Last time I checked (and hey, I could be wrong), professional bowtie wearer Tucker Carlson wasn't a member of PETA who was against all forms of animal mistreatment and believer in the animal rights math of rat = chicken = dog = person, but apparently he thinks pro-footballer Michael Vick should have been executed for his role in a dogfighting ring he ran. But since we don't do capital punishment for people who torture and kill animals (just people who torture and kill people), he did 19 months in prison instead. For some reason, serving time in prison isn't enough of a punishment for crime for Carlson. Apparently prison is supposed to be a permanent scar, not about punishment or reform, but about marking a person to walk the world as one of the damned in a separate caste system.
Someone alert Martha Stewart to give back that TV show! She's an ex-con!
There’s no question Vick has done terrible things, but to hear a pundit openly opine that a prominent person should have received the death penalty – and being completely sincere in doing it – is not something you’ll see too often.
Maybe Tucker is just a dog lover. Which, more than likely, he probably is. Still ... no. Based on his assessment, if we started murdering people for dog murder logically we would also have to lock up people who own and operate slaughter houses, charge people who hit stray animals on the highway with vehicular dogslaughter, lock up folks who run puppy mills with 20 year sentences, label animal hoarders the same way we label child sex offenders and treat sport hunters like serial killers.
Being that Tucker is a conservative and most conservatives are for the right to kill animals for food and sport, I can't imagine he meant what he said unless there was a sea change in his views. Especially considering in 2006 he went up against PETA over a comic book warning children to keep their pets away from their fathers who like to fish. In the interview, Tucker, an animal lover, admits that he enjoys catch and release fishing, which, again, based on his capital punishment for dog murder logic would mean he is as serial fish kidnapper and torturer and should be punished accordingly.
But, no. This really isn't about dogs or animals and cruelty towards them. This is really about who Michael Vick is, what he represents and how people feel about our prison system.
President Obama praised the second chance given to Vick by the Philadelphia Eagles after Vick served his time, went through counseling and pledged to turn his life around. He was allowed to return to the league and play because at the end of the day, he's still a great quarterback. He can still help a team win and make the Eagles lots of money. But for some individuals prison is not enough of a punishment. Especially if you have a violent past, even if it involved animals. Even if under our laws all animals, even your beloved pets you call your children, are essentially treated as property.
Tucker's hyperbole is something that is often reserved for African American pro-athletes who, when they misbehave, are made symbols of the out-of-control, decadent culture of pro-sports. Like a fist fight in the NBA or the NFL comes with a harsher punishment than a fist fight in the nearly-all white of sport hockey, where the fights are considered part of hockey's "culture." Mind you, they're skating around with weapons in their hands and on their feet, yet in basketball if you even stand up from the bench to get a better look during a fight you could get fined or suspended.
It's not Ben Roethlisberger who gets to be the symbol of hedonism and violence. He gets the "let's wait until all the facts come out" treatment.
Countless ex-cons, many of then with drug offenses, return to civilian life to find they can't get jobs due to the fact that they were in prison, leaving them in a no-man's land. If they return to a life of illegal activity and get caught their punishment will be ever more severe. But if they try to stay within the law, they have few reform options. America is not about reforming people in prison, but instead creating a separate caste system where it doesn't matter if you were a kid still growing and impressionable, a drug addict, a drug dealer, a petty thief, a bank robber or violent.
You're all treated the same by the system. No one cares what you were inside for. You were inside. You're an outcast.
It's understandable that as an ex-convict someone would have a harder time after getting out. That people would be leery and distrustful. You're supposed to work to win that trust back. But it makes no sense to continue to punish Michael Vick when he did his time, went through rehabilitation and is so far staying out of trouble. You don't have to like Michael Vick. You don't have to like what he did. You don't have to like ex-cons. But he went to prison. He did 19 months, more than what most people get when they hurt other people. If you can't bother to get up in arms over other celebrities and pro-athletes who've committed crimes or were accused of doing terrible things to other human beings, maybe you need to take a hard look at yourself.
Accepting Vick's punishment is not accepting what he did. It's accepting that you already participated in his punishment by paying the tax dollars that keep our prison system running. He was punished. If you're still mad, you don't have to watch the Eagles play. You don't have to support the NFL. But don't get upset with other people who have moved on.