We can’t defeat Trump by aping him. Here’s why.

Fight With Words

Remember The Incredibles, the Pixar film about a family of superheroes?

Each member of the super family has a special skill: Dad Bob has super strength; Mom Helen is Elastagirl; daughter Violet can become invisible; son Dash has super speed; and baby Jack-Jack can burst into flame at will. Joining together while employing their individual strengths means they can accomplish anything.

Imagine, however, if each pretended he had the same super powers as the others. What if Dash tried to lift a bus or Helen tried to become invisible? It wouldn’t work very well. Indeed, if each tried to adopt the superpower of another they’d no longer be super heroes; they’d likely be defeated.

Trump’s super power is rage; our super power is justice.

That’s why the decision of the owner of the Red Hen Restaurant to force out Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, although deeply emotionally satisfying, is such a bad idea. We aren’t going to defeat Trump that way.

Why?

Trump’s super power is rage; our super power is justice. When we use Trump’s tactics to fight him, we dramatically decrease our effectiveness. We won’t win; we’ll surely lose.

I’m not suggesting that Trump, his family and his administration don’t deserve shaming and shunning.

Every presidential press secretary lies; the job requires defending the boss and the boss is sometimes indefensible. But previous press secretaries at least appeared to regret the lying; they seemed to value their own credibility. Sanders, in contrast, evinces no shame for even the most monstrous lies. She aggressively defends the most egregious policies.

But that doesn’t excuse what happened:

…Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant Friday. She had been out for dinner with friends, the cheese course already on the table, when the owner took her aside and requested that she leave. The owner said she thinks that Sanders works for and defends an “inhumane and unethical” administration.

She’s not the only member of the administration who has been subject to shaming and shunning.

Pam Bondi, the Florida attorney general who often appears on Fox News and is closely aligned with President Trump, was shouted down at a movie screening in Tampa on Friday… The local newspaper reported that Bondi was escorted out of the theater by police.

Hecklers shouted “Shame!” at Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, a public face of Trump’s immigration policies, hastening her departure from a Mexican restaurant near the White House last week. Protesters even posted video of that encounter on Facebook.

Trump adviser and immigration hard-liner Stephen Miller also was confronted at a restaurant last week and called a “fascist.”

What do those who shame and shun hope to accomplish?

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) this weekend encouraged harassment of Trump officials in public spaces…

“For these members of his Cabinet who remain and try to defend [Trump], they’re not going to be able to go to a restaurant, they’re not going to be able to stop at a gas station, they’re not going to be able to shop a department store. The people are going to turn on them, they’re going to protest, they’re going to absolutely harass them,” Waters said.

Waters is trying to harness the collective rage of those who are appalled by the unabashed racism, homophobia and cruelty of Trump and his administration. But harnessing rage is Trump’s super power and we are no more likely to be able to defeat him and the troglodytes of his administration by attempting to copy them than Elastagirl could defeat evil geniuses by becoming invisible.

Indeed, we are only playing into his hands. Trump is trying to return to the Hobbesian state of nature:

…[N]o Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continual Fear, and danger of violent death; And the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

Trump thrives in chaos and so he seeks to create chaos by instigating and harnessing rage. He encouraged rage against black NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem and harnessed it to grow his popularity. He manufactured an immigration “crisis” to plant fear in the hearts of his supporters and reap the bumper crop of rage that results. He gratuitously separates immigrant children from their parents because he and his supporters glory in cruelty. He provokes fear of black and brown people; the primal rage that results is his sustenance.

And when we seek to emulate him, even on a small scale, by treating his administration as they would treat black, brown or gay people we hamstring ourselves.

The super power of the American majority is justice. It has always been our super power even when it was only honored in the breach.

What is justice?

Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive total system of equal basic liberties compatible with a similar system of liberty for all.

Justice is what has made America great and it is the only thing that can keep America great.

Forcing Trump administration officials to leave restaurants or theaters is not justice; it is channeled rage. It is not going to defeat Trump and his policies because it is playing to his super power not America’s super power.

There is one and only one way to defeat Trump and that is through the cornerstone of justice: voting. Those who believe in justice are the majority. If each and every one of us were to vote, we could easily defeat Trump and his ilk. Let’s not waste our time and energy heckling Trump and his administration. Let’s use our super power and vote him into the dustbin of history!

