A Mom and her baby politely approach the EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt while it was obvious that he had finished eating his food at a restaurant to talk about her concerns of the EPA’s policies and how what he’s doing could harm her child.
This is just one of many similar incidents, but some confrontations with the republican President Donald Trump’s cabinet members with those who disagree with his policies have not been so polite.
There have been protests since the start of President Trump’s presidency, but the audio recordings and first-person accounts of crying children and distraught refugee parents as their families are being forcibly separated at the US SW border because as refugees, they had dared to request asylum, have sent a shock wave of anger through the already frayed nerves of those on the left.
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On July 3, 2018, Red Painter of Crooks and Liars penned the following report, “The Shunning, Part 4: Scott Pruitt Edition”
“In the fourth installment of my favorite series “The Shunning”, we catch up with another Trump White House super villain, Scott Pruitt. For readers who have been away from social media or the news for the last few months, Pruitt is a villain with a Capital V. He is greed personified. He IS the actual swamp. He is under at least 56 investigations from crimes ranging from abusing his power to making staff hand wash his $3,500 bullet proof underwear to $5,000 helicopter rides to his favorite fast food place, IHOB.
“EPA head Scott Pruitt was 3 tables away as I ate lunch with my child. I had to say something…We deserve to have somebody at the EPA who actually does protect our environment, someone who believes in climate change and takes it seriously for the benefit of all us, including our children. I would urge you to resign before your scandals push you out.”
“In the video, she is seen holding her young child. She remained calm, but firm. The video was viewed thousands of times within the first house, although that number surely has skyrocketed since.”
Link to article and video: The Shunning, Part 4: Scott Pruitt Edition
On July 1, 2018, Anthony Zurcher of BBC News penned the following report, “A US civility crisis: Total political war”
“Interrupted dinners, driveway confrontations, threatening leaflets. Donald Trump administration officials are increasingly facing harassment from liberals enraged by the president’s words and actions.”
“Is it a reflection of an increasingly acrimonious political environment, a sign that liberals are spinning out of control or a reasonable response by citizens faced with what some see as a historic national crisis and a president who critics say likes to stoke the fires of discord? It depends on who you ask and – in an increasing fractured US society – their partisan proclivities.”
“The recent round of actions and reactions, accusations and recriminations, began last week when a group protesting against the administration’s policy of separating undocumented migrant families at the border forced Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to cut short a dinner in a Washington Mexican restaurant.”
A few days after the Nielsen incident, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, an early Trump supporter, was chased out of a theatre by activists questioning her support for the administration’s immigration and healthcare policies. The same night, in the western Virginia town of Lexington, the owner of an organic restaurant, the Red Hen, asked White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to dine somewhere else. Ms Sanders, one of the most visible members of the Trump administration, complied.
“Stephanie Wilkinson would later tell the Washington Post that she decided to make the request because she and members of her restaurant staff viewed the Trump administration’s policies towards gays, and immigrant families at the border as “inhumane and unethical”.
“One of the restaurant’s waiters posted about the incident on Facebook, and Ms Sanders responded to media requests for comment with a tweet confirming – and condemning – the incident. The restaurant, the Red Hen, was inundated by a mix of threats and praise, and Ms Sanders reportedly will begin receiving US Secret Service security protection.”
“Democratic congresswoman Maxine Waters, at a rally in California, applauded the restaurant confrontations – and encouraged more protests.”
“The American people have put up with this president long enough,” she said. “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them!”
‘Be careful what you wish for’
On Monday, Mr Trump entered the fray, tweeting about the Red Hen incident and calling into question the restaurant’s cleanliness. He also issued what seemed like a thinly veiled warning to Ms Waters, adding that she is an “extraordinarily low IQ person”.
“She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement,” he wrote. “Be careful what you wish for Max!”
Since then, protesters have demonstrated outside the apartment complex of Stephen Miller, a White House adviser considered one of the architects of Mr Trump’s immigration policy, handing out “wanted” leaflets alluding to the family-separation practice and accusing him of being guilty of kidnapping children, “crimes against humanity”, Islamophobia and promoting Nazism and white supremacy.
Pro-immigration activists also shouted at Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell at Georgetown University, before they were confronted by his wife, Trump administration Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
By Thursday night, Mr Trump was leaning into the growing political conflagration, saying that the restaurant protesters “really want anarchy” and that his government would ensure “really strong law and order”.
It’s Mr Trump’s style, displayed on the campaign trail and in the White House, to never back down from a fight. A traditional role of the president has been to play mediator, not instigator – a force for civic reconciliation, not confrontation.
This president, however, frequently finds strength in conflict, and he appears to sense that railing against enemies on the left could be a useful way to animate his political base.
A change of tone
In tone and demeanour, the differences between Mr Trump and his predecessor have never seemed greater. In a fundraiser on Thursday night, Barack Obama told Democrats that his party needs to preach hope and unity in the forthcoming mid-term congressional election campaigns.
“The majority of the country doesn’t want to see a dog-eat-dog world where everybody is angry all the time,” he said.
The confrontational nature of the recent protests and restaurant demonstrations has set off a debate, playing out on social media, television airwaves and newspaper opinion pages over whether American discourse is becoming unacceptably coarse. The Daily Beast’s Matt Lewis called it the start of an “Uncivil War”, where the each side of the political divide believes the other is “evil and illegitimate” – and acts accordingly.
Barbara Perry, director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, says that while things are bad, the current “level of vitriol” is far from unprecedented. She points to acrimony following the 2000 presidential race, which had to be resolved by the US Supreme Court, Vietnam War protests and civil rights upheaval in the 1960s and, of course, the real Civil War – the one resolved by bullets and cannons – as times when things were worse.
America was founded in revolution and war, she notes, so confrontation and conflict are, in a way, hardwired into the nation’s DNA.
“In the 1960s our leaders were being gunned down in the streets or at their political rallies,” she says. “Sarah Huckabee Sanders being asked to leave a restaurant, we’re going to put that in the same category? No.”
A November 2017 Marist poll confirmed that more Americans are feeling as though the “overall tone and level of civility” in Washington during the Trump presidency is getting worse (67%) rather than improving (6%). Dive a little deeper, however, and the partisan finger-pointing is on full display. When asked whether Republicans “cross the line” in terms of attacking the other side, 80% of Democrats say yes. When Republicans are asked about Democrats, fully 87% say their opponents go too far.
A May CBS/YouGov survey may offer some hints about Mr Trump’s appeal, with 78% of Republicans in battleground congressional districts saying they “mostly like” how Mr Trump upsets the “elites and the establishment”.
Link to entire article: A US civility crisis: Total political war – BBC News