In Defense of Incivility: Here's Why Ostracizing Trump Officials Isn't Rude - It's Necessary

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.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.