  • Julanar

    This is a straw man argument. No one is arguing that shunning is going to end this horrible administration, and no one advocating shunning denies that voting is important. We can vote AND shun. The two are not mutually exclusive.
    The only “problem” with voting is that we only get to do it twice a year. What the hell are we going to do in between elections if voting is the ONLY way to fight?
    If you’re going to continue the argument that we have to be nice to Trump supporters and bend over backwards to win them over, forget it. I’ve had it with trying to talk to them. Empathy must go both ways, and they show no interest whatsoever in trying to understand or respect me. If I ever meet one who is genuinely interested in MUTUAL respect and good faith, I’ll give it a shot. But I’m not holding my breath.

  • Daleth

    I completely disagree. I’m with Ms. Waters on this. If people do horrifying things, they deserve to be shunned. And it could help; peer pressure is a powerful thing.

  • Gretta

    I’m an informed Independent voter. I never ever vote along party lines. Both parties need me to vote for their candidates. And that type of behavior from anyone doesn’t impress me much.

    Be careful of your brand.

    • Gæst

      Boasting about how important you are as an independent doesn’t impress me much.

      • Gretta

        Truth should impress you.

        • Who?

          I’m not sure I understand what you are trying to convey. As I read it, you vote according to your values, candidates’ policies and, apparently, your opinions of their party members’ comportment. Good so far?

          You seem to be in the US, which means you can choose to vote for no one at all if you wish, without penalty.

          For me, your post fails the ‘so what’ test. If in the current climate you decide not to vote Democrat solely because Rep Waters had a brain-snap, I’d suggest you are not as much of a free thinker as you imagine.

          Don’t misunderstand me-Rep Waters’ brain-snap was unhelpful. Does it really disqualify all Democrats, and ruin the Democrat brand though?

          • Gæst

            You are more eloquent than me. Swing voters aren’t more (or less) informed than party voters. They just have values that align in a more centrist position.

          • swbarnes2

            Their personal feelings are irrelevant if they choose to vote for MAGA hat-wearing fearmongers who support ripping children from their parents. Voting for horrible people who will enact horrible policies with a concerned frown and a resigned sigh counts just the same as a person who gleefully votes for someone who intends to enact horrible policies.

          • Gæst

            I didn’t take Gretta for a Trump voter, though. Just someone overly smug about being smarter and more important because they are a swing voter/centrist.

          • MaineJen

            IDK, man. In the current political climate, if you *still can’t decide* between the two sides, I don’t think much at all of your intellect or critical thinking skills.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            But come on! I mean, Sarah Sanders was kicked out of a restaurant, Alan Dershowitz is being shunned by his neighbors at Martha’s Vineyard, and all sorts of Trump staffers are having problems getting laid in DC. Hell, I even heard yesterday that someone interrupted Scott Pruitt at lunch to tell him to resign. Liberals are just being so uncivil.

          • swbarnes2

            I didn’t actually say anything that was limited to Trump. How is being a centrist meaningful except that it means the poster votes for Republicans?

          • Who?

            I don’t know too much about the US system, but what you say makes sense. Just because a person doesn’t pick a side doesn’t mean they give any more thought to their decisions than someone who does.

          • sdsures

            By not voting for Clinton, they GAVE their vote to Trump. Not complicated. 🙁

        • Gæst

          The truth doesn’t impress me – it’s the basic minimum I expect.

  • JSterritt

    Meh. I think refusing service to Sanders in a DC-area restaurant, as it went down, is a pretty classy way to “resist.” It is in no way the equivalent of the discrimination and xenophobia Sanders represents as part of the Trump administration. As payback, it isn’t even a drop in the ocean. But now the GOP snowflakes—the most thin-skinned babies ever—use their childish jujitsu to pretend they are on the high road, which I think is what rankles you, Dr Tuteur. Well, the high road hasn’t been panning out for Dems and libs; I don’t think waiting for our combined haloes to rain down “Justice” is a binary. If an administration official or cabinet member came to my hospital, I would treat them. But if they came to my taco truck, I’d politely explain why they ain’t getting any tacos today.

