been?
What is the sole purpose of clowns? To make people laugh! What is something everyone will laugh at and know about? The president of the United States (irrespective of political party). All the clown was doing was getting people to laugh. The only caveat is that the Missouri State Fair is funded in part by tax dollars (as opposed to most other fairs/rodeos which are privately funded, or funded from ticket sales). So perhaps the clown should not have gone so far as to impersonate Obama. But turn on Jay Leno or Jimmy Fallon. What are they doing? Making fun of Obama!
Part of being president of the United States is being fodder for comedians. You as president have chosen to put yourself in the public eye, have gotten elected, and have made good and bad decisions while in office. No one has forced you to become the president. Ergo, you are fair game. And I must ask: if the clown had been wearing a President Bush mask, would anyone have cared?
Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) called the event “shameful” and “unacceptable.” Missouri Lt. Gov. Kinder (R) also spoke out on Twitter: “I condemn the actions disrespectful to POTUS [President of the United States] the other night. We are better than this” (all quotes taken from The Huffington Post).
In short, the rodeo clown was fired for doing his job – making people laugh.
Love and Honor,