If he wasn't obviously joking... and if the bounty were even real in the first place.
In the escalating tension between the US and Iran, a proposal was recently made to place an $80 million bounty on Donald Trump's head.
In no way has any formal bounty been offered by the nation of Iran. It's not even clear who made the suggestion—just that it was a eulogist at the funeral for Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, who was assassinated by a US drone strike in Iraq last Friday. The specific figure offered was just a reference to the population of Iran—"if each one of us puts aside one American dollar… anyone who brings the yellow-haired lunatic to us will get $80 million from the Iranian people."
There's no reason to think that any real power in Iran is backing this suggestion, but it is nonetheless being reported as an attempt by Iranian authorities to send a mob of trained killers after the American president. And the newest addition to this squad of elite assassins is apparently comedian and actor George Lopez.
After Instagram user @ChicanoWorldstar posted the most inflammatory version of the story, with the question "What are your thoughts?" the former host of Lopez Tonight responded, "We'll do it for half," which led to Breitbart running the headline, "Actor George Lopez Accepts Iran's Bounty to Assassinate President Trump." Leaving aside the fact that there is no actual bounty, that Lopez was transparently making a lame throw-away joke about Latinx people working for cheaper rates, and the fact that this is not how bounties work in any way (there would be no sense in undercutting a bounty, and it certainly can't be "accepted" without delivering the target), let's imagine a scenario in which this is somehow real, so we can inhabit the minds of the people who are currently freaking out about it.
The Secret Service needs to go to this violent lunatic’s house and arrest him. https://t.co/iBvgMBhfH9— Wayne Dupree 🎙🎥 (@Wayne Dupree 🎙🎥) 1578317639.0
After a 2018 confrontation with a Trump fan harassing him in a New Mexico Hooters, perhaps George decided he could no longer accept Donald Trump's America, and was just waiting for someone to offer tens of millions of dollars to do something about it. Is he secretly the Mexican-American Mandalorian? That seems to be the theory. Obviously a part of Lopez's joke was tapping into the very real animosity between Donald Trump, his voters, and much of the Latinx community—largely as a result of President Trump's embrace of white supremacist cruelty in his border policies—and the response from fans of President Trump to this latest development has been predictably outraged and racist.
Perhaps the fact that Lopez is not white—and must therefore be friends with a bunch of bad hombres he can do crimes with—makes him a more credible threat than, for instance, Ted Nugent, who invited Barack Obama to "suck on [his] machine gun" in 2007. This was followed up in 2012, when he asserted that he would "either be dead or in jail by this time next year" if Obama won re-election. That last remark resulted in Nugent being investigated by the Secret Service—which Nugent dismissed as "silly"—and Trump fans seem to think that Lopez's five-word joke (which is literally impossible to interpret as sincere), deserves at least that much scrutiny, if not much worse.
This is your daily reminder that if someone said they would comply with a terrorist regime's bounty on Obama's head… https://t.co/0JUGjVWnkW— Charlie Kirk (@Charlie Kirk) 1578330314.0
Pointing out that John Wilkes Booth was also a famous actor, people are accusing Lopez of threatening to carry out an assassination conspiracy and calling for him to be investigated, arrested, and deported—despite the fact that he was born in Los Angeles. So what would it look like if George Lopez and a crew of MS-13, luchador bounty hunters actually tried to collect that $80 million—or $40 million?
The US government's Rewards for Justice program is perhaps the most prominent source of information on this kind of bounty, though the $145 million paid out since the program was founded in 1984 has been doled out in exchange for information rather than violence—the Pentagon preferring to carry out its own assassinations. The program's largest payout was made to an anonymous informant who directed the American military to the house where Saddam Hussein's sons, Uday and Qusay, were living—and where they died in the resulting raid on July 22, 2003.
John Wilkes Booth was a famous actor too. it is time to start paying attention to threats from people like George Lopez.— Carmine Sabia (@Carmine Sabia) 1578324006.0
Here we can see George Lopez's biggest mistakes in trying to collect this bounty on Donald Trump's head. Unlike the informant, George Lopez opted not to remain anonymous. By publicly posting his intentions—and by starring as Mr. Electric in 2005's The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D—Lopez made his task a lot more difficult. The other issue is that he has aligned himself against the world-spanning empire of the American military by targeting their Commander in Chief, rather than giving them information and getting out of their way. All of this makes him extremely vulnerable to retaliation if he actually does succeed in assassinating Donald Trump—and it would be very difficult for him to even collect his reward, let alone live to spend it.
But if George Lopez—former star of the ABC sitcom George Lopez and current judge on World's Most Amazing Dogs—does still want to carry out the assassination of a prominent figure in a hostile government, probably the best way to do so would be to first establish a multi-trillion dollar organization devoted to violent engagement with global geopolitics.
That way, he could just wait until that prominent figure is in some country where Lopez's expensive killing equipment is already stationed and use that equipment to kill him from a distance without getting his hands dirty. And then, if that somehow led to some kind of violent tension between himself and the hostile government, George Lopez could make up a flimsy excuse and threaten to attack a bunch of important cultural sites full of civilians. Easy-peasy.
Of course, this is all hypothetical, because George Lopez isn't actually a reckless and evil person who wants to commit war crimes, and he doesn't have that kind of power. Can you imagine though? Scary thought.
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