    • Russell Jones

      Yep. It’s gotten worse since November 2016, but the simple truth of the matter is that Dems have been playing seniors mixed doubles badminton while the GOP has been playing total war with real weapons and live ammo for decades. The groundwork for the 2016 election, in which the best qualified candidate ever to seek the office of POTUS lost to Donald Goddamn Trump, began in the 1980s.

      So now we have have that one sociopathic whatshisname talking about vigilante death squads killing journalists, followed by a Trumpling committing the 154th American mass shooting of 2018. And we have the Department of Homeland Security engaging in overt Nazi dog-whistling over the “border wall.”

      But the real problem is that the Dems aren’t kissing the backsides of racists hicks enthusiastically enough. Yep. You betcha.

  • JDM

    People protesting are not doing anything remotely similar to what Trump and the rest of the current US rightwing does on a regular basis. It’s false equivalence to say it is. Promoting this false equivalence is harmful to the future of the USA. You’re smarter than that, Dr. Tuteur.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      I didn’t say it was wrong; I said it wouldn’t achieve our aims.

      • JDM

        You’re certain about that? How did you divine that?

  • Elizabeth A

    I disagree.

    Being a racist, fascist, anti-humanitarian should have consequences. It should make people reluctant to do business with you. It should lead to people calling you out in public. If that makes it hard to buy tacos, that is too damn bad.

    I’m with Maxine Waters on this one.

  • J.B.

    Just some rambling thoughts – in dealing with a bully manager I came to the decision that I could only worry about myself and do a good job for myself, let the other chips fall where they may. At the same time if things became truly intolerable I could walk away (and will be doing so in a few months.) That’s awfully hard to do if you don’t have an escape route.

  • MaineJen
  • mabelcruet

    Trump doesn’t believe he should submit to due judicial process. Look at his latest abomination-he wants asylum seekers thrown out of the country and deported without a hearing, without any representation. I’m just waiting for Private bone-spurs to start dressing in military uniform with rows of medals he’s awarded himself, like the tinpot dictator he obviously thinks he is.

    • sdsures

      He wants the flashy uniform and fake medals because he thinks it makes him look more important. It’s pathetic.

  • Who?

    Hang on.

    One member of a party at a dinner at a private restaurant was asked to leave because the owner was of the view that that person did not share his values. Where is the scandal in that? Just as I wasn’t scandalised when a publisher did the sums and refused to publish Milo Whats-his-name’s book, I’m not scandalised now. How do we know the restaurant owner didn’t have whole parties of people saying they were going to leave without ordering if she didn’t go?

    Next some politicians go out to do public appearances and they meet members of the public who don’t like them and say so in shouty voices? Big deal. If their values are so rock solid they should be fine with being disagreed with and able to defend their positions. The ramp up to petrol pumping and shopping being impossible (when did SHS last do either) is an hysterical flourish.

    The Trump administration wants to stifle disagreement, and is pumping up these everyday events to be bigger than they are to somehow suggest the government is at risk because people don’t like them. Democracy is rough and tumble. If they can’t take the heat they should go back to the cheap seats.

    If Trump had his way, Hillary Clinton, James Comey, Mueller et al would
    all be behind bars right now for daring to disagree with him. A lot
    more people need to do so, vocally and often.

    I do completely disagree with abusing public servants doing their job ie workers at immigration centres, because they are just trying to put food on the table and have no say in what happens, and probably not much choice about the job they have.

  • Sue

    I agree.

    I prefer the ”When they go low, we go high” approach of the previous administration.

  • Russell Jones

    I’m having a bit of fun these days calling online Trumplings “cucks,” “betas,” “incels,” etc. and goading their dumb asses into making it their life’s mission to prove me wrong.

    But turning this around (for now, I’m behaving like that’s possible, even though it may already be too late) will involve rolling up our sleeves and getting to work. The goal is to get non-sociopathic human beings off their lazy asses and to the polls. The non-sociopaths stayed home in droves back in 2016.

    In addition, it’s way past time for my fellow travelers in the Democratic party to give the hell up on the notion we can appeal to dumbass racist working class white people based on class issues. It never works. As long as the Trumps of the world can give those morons a group of dark-skinned foreigners to look down upon, they’ll never notice that the Trumps of the world are laughing their asses of while absconding with all the goddamn money.

    Hell, Roy Moore was an awful candidate BEFORE we knew he was a child rapist, and 68% of white Alabama voters wanted him in the U.S. Senate anyway. People of color saved the day there.

