The New York Times, America’s newspaper of record, published an op-ed that defended Democrat protesters hounding members of the Trump administration, refusing to give them sleep or peace.
In the past week, liberal protesters have harassed Trump administration officials in private settings — Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at home, Stephen Miller at a Mexican restaurant, and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia.
As news broke that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) had called for such constant harassment, Democrats and Republicans called for civility and mutual respect to counter the increasing anger and balkanization. Some, however, continued to call for harassment of public officials, including New York Times opinion columnist Michelle Goldberg.
Goldberg argued that Trump is a horrific racist and that society should #Resist “normalizing” the president of the United States. “Last year, the white nationalist Richard Spencer was kicked out of his Virginia gym after another member confronted him and called him a Nazi,” she argued. “This incident did not generate a national round of hand-wringing about the death of tolerance, perhaps because most people tacitly agree that it’s O.K. to shun professional racists.”
“It’s a little more complicated when the professional racist is the president of the United States,” Goldberg immediately added. She acknowledged that “the norms of our political life require a degree of bipartisan forbearance.” Then came the “but…”
“But treating members of Donald Trump’s administration as ordinary public officials rather than pariahs does more to normalize bigotry than exercising alongside a white separatist,” the Times writer declared.
Yes, she actually argued that giving Trump administration officials peace after hours would “normalize bigotry.”
“There’s a moral and psychic cost to participating in the fiction that people who work for Trump are in any sense public servants,” Goldberg wrote. “I don’t blame staff members at the Virginia restaurant, the Red Hen, for not wanting to help Sanders unwind after a hard week of lying to the public about mass child abuse. Particularly when Sanders’s own administration is fighting to let private businesses discriminate against gay people, who, unlike mendacious press secretaries, are a protected class under many civil rights laws.”
Goldberg’s snide remark about “discrimination” against gay people referred to the Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which baker Jack Phillips refused to bake a custom cake for a same-sex wedding. Phillips did not discriminate against gay people, he merely refused to lend his creative work to an event that violated his convictions about marriage. Nevertheless, liberals like Goldberg deliberately twist the issue, as they twist so much else.
That twisting continued in her explanation of why the “public shaming” is happening.
“It’s less a result of a breakdown in civility than a breakdown of democracy,” the Times writer declared. “Though it’s tiresome to repeat it, Donald Trump eked out his minority victory with help from a hostile foreign power. He has ruled exclusively for his vengeful supporters, who love the way he terrifies, outrages and humiliates their fellow citizens. Trump installed the right-wing Neil Gorsuch in the Supreme Court seat that Republicans stole from Barack Obama. Gorsuch, in turn, has been the fifth vote in decisions on voter roll purges and, on Monday, racial gerrymandering that will further entrench minority rule.”
Again, Trump did not win just because of Russian interference, the Senate does have the ability to confirm presidential nominees — or not — and the “racial gerrymandering” in the Supreme Court redistricting case decided Monday is quite debatable (the Court actually struck down one particular district that it ruled was racially gerrymandered).
Most of these attacks fall into the category of liberal confirmation bias — an unwillingness to consider the other side of certain issues. Goldberg’s declaration that Trump represents a “breakdown of democracy” is comical, as the president was elected by a majority vote in each of the states he won, leading to an Electoral College victory. The Republican Senate that “stole” the Supreme Court seat from Obama was also popularly elected.
In any case, Goldberg defended incivility against Trump administration officials because “millions and millions of Americans watch helplessly as the president cages children, dehumanizes immigrants, spurns other democracies, guts health care protections, uses his office to enrich himself and turns public life into a deranged phantasmagoria with his incontinent flood of lies.”
Someone get this woman a perfect score on the SATs. She’s certainly earned it. Look at those big words.
Confirmation bias again: Americans actually support detaining immigrants who break the law by crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. What “health care protections” has Trump “gutted”? Oh yes, Obamacare’s hated individual mandate.
Trump has indeed lied, and perhaps slightly more frequently than Barack Obama (Obama’s lies tended to be more polite and far larger — take the Iran Deal, for example). Donald Trump has occasionally called for his supporters to beat up protesters in rallies, and Republicans rightly condemned these actions. Civility needs to prevail on both sides.
Goldberg’s rush to defend Democrat incivility verged on the ridiculous. She minimized actor Peter Fonda’s terrifying declarations (“WE SHOULD RIP BARRON TRUMP FROM HIS MOTHER’S ARMS AND PUT HIM IN A CAGE WITH PEDOPHILES,” etc.) as “some progressive celebrities have said some bad words.”
Then came a disgusting justification: “Some people have treated administration officials with the sort of public opprobrium due members of any white nationalist organization,” Goldberg wrote. “Liberals are using their cultural power against the right because it’s the only power they have left, and people have a desperate need to say, and to hear others say, that what is happening in this country is intolerable.”
“As long as our rulers wage war on cosmopolitan culture, they shouldn’t feel entitled to its fruits,” the Times columnist declared.
Wake-up call: Trump and his administration are not “waging war on cosmopolitan culture.” They disagree with many radical Left positions, like forcing artists to create art in support of events they oppose, like letting illegal immigrants break our laws without sanction, like Obamacare’s individual mandate.
These are not sufficient reasons to deny administration officials service at restaurants or gas stations or to keep them up all night by mobbing their houses. Trump is an unconventional president, and his occasional incivilities need to be condemned, but that does not justify Americans breaking the barrier between his staffers’ public and private lives. Civility is more important than politics, and both Right and Left need to live up to it.