The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sledgehammer

I dislike Donald Trump every bit as much as anybody does.  He has insulted and offended me, he has insulted and offended most of my friends, his candidacy has cost me a number of friendships, and I think he is a buffoon.  I could even argue that Trump has not earned the right to a Hollywood star alongside the likes of John Wayne, Louis Armstrong, Tallulah Bankhead and so many more who truly excelled in their fields. That said, I cannot support or condone the act of destruction by a man who, armed with a pickaxe and sledgehammer, maliciously destroyed Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The man, Jamie Otis, an heir to the Otis Elevator Company fortune, arrived just before 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday dressed as a construction worker.  While he was hammering and chopping at the star, a witness called police, but by the time they arrived, Otis had left. Otis surrendered to police Thursday morning, his attorney said. Los Angeles police confirmed Otis was arrested and remained in custody late Thursday morning.  Otis said his original intent was to pluck the star from the ground and auction it off to raise money for the women who have accused Trump of having sexually assaulted them. In a statement, he said, “I did it, and I’m very happy I did it, and I’m proud that I did it.” He called his actions “an act of civil disobedience” and “freedom of expression.”  Otis had planned to give a press conference Thursday explaining his actions but was taken into custody before he could do so.

This is not the first time since the start of Trump’s campaign that his star has been defaced.  One day, someone took a service animal to the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame and the dog did its business right on Donald Trump’s star. Since then, the affronts have only escalated: Micro protests, profane gestures, spit wads, human urine — with selfies to mark every gesture. Someone stenciled a mute signal onto the star. Someone spray painted a swastika onto it.

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Leron Gubler said, “When people are unhappy with one of our honorees, we would hope that they would project their anger in more positive ways than to vandalize a California state landmark. Our democracy is based on respect for the law. People can make a difference by voting and not destroying public property.”  I fully concur.

trump-star-2Peaceful and meaningful protests are our means of publicly disagreeing in a democracy.  Vandalism and destruction of property are not a viable “freedom of expression” and are certainly not protected as freedom of expression under the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.  We have the power of the written word.  And we have the power of our vote.  We do not have the right to destroy property that does not belong to us.  Children sometimes solve their differences by smashing one another’s toys, making gestures, or even hitting one another.  Adults, at least in theory, are more mature than that and find peaceful means to express their displeasure. Anyone who is capable of having a political opinion should surely be mature enough to know better than this.

The end result of this widely-publicized act of vandalism remains to be seen, but it would not surprise me if it gives Trump a bit of a boost among some voters who may actually feel sympathy for him.  Nor would it surprise me for somebody to come up with the theory that the Clinton campaign hired Mr. Otis to perform this act.  This is just more of what we do not need in this already-divisive election campaign.

8 thoughts on “The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sledgehammer

  1. Jill, I truly hate to see anyone resort to this kind of behavior. Trump will win a mud fight as he is better at it than anyone. And, he does not have to talk about issues, which he is not very good at when he goes beneath the bumper sticker slogan. He should be defeated on his lack of character and history of exploiting people. He should also be defeated as some of his ideas are illegal, unconstitutional and unworkable. His economic plan will take us into a recession, per several economic modeling firms. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally agree with you. He garners sympathy and support that he totally doesn’t deserve and vandalism is really not the way to go (though I am of the opinion that he has not earned that star)
    You are invited to my Blog-O-Ween taking place right now. Some ghouls are waiting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is what worries me as well. When this sort of thing happens Trump becomes the victim and there are those who instantly sympathize with the victim, no matter who it is. This may help to explain much of his success: he is pilloried by a great many on the political left — including comics (who are articulate and clever) — and this arouses sympathy for the man among those who feel rather than think, while it makes others laugh. In any event, it steers all of us away from the central fact that this man, terribly flawed as he is, is totally unqualified for the highest office in the land.

    Liked by 1 person

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