    So screw dumbass racist working class white people. If we can get actual human beings elected to public office without them, they’ll have better lives just like everyone else (despite themselves).

    • fiftyfifty1

      “give the hell up on the notion we can appeal to dumbass racist working class white people based on class issues. It never works.”

      I disagree. I come from a state where multiple rural counties flipped from Obama to Trump. Give working class people a candidate who can actually communicate and who addresses at least some of their concerns, and you can win their votes. Otherwise they will be easy pickings for Republicans. In my state Bernie Sanders, who made a point of addressing rural/working class concerns, was popular both in the cities and in the rural areas. He won by a huge margin over HRC in the primaries. I just got back from a family reunion where I found out that many of my rural family members even sent Bernie Sanders money. Some of them later voted for HRC in the general election, but others didn’t. I recommend Joan C. William’s book about the white working class. I don’t agree with 100% of what she says, but she outlines a way of addressing these voters without abandoning issues of racial, gender, or LGBT issues.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Give working class people a candidate who can actually communicate and who addresses at least some of their concerns, and you can win their votes.

        No, he didn’t “address their concerns.” He lied to them. HRC tried to address their concerns. She had a plan to address their issues (see her actual comments in West Virginia, for example, – not the Fox News truncated version). They attacked her.

        Do you think democrats should just lie to them like Trump did?

        • fiftyfifty1

          “Do you think democrats should just lie to them like Trump did?”

          Not at all. What I am suggesting is that Democrats field a candidate who can address their concerns and actually communicate with them. HRC failed to connect or communicate with this demographic.

          Look, I fully recognize and believe that HRC was the truly preferred candidate in urban areas. What I am saying is that in my midwestern state she did NOT connect at all, while Sanders and his message did. Sanders was very popular with both urban and rural voters in my state. In the end, my state went blue in the urban areas, but super red in the rural areas. It was a disaster for our state government, because the state house and senate went from purple to total red control.

      • MaineJen

        People who switched from Bernie to Trump baffle me. Truly.

        • fiftyfifty1

          You could say the same about those who switched from Obama to Trump, but it happened. A lot. For us Democrats to write off these voters is a losing recipe.

        • Roadstergal

          They don’t baffle me, I have to say. I’m in the motorcycling community, which tends to be pretty conservative, and I knew some of Bernie Bros who where jaw-droppingly misogynistic, sharing truly vile memes on Facebook.

          There were legit progressive Bernie supporters who I had legit political discussions with, but there was a very vocal chunk of them who were a lot closer to Trump than they were to anyone on the blue side of things.

          • MaineJen

            Yeah…I have to say, the adoration of Bernie Sanders reached too much of a fever pitch for me. It was a problematic bandwagon.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “adoration of Bernie Sanders…problematic bandwagon”

            It felt really different here. This whole “Bernie Bro” thing wasn’t a thing here in my midwest state. It didn’t feel like adoration, he was just genuinely popular with a wide swath of voters in my state: rural, urban, working class, upper class, young, old, female, male, progressive types, union types. It was like, “Yeah, this guy seems like somebody honest, even if we don’t agree with him 100% all the time”

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            And then they voted for Trump?

          • fiftyfifty1

            “And then they voted for Trump?”

            Most voted for HRC, many stayed home, some voted 3rd party, some voted for Trump.

            This is in contrast with what happened with Obama. Obama also had wide support in the primary in our state, he became the candidate, and people turned out to vote for him. We have a female Democratic senator who enjoys widespread support (bipartisan and urban/rural) and voters turn out for her in excellent numbers. HRC was unpopular in my state. Totally didn’t connect with voters.

          • Empliau

            And now Trump will pick a new Supreme Court justice. I hope those who stayed home, voted third party, or voted for Trump, will be happy.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Yeah, it’s tragic.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Then again, Sanders and Trump have something in common that is distinct from Clinton.

          • MaineJen

            It can’t be sexism, Bofa. That ended, around the same time racism ended. /sarc

      • Roadstergal

        I agree with Bofa, below. There was one candidate out of the four in 2016 who actually had detailed plans for health care, the opioid crisis, job retraining for workers whose jobs were being phased out by the changing landscape of the economy, family leave – the things that really matter to all voters, but particularly rural ones.

