Rude Trump-Booers Hit Worst People Right In The Civility
Donald Trump is an illegitimate president who couldn't even manage to "win" a minority of the vote without Russian assistance. He is a racist, a misogynist, a xenophobic bigot, and he doesn't know how ties work. He also runs concentration camps. He deserves for people to boo him. Audiences have booed bad movies, and none of those turkeys tried to extort the Ukrainian president.
There was a sadly predictable backlash to Trump's round of raspberries at Sunday's World Series game (I almost typed "performance," because I'm a nerd). Yesterday, the undynamic duo of Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski harshly criticized the booing crowd on their vapid morning show.
We damn well do want "the world" hearing Americans chant "lock him up" at Donald Trump. It means we're free and conscious. Public demonstrations of contempt not only are our First Amendment right but they show people outside the country that Trump lacks consent from the governed. Trump also isn't "any" president. He's the worst president. We shouldn't treat Trump like the reincarnation of Lincoln just because he sort of has the same job. He's not the Duke of Asshole. Respect in a democracy is earned.
Scarborough and Brzezinski also annoyingly interpreted "lock him up" as a literal declaration from a teeming mob. This isn't a Trump rally where deplorables are shouting, "Send her back!" about a congresswoman of color. The audience was turning Trump's own authoritarian rhetoric against him. It's true that some folks probably do want to see Trump locked up but that's because he's committed crimes, often publicly. When the creeps at the 2016 Republican National Convention chanted, "Lock her up!" about Hillary Clinton, they were expressing a deranged desire to see a woman imprisoned for, I guess, unconventional email server maintenance.
It wasn't just Trump's former campaign enablers defending the president. Delaware Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat, said the "office of the presidency deserve respect." No one was booing the office. People were booing Donald Trump. They haven't allowed offices in baseball stadiums since 9/11.
Trump has no respect for anyone, and the "office of the president" doesn't protest when he uses its powers to bludgeon the marginalized. He's weaponized the presidency to enrich himself and abuse everyone else. I don't respect weapons.
Last night, on Laura Ingraham's "Despot Drag Show," pollster Frank Luntz said that the booing crowd should be "held accountable" for their lack of fealty to the president.
LUNTZ: You don't boo the president. You may disagree with him, you may think that he's not what you wanted, but you don't boo him. You show respect to him.
Trump is not the first president to get booed. But usually it was because of legitimate political disagreement. It's important to note that decent people loathe Trump for non-partisan reasons. He's a horrible person. Americans aren't legally obligated to respect horrible people. You just nod when they talk nonsense, say "congratulations!" and then walk away. (That's what I do at parties.)
Ingraham laughably suggested that it was "a great moment" for Trump to get booed in Washington DC. That means he's still an "outsider" in the swamp. It's a "campaign commercial" for Trump! Yeah, because nothing inspires voter confidence more than seeing Americans boo the incumbent president.
Fox commentator Capri Cafaro conceded that although we have a constitutional right to boo the president, we should never express it.
CAFARO: I may not agree with pretty much anything President Trump does, but even if I felt that way, I would refrain from booing and just be silent and that's what you should do.
That's exactly what you should do ... in North Korea.
Her co-host, Dana Perino, was surprised that people would actually boo a president currently under investigation for multiple impeachable offenses.
PERINO: I'm proved completely naive.
That is not a new experience for George W. Bush's former press secretary.
PERINO: I was the one who thought the president should go to the game. I never thought he would get booed. I thought Americans won't do that. Americans would cheer.
Perino probably also thought Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Americans aren't going to "cheer" Trump just because he's president. As long as he's in office, the presidency is just a title that has "no profit in it but the name."
Now, I do want Trump "locked up." I don't want a post-presidency future full of rehabilitative interviews and football games with Ellen DeGeneres. I realize that won't happen. Americans can't resist forgetting the worst sins of former presidents. So, in the meantime, you'll forgive me if I show his "office" all the respect he deserves.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).