C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Becoming Donald Trump

Rep. Maxine Waters (D.-Calif.) told a crowd of supporters in Los Angeles on Saturday to mob and harass members of the Trump administration:
Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.
Now Waters may have done some good things along the road, but this is stupidity in action. It is childish demagoguery, inciting hatred and possibly riot, and inviting a terrible backlash. It is completely un-American, uncivilized, and dumb beyond words. It is just what you might expect out of Donald Trump, only this time it comes from a voice on the left.

The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer's editorial board has this to say:
It might seem satisfying to liberals to see members of Donald Trump's administration fleeing from restaurants after being shamed by patrons or booted by the owner. That happened to three of Trump's people last week, including press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was asked to leave the Red Hen in Lexington, Va., by its owner Friday night. Earlier, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Trump adviser Stephen Miller were shouted out of Washington restaurants. . . .

But such behavior shouldn't feel satisfying, and it's not necessary. It's liberals trying to beat Donald Trump by becoming Donald Trump.

It wasn't long ago that these same Democrats fretted about Trump's crassness and willingness to demean anyone who dared disagree with him. They and we worried that his bullying would do more harm to political discourse, and that's exactly what's happening, as nastiness has bled from the political fringe into the political mainstream.

Certainly, that's been encouraged by members and supporters of the Trump administration, who regularly ridicule the press and political opponents. All the more reason to punch back, say progressives, who contend that the only way to defeat Trump is to fight bile with bile. But that's not true, as liberals themselves showed last week by getting Trump to back down from his policy of separating immigrant children from parents at the border. How'd they do it? By shining a light on injustice, by flooding social media, by swaying public opinion and eventually Republicans in Washington with the force and volume of their voices.

The same approach, by the way, helped save Obamacare last year from Republicans in Congress.

Adding a dollop of shame at some restaurants last week didn't add to the progressive victory. It was self-indulgence, and it gives license to similar behavior. It's not a great leap from disrupting the meal of White House officials or members of Congress to doing the same to any Republican who wears a MAGA hat or Democrat who wears a Planned Parenthood t-shirt. Are we ready for restaurant owners and other businesses to decline service for all manners of firmly held convictions? Are we ready for all the shouting that's ahead?

This is the path we're careening down, in Washington and across our country. Instead of extending grace to those with whom we disagree, we're increasingly deciding they are unworthy of it. We're following the lead of our president, whether we agree or disagree with him. We're losing.
Your Head Trucker agrees. What everybody needs to keep in mind is that just because you've been oppressed or victimized, that does NOT mean you can do no wrong. Every human being on the face of this planet--and yes I mean women, blacks, gays, "liberals," "progressives," "conservatives," and all the other subdivisions of the species, real or imaginary--is capable of wrongdoing at every point in life--it takes constant attention and self-scrutiny to stay on the path of goodness and human decency. We step off the upward path, the path of peace and civility, at our great peril.

Even if you are the sort of person who just doesn't give a flip about decency and fair play and the Golden Rule--do you really want to start this kind of stupid shit?  Because it will surely become in a very short time a game of tit for tat.  How about the first time a howling mob gathers around a member of your particular subcommunity or affiliation, and drives them out of a public venue--or worse yet, starts beating on them, as mobs are wont to do? How will you feel then, bucko?  Hah?

What goes around, comes around.  Count on it.

Don't go there. Just don't fucking go there. We are Americans, we may disagree loud and long in the political arena--but we leave it there. We don't harass the other side in the ordinary streets and shops of private life. We don't check party IDs at the door of any business. We don't persecute people for their politics. That's a filthy thing to do, and so was booting Sarah Sanders from a restaurant on political grounds.  That's not the America I love and believe in.  Waters spoke like an ignorant, self-centered, short-sighted rabble-rouser.

Just like Donald Trump, in fact.  How ugly, ugly, ugly.

We are all standing at the brink of a deep, fiery pit.  Do we really have to jump into it?

Embed from Getty Images


Davis said...

Thanks Russ for some common sense. I'm beating my head against a wall on Facebook with all my friends wanting to cause nothing bu violent disruption. I remember 1968 - when after all the riots the nation overwhelmingly elected the law and order candidate Richard Mulhouse Nixon.

Russ Manley said...

Can you say unintended consequences?

Related Posts with Thumbnails