        Nobody discussed them. Nobody paid attention to them. They preferred cutesy slogans.

        That’s the point where I just gave up.

        • fiftyfifty1

          Well, give up then. Go ahead and decide that these voters are so dumb that they can just go ahead and vote for Trump and welcome to it! And you know what? -They did and will again. But Obama didn’t write them off and neither did Sanders. Both addressed their concerns and communicated with them in a style that worked for them. You can (as HRC did) dismiss them as just full of cutesy slogans, but the fact is they connected with these populations and HRC failed to.

          • Roadstergal

            Lotta words you’re putting in my mouth, there.

            I’m feeling very old and worn out, and very depressed these days by the turn our nation has taken. You’re free to look down on me for that.

      • Empliau

        I don’t understand what you can mean by “He won by a huge margin over HRC in the primaries.” Hillary Clinton got 3 million more votes in the Democratic primaries than Bernie Sanders. See http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/was-the-democratic-primary-a-close-call-or-a-landslide/.

        • MaineJen

          It’s “electoral college rules:” sparsely-populated rural voting districts matter more than highly-populated urban districts. IOW, land matters more than people.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Exactly. And the electoral college is not going anywhere soon. So I really think Democrats on the coasts might want to consider listening to those of us Democrats who live in Midwest flyover swing states. I have a lot of friends on the coasts, and they can NOT for the life of them imagine how this election ended the way it did, and so resort to “fuck them all, we don’t need them.” No, actually, they really do need us. And Democrats really can win in our states. Obama did without a problem. HRC couldn’t.

          • MaineJen

            Or maybe…it’s a rigged system and we shouldn’t put up with it any more

          • fiftyfifty1

            ? Just refuse to accept the results of the Electoral College???

          • MaineJen

            No…work to abolish it, and elect presidents by popular vote, so that each person’s vote counts equally.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Sounds great, but like I said, I don’t see this happening any time soon.

        • fiftyfifty1

          I specified in my state. In my state Sanders won by a huge margin over HRC in the primary. Nobody I know on the coasts wants to hear it, but many of us in middle America were not surprised at the outcome of the election, and have a very different view of what happened and why.

          • Empliau

            Ah. I misunderstood because you said “primaries” , so I thought you meant nationally. And I grew up in central Illinois, and am not surprised by much, despite many decades on the coasts.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Oh sorry, I meant “primaries” as in both the urban and rural precincts in my state, not nationally. I should have phrased it better.

          • Empliau

            With a big urban/rural divide, it’s like states within states. California is definitely like that as well, only it probably won’t swing red any time soon ;).

          • fiftyfifty1

            “With a big urban/rural divide…”

            This is how I think that flyover states are really different than coastal states. The cities in coastal states are often populated by people who have moved to those cities from other states. They are often populated by people who think nothing at all of moving long distances for educated careers. The urban people are not related to the rural people-the divide is real. The flyover states are different. We do have cities, of course, and they are more liberal than the rural areas. But for most of us in the cities we still have family we maintain close ties with in the rural areas. A lot of my coastal friends know almost nobody who is white, working class. This is rarely the case in my state. Almost all of us still have the family “back on the farm.” Our families there are in swing voting areas. They voted for Obama, but not for HRC. HRC was deeply unpopular there, but Sanders generated a lot of genuine enthusiasm. So that’s the perspective I’m coming from.

          • demodocus

            People in cities often don’t have much contact with the hinterlands, even in a small state like Connecticut. We have a fair number of white working class, too, for all that every group is more likely to be liberal. Granted, it’s more like drive-by counties than fly-over states.

  • namaste

    O/t, but has anyone seen The Incredibles 2? If so, is it worth the ticket?

    • Gene

      Totally. It was very sweet. My kids loved it, too. I’m a huge Brad Bird fan, though I haven’t yet forgiven him for Tomorrowland.

  • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

    Counterpoint: he’s built concentration camps for brown children. The time for civility is over with.

    If you’re more outraged by Sarah Huckabee being given the boot from a restaurant for being a lying homophobic racist, rather than the fact that Sarah Huckabee is a lying homophobic racist, you are a part of the problem.

    Nobody who survived the first Holocaust regrets they weren’t more civil to the Nazis when they were being rounded up and put into concentration camps.

