Prior to the 5th Game of the World Series, I wondered if a time would come when crowds yelled “Lock Him Up.” My deep hope has been that people opposed to this President would not lower themselves to his standards. Yes, it’s true that Hillary Clinton has not ever been found guilty of a crime and yet many people in this country consider her to be crooked. It seems only just to yell the same to the President even though he has not ever been found guilty of a crime at this point in his life. And yet there are many in the country who consider him to be crooked. We’ll see what’s proven in a court of law if that should indeed come to pass.
I – like you – have watched and re-watched the President’s experience from a luxury box at Nationals Stadium last weekend. I admit before God and you that I felt a tinge of appreciation for those who booed him. And yet I want to embody something different from those who “go low.”
This opinion piece struck a nerve for me. I don’t want people to boo. I don’t want them to yell “lock him up.” I want us to “go high.”
And yet, as a person who has experienced my own assaults and betrayals, I never want the rapist or the betrayer to win. I want love to win.
What do we do with this?
I see this in a very different light. First of all, booing a man who has lied to and betrayed his country is not monstrous. It may be juvenile and ineffective behavior, but it is not causing the deaths of countless innocent people in Syria. Unlike the actions of Trump. Booing him is crude, but it is not monstrous- unlike taking 5400+ children from their families in his cruel family separation program. Booing him expresses citizen disapproval of a man who arrogantly and routinely violates human rights, who denigrates women, people of color, and the poor, who espouses and defends racist ideology, whose environmental policies are devastating to the planet. This is a man whose behavior truly is immoral and monstrous. One cannot equate booing him when he makes an uninvited visit to a sporting event as being on the same level at all. It is not “going low” to hold him publicly accountable. Not saying mob mentality is admirable or mature. We can and should do better. We definitely should let the courts and fair political process decide if he should be locked up. That part of the chant crossed a line.
But there are times when a citizens obligation to speak truth to power means we stop being “nice” and cordial in the face of corruption and evil. We should not hate nor do harm. But we do need to call out wrong doing. In our culture we clap our approval of the actors on the stage, and a boo signifies our disapproval if they perform badly. Fundamentally a boo then is communication, and a mild one at that. I see the crowd’s response as hopeful – the people are saying enough is enough. This man needs to get off the world’s stage before he destroys us, our democracy, and the planet with him.
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Thanks for this.
I see what you mean and booing as protest makes sense. But it doesn’t feel as satisfying as I thought it would.
Thank you for your thoughtful response. How can we have public discourse if there’s not any discourse but just chanting slogans? What a mess!
My impossible dream is for everyone to ignore Mr. Trump. Since he thrives on attention, maybe he would melt away like Antaeus lifted from the earth. But I don’t see that happening. The temptation to retaliate, correct, argue is too strong for most of us mortals.
I think of the Stephen Stills song, “Word Game” from my young adulthood. Stills sang about things that would not “force me to take up arms, that’s my enemy’s pride; and I won’t fight by his rules…” I don’t think that’s trying to take a superior attitude, but simply realizing what digs us into a deeper hole.
St. Seraphim of Sarov, a Russian monk, is supposed to have said, “Find inner peace, and thousands around you will be saved.” I consider that wisdom when I am tempted to correct, control and fix people around me instead of attending to my own conversion.
Still, it is awfully hard when the President of the US, someone who is supposed to be a role model and an inspiration, is such a boorish man.
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Such an important conversation going on here. Thank you!