Okay, folks … we need to do better. Midterm elections are in just under four months, we have some inherent advantages going into the elections, but we also have some significant disadvantages, and we are shooting ourselves in the foot!
This morning’s Washington Post reports that members of Trump’s staff are being subjected to public humiliation, taunts, hecklers and even thinly-veiled threats. Those who engage in such behaviours are doing two things: they are lowering ‘us’ to ‘their’ level, and they are damaging the image of all democrats.
Mind you, I understand the urge. Donald Trump is disgusting, as are the majority of his staff and cabinet members, not to mention a large number of the members of Congress. Together, they have made a mockery of all we thought this nation stood for, and they are seemingly intent on destroying the U.S. Constitution within four years. The desire to confront and denigrate them is one we can all relate to. BUT … in this case, the old saying ‘fight fire with fire’ is wrong and is going to cost the nation if this insanity continues. Sure, it may be fun to yell at Kellyanne Conway, telling her she should ‘be ashamed’, but what does it gain, really?
First, there was the owner of the Red Hen restaurant who asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her family to leave. A week ago, a teacher interrupted her lunch at a restaurant to tell Scott Pruitt — eating with an aide a few feet away — that he should resign as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. On at least two occasions, demonstrators have assembled outside the home of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. Two weeks ago, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen walked out of a downtown Mexican restaurant after demonstrators followed her inside to rail against the administration for separating children from migrant parents. “Shame!” the protesters shouted while Nielsen remained in her seat, her head down as she typed messages on her smartphone.
Then last month, Congresswoman Maxine Waters issued the following plea:
“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!”
Predictably, Trump shot back by calling her a low-IQ person, as he always does when he doesn’t know what else to say, and then claimed that she had called for harm to his supporters, which was not true, but when did Trump ever let a little thing like the truth get in his way? Still, Ms. Waters was wrong and those who are taking her words literally and acting upon them are also wrong. What is the difference, I ask you dear readers, between what Ms. Waters said and the times Trump has said similar things at his rallies? There is no difference and two wrongs do not make a right.
We are playing right into the hands of the Trump administration and the GOP. Newt Gingrich was buoyed by the very public protests, saying, “They should take solace in the fact that we must be winning, since these people are so crazy. They used to be passive because they thought they were the future. Now they know we’re the future, and it’s driving them nuts.”
The November mid-terms hold enough challenges for democrats as it is. There are gerrymandered districts, designed to concentrate the minority vote into only a few districts. There are challenges such as states trying to pass stricter and more restrictive voter ID requirements. Polling places are being reduced and the hours cut back, especially in areas where there is a concentration of poor or minority voters. At least one state has passed a law making it legal to remove voters from the rolls if they have not voted for the last two years. And then there is the anticipated interference by Russia, which has been verified by officials throughout the security community, but little appears to be being done to stop it. With all these challenges, we do not need to act like 10-year-old children and tarnish our image, for you know that the COP will pounce on any opportunity to highlight our mistakes.
We all have a voice and we should use it. Write OpEds, write a blog, reach out to the opposition, help your local party canvass the neighborhood, and most important of all, use your voice to VOTE on November 6th. Use your voice wisely, for if you don’t, we may all stand to lose our voices.
I have no respect or tolerance for the likes of Conway, Sanders, Miller, Nielsen or any of the other sycophants who slavishly follow Trump. BUT … I believe that no matter how obnoxious they are, they are entitled to a personal life without being provoked and harassed because of their job. The vast majority of Trump’s more well-known staff and cabinet members do not deserve the positions they hold. They do not deserve their hefty salaries that are paid from our tax dollars. However they also do not deserve public harassment and their families should always, always be off-limits. Democrat or republican should not matter … we are human beings and adults, let’s try to act like it?