    • Sue

      We can be outraged by a regime’s beliefs and actions, protest against them, campaign against them, vote against them, without refusing a legal service to an individual. Otherwise, it’s just another Wedding Cake variation, no?

      • MaineJen

        But is it worth it when it illustrates to them the logical conclusion of their policy? If “We don’t serve your kind here” is now acceptable due to ‘sincerely held beliefs,’ shouldn’t the restaurant owner be able to ask SS to leave based on her ‘sincerely held belief’ that SS is a dangerous, lying collaborator?

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          And Sarah Sanders was “discriminated against” for the things she chose to do, not merely for who she is.

          Why should’t we discriminate against those who choose to do harm to others by their actions? It’s very different from discrimination based on who they are and how they were born.

        • Daleth

          If “We don’t serve your kind here” is now acceptable

          You’re missing an important distinction. What are we talking about when we say, “your kind”? Is it “what demographic group you happen to belong to,” or is it “the kind of people who do the same terrible things you personally have done”?

          If Sirhan Sirhan walked into my restaurant, I wouldn’t refuse him service because he’s Palestinian. I’ll sling French fries for Palestinians all day long. But I would refuse to serve Sirhan Sirhan, because he killed Robert F. Kennedy. And if Mark Chapman came in I’d refuse service to him, not because he’s a white man, but because he killed John Lennon. I refuse to serve “their kind.”

          See the difference?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Won’t someone please think of the poor, downtrodden assholes who advocate harming kids?

          • MaineJen

            Yes, I do. But republicans don’t.

          • Daleth

            And MAGA Republicans are also who got mad at NPR for tweeting the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July, because they were too ignorant to know it was the freaking Declaration of Independence and thought its references to overthrowing tyrants were unpatriotic… That’s why they don’t understand these things: because they’re morons.

            In case you don’t remember that, here’s a link and quote: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/07/05/some-trump-supporters-thought-npr-tweeted-propaganda-it-was-the-declaration-of-independence

            “The blowback increased when the tweets reached the portion of the
            Declaration that outlined, in unsparing detail, all the ways Britain’s
            George III had wronged the then-Colonies.

            “He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers,” read one line of the document. “A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people,” read another.

            Some people — presumably still in the dark about NPR’s Fourth of July exercise — assumed those lines were references to President Trump and the current administration….”

      • Roadstergal

        The Wedding Cake case was public accommodation discrimination against a protected class. Being gay is a thing you’re born with that does not negatively affect other people, and denying gay people public accommodation is a move designed to disenfranchise a whole class of people. It’s the same idea behind not allowing lunch counters to refuse to serve black people.

        SHS was not asked to leave because she’s a woman, or white – she was asked to leave because she’s been behaving like a mendacious bigot. It’s like asking someone to leave because they’re swearing a lot or are not wearing a shirt. Individual behaviors are not protected.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Um no. Because fascists aren’t a protected class.

        • Who?

          Laws are different in Australia-where Sue and I are from-from the US. In my State in Australia I am assured by smart people who know all about it that it would have been illegal to do what was done to SHS.

          Which seems wrong to me when it was private premises and the thing they were objecting to was entirely what was in her control ie what comes out of her mouth on the say-so of her boss.

          But then Australia doesn’t have any right to ‘free speech’ and we do seem to muddle on. We even have members of our upper house slut shaming women both at work and on tv afterwards, so maybe we don’t need it…

      • Daleth

        Otherwise, it’s just another Wedding Cake variation, no?

        No, not at all. I’m sorry to drag the Nazis into this, but refusing service to Hitler or Heinrich Himmler is completely different than refusing service to all
        Jewish people (or all German people, etc.).

        Shunning or punishing someone because they happen to belong to a certain demographic group is discrimination. Shunning or punishing someone for their own deliberate behavior is not.

        If a family came to your restaurant and started smacking the crap out of their kids, I hope you would call the cops and CPS and have them escorted from the building (the parents to jail, the kids to foster care). Is that discrimination? Of course not.

        Sarah Huckabee isn’t smacking the crap out of her kids. She’s “just” helping put babies and toddlers in cages hundreds of miles away from their parents. Thousands of them. If anything, what she’s doing is worse than what the hypothetical abusive parents I described above are doing, because she’s harming thousands of kids instead of just two or three. I wouldn’t let her dine in peace in my damn restaurant either.

