Monday, June 25, 2018

Tit For Tat Isn't the Answer


Over the last few days several Trump Administration officials have discovered first hand just how unpopular their president is. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Sith Lord Stephen Miller were heckled while they were dining, while Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders didn't even get the chance to sit down to eat; she was shown the door by the owner of the restaurant.

Look, I don't for a moment feel sorry for these people, nor for the other woebegone souls whose love lives have gone down the drain, because apparently working for a racist in a town that only 4 percent of the population voted for tends to put people off. Who coulda known? You know what they say: you do the crime, you do the time.

But here's the thing: while it may bring a sort of perverse delight in knowing that all three had their meals ruined [and FYI, for future reference, going to a Mexican restaurant to eat when your boss is currently demonizing Mexicans is pretty tone deaf if you ask me] in the end this is not the way to respond. No matter how deplorable their conduct - and, trust me, it is deplorable - tit for tat isn't the answer.

Think about it. Why on earth would progressives want to give anyone from the Trump Administration the moral high ground? Just including Stephen Miller in any sentence with the word moral is the very definition of an oxymoron, not to mention an obscenity. The guy's a racist pig. Don't give him the satisfaction of also being a victim.

I know what you're saying, and I totally get it. This is payback for the Supreme Court decision that affirmed the right of a baker to not be forced to bake a cake for that gay couple. It was a bullshit decision that no matter how narrowly construed will inevitably open the door for other religious zealots to likewise discriminate against other gay people. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

Wrong!

Sorry, but in the Bible I read, there's this passage that says, "Do not repay evil with evil. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing." Much as I detest Trump and all that he stands for, trying to one up him will only give him the excuse he and his supporters need to justify his policies. His whole game is based on dragging people down to his level, and he did it brilliantly throughout the 2016 campaign.

And I also know the counter argument: if we don't confront these people, aren't we condoning their actions? And if that's the case, won't they get away with it? Believe me, Sarah Huckabee Sanders isn't getting away with anything. You don't lie that consistently at that many press briefings without suffering some kind of collateral damage. A former pastor of mine once said that sin makes us stupid. If that's the case, then Huckabee Sanders is the class dunce.

Allowing her and the others to sit down to a meal is hardly an act of condoning. It's simply doing the right thing. You don't confront evil by imitating it; you confront it by righteously calling it out. And the best way to do that is by legitimate means: through good journalism and exercising the right to vote. The former is currently being done as we speak by the likes of The New York Times and The Washington Post. Their outstanding investigative reporting is uncovering one scandal after another in this administration.

As for the latter, the sad truth is that if every eligible voter had done their patriotic duty back in November of 2016, this threat to our Democracy would not be in the position he's in today. We all have to remember that both this November and again in 2020. If we want to make our voices heard loud and clear the best way to do that is by pulling a lever in a voting booth, not screaming at the top of our lungs at people who will never hear what we have to say nor understand the depths of their own depravity. We might as well spit in the wind for all the good it'll do.

Chew on this the next time you hear of a Trump official being verbally accosted at a restaurant. Are we really that petty? Is chasing someone out of a restaurant equal payment for separating children from their mothers? Or is it the sort of thing a spoiled brat would do to get back at his parents for making him eat his broccoli? Isn't one spoiled brat impersonating a president enough? Does he really need any company?

One thing I've learned in my 57 years on this planet. There is no shortage of ignorant or evil people who will test the patience of a saint or the bounds of a society. And though what Trump is doing to this country is the very essence of evil, we know as Christians that evil does not ultimately triumph. Just the opposite, in fact. To paraphrase a line from the movie Ben Hur, what he is doing will have its way with him sooner or later. Given the mountain of evidence that Robert Mueller is assembling against him, I'd say it'll be sooner rather than later.

It may pain some of us to admit it but Michelle Obama was right. When they go low, we go high. The reason that didn't work in 2016 was because too many high-browed progressives didn't like what was on the menu (pun intended). We need to stop being so picky.  This is war, and wars on won on the battlefield by soldiers who actually show up to fight.

Hurling obscenities in a restaurant isn't going to exorcise this demonic presence from the White House. Getting up off our asses and voting will.

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