I did not plan nor want to write a post about the Red Hen. Or about Kirstjen Nielsen or Sarah Huckabee Sanders and their restaurant choices. It is ridiculous and a waste of my time and yours. BUT … there is a bigger issue here and it is an important one: R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
I do not dislike Sarah Huckabee Sanders, for I do not know her. Never met her, never had a conversation with her. I do not like the fact that she perpetuates Donald Trump’s lies, I do not like her denigration of certain members of the press, and I think as far as the job she does as White House Press Secretary, she is without values. That said, if I saw her eating in my favourite restaurant I would not harass her, would not so much as give her a sidelong glance. I would either ignore her and leave her to eat in peace, or if I felt I could not do that, I would quietly leave and go elsewhere. The same applies to Kirstjen Nielsen, Stephen Miller and any of the rest of Trump’s entourage.
U.S. Representative Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California who is, like myself, passionate about causes and often outspoken, added fuel to the fire:
“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And 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. We’ve got to get the children connected to their parents.”
My baser instincts, the part of me that is sick and tired of this circus that surrounds Donald Trump, applauds Ms. Waters, but my head, my intellect, is screaming, “NO NO NO NO NO!!!” This is not the path to bringing an end to the Trump regime, but only fans the flames that feed the frenzy of his supporters. Not to mention Trump, whose ignominious response via Twitter was …
“Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the Face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!”
Never mind that Ms. Waters’ IQ is almost certainly far above Trump’s and never mind that she did not call for harm to anybody and did not even mention his supporters. And never mind, even, that no other president in the history of this nation has ever spoken in this manner in public. What his supporters and others will hear is what Trump said, even though it is not true. This is not a time when people who slavishly follow Trump are seeking facts, but a time when they believe what comes from his mouth. Period.
There are just over four months until the mid-term elections and if Democrats have any hope of taking a majority in either or both chambers of Congress, we … all of us … are going to have to act better. The Republican Party, such as it is today, has very low standards of behaviour, but if Democrats lower themselves to those standards, I can guarantee you that all is lost.
Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner of the Red Hen restaurant who asked Ms. Sanders and her party of 7 others to leave, was wrong. She did so in a respectful manner, and she did so with just cause, however she was still wrong. I am appalled that the Supreme Court recently affirmed the rights of the baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. If you have a business, you serve your customers … all your customers. I would hold Ms. Wilkinson, though I understand her reasons, to the same standard.
Maxine Waters is also wrong, though again, there is a part of me that would love to applaud her words, but I cannot. Nearly every day I sit with this baby Dell on my knee, writing about values, about humanitarianism, criticizing ‘the other side’ for their lack of values, for their vulgar speech & actions, for their intolerance of those who may be different than them or have different ideas. So how can I condone or praise the actions of Maxine Waters or Stephanie Wilkinson when they are acting in the very manner I am railing against?
I have a confession of my own. This morning, one of the people who mow and trim the lawns in my apartment complex chopped down our sunflowers with a weed whacker. Every year since Miss Goose was about knee-high, she and I have taken joy in planting sunflowers in our tiny postage-stamp front yard. We lovingly tend them and watch them grow, squeal with excitement when the first one shows its beautiful yellow face. And in less than 10 seconds, they were gone. My confession? I flew out the door in a rage and forced myself to stop a few feet short of the worker, else I would have strangled him. Through tears and with fury I called him every name that came to mind, and acted, in general, like a 2-year-old. Then I came inside, sat down on the stairway and cried for 30 minutes. I had every right to be angry, to be hurt, but I did not have the right to launch a venomous attack on the man who was only doing what he thought was his job. It was not one of my prouder moments.
This is what the past two years have done to us all, but … we are better than this. We must be better than this, else Donald Trump and his supporters will have the last laugh. Hate the behaviours, the ideology, the attitudes if you will, but for the sake of this nation, for all of our sake’s, do not emulate them. Rise above what you see on the news and in the streets every day. Be better.