  • MaineJen

    There is some truth in what you’re saying. BUT, there is only so long we can keep silent, make nice, and pretend like this is all normal. The time for tolerating these creeps has past. It’s the difference between tolerating your loud racist uncle silently, versus gently admonishing him that this kind of talk isn’t acceptable in your house, and asking him to leave if he continues.

    • Roadstergal

      I agree. The request to leave the Red Hen was, by all accounts, quiet, polite, and firm. If someone is standing up in a restaurant and telling the other patrons that brown people don’t deserve human rights, I don’t think anyone would disagree that you have a right to ask them to leave. So what do you do when you have someone in your restaurant who regularly stands up on television and tells everyone that brown people don’t deserve human rights? It’s the sort of statement you carry around with you, really.

      Being a lying, bigoted asshole isn’t a protected class, for good reason.

      • Who?

        Surely you can toss them out for having bad hair, if you want to. Or for no reason at all.

        It was wrong of her to tweet from her work account. People get sacked for that, or less.

        She’s playing the martyr here, pure and simple. If she wants to play with the big kids she will need to toughen up.

      • Sue

        But how do we stop the principle being generalised to service providers excluding migrants, or gay people, or some other group that they claim to be disgusted by?

        • Roadstergal

          Race is a protected class, sexual orientation is a protected class. Being an asshole isn’t.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      I think it is morally acceptable to shame and shun people who behave like Sarah Sanders. My concern is that it is tactically disastrous; see this for example: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2018/06/25/daily-202-liberal-hostility-toward-trump-aides-could-galvanize-the-gop-base/5b303f2730fb046c468e6f2c/

      • MaineJen

        I think Maxine Waters’ call to verbally harass people is dangerous. And the scenes at the movie theater and the Mexican restaurant give me pause. (Although…Kiersten Neilsen and Stephen Miller have *some nerve* to be darkening the doorway of a Mexican restaurant, wouldn’t you say?)

        But I think the quiet shaming should continue. If I saw any member of this administration in a restaurant (not likely; I can’t afford the places they eat), I would have no choice but to ask for the check and leave, and I would make sure the staff knew why I was leaving. This is just…not okay. We can’t stay quiet just for the sake of not making a scene.

        • Roadstergal

          “Although…Kiersten Neilsen and Stephen Miller have *some nerve* to be darkening the doorway of a Mexican restaurant, wouldn’t you say?”

          This! That was the part I couldn’t get over. Why the everloving fuck are they going to Mexican restaurants? If they’re going to say that only lily-white countries like Norway aren’t shitholes, then they can eat Lutefisk and like it.

      • Lee McCain MD

        Thats a great argument…….assuming you are the one with the “correct” morals.

        • MaineJen

          Who do you think has the correct morals…the people putting brown families in camps? Or the people trying to STOP the people putting brown families in camps?

      • J.B.

        I don’t have an issue with the Red Hen’s owner asking Sanders to leave. I think that it would have been better if she made clear to her staff that they were not to publicize it (hard to think of that in the moment, but going forward.) I think the problem is that any protest at all will be slammed – see NFL players. I recently listened to Letters from the Birmingham Jail and it made clear that nonviolent action was not welcomed. It was a tactic which required a lot of discipline of the people being hurt, arrested etc.

        I don’t know how we get past the media loop (all the 24 hour networks and the constant images of this).

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          Wasn’t it Sarah Sanders who tweeted about the incident first? From her official White House twitter account no less?!

          • J.B.

            I believe that before Sanders tweeted a staff member posted a picture on facebook which spread. She was no doubt waiting for it though.

      • Who?

        There’s a big step between telling off your racist uncle, and shaming and shunning someone.

        I agree it is tactically questionable.

        Quietly asking someone to leave private premises I think is fine.

        I’ve just recently refused to invite a local politician into my home, despite some pressure to do so, partly because I find his right wing fundamentalist views, and the people he takes money from, distasteful, but mostly because I don’t think the time is right time to deploy him.

        He’s going to have issues winning this seat next time around, so I’m very happy to keep him hungry for the opportunity to schmooze constituents for the time being. He’ll have no choice but to play nicely when I whistle him up-I don’t need him in the meantime and I’d rather not have him around.