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In Defense of Incivility

Ostracizing Trump administration officials in public isn't rude. It's necessary.

"The Washington Post editorial board wrote that current history doesn't justify uncivil behavior, and Sanders 'should be allowed to eat dinner in peace.' This reaction is silly, and it divides the opposition to Trump for zero political gain," Cooper writes. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Trump administration officials are having restaurant troubles. Over the weekend, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders attempted to dine with her family at a restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, and the owner decided, in consultation with her employees, to refuse to serve them. This follows on the heels of senior policy adviser Stephen Miller being called a fascist in a D.C. Mexican restaurant, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen being chased out of another Mexican restaurant by Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) protesters.

A certain class of centrist liberal was upset by this supposed affront to civility. The Washington Post editorial board wrote that current history doesn't justify uncivil behavior, and Sanders "should be allowed to eat dinner in peace." Former Obama adviser David Axelrod tweeted that he was "appalled" at people celebrating Sanders getting kicked out. The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf suggests that such incivility increases the likelihood of a Trump re-election.

This reaction is silly, and it divides the opposition to Trump for zero political gain.

First of all, we should be clear about is going on. Nobody jumped Miller and beat him senseless, or made any violent threats, or even broke anything. The confrontation was all clearly within the nonviolent political tradition of boycott, protest, civil disobedience, and so forth.

If there is any main wellspring of "incivility" (an extremely ill-defined word, but setting that aside), it comes from the monstrously evil actions of the Trump regime. This administration — which is full to bursting with criminals and con artists stuffing their pockets with public money — put forth a policy of snatching the children of asylum seekers and putting them in concentration camps. It is obviously motivated by a racial panic over demographic change making white people no longer the majority.

Read the full article at The Week.

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Ryan Cooper

Ryan Cooper

Ryan Cooper is a national correspondent at TheWeek.com. His work has appeared in the Washington Monthly, The New Republic, and the Washington Post.

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