No, We Shouldn’t Allow People to Protest and Harass Public Officials at Their Homes or in Restaurants
The world people like AOC created.
It is true that “an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind,” but the flip side of that is that human beings really hate being told to play by two different sets of rules. For example, what would you think about the idea of throwing paint on your neighbor’s house? I’d guess that almost no one reading this would support doing that, right? But, what if all your neighbors started doing it as a prank, for fun, or if they got upset with you. You still wouldn’t do it? What if your neighbor across the street was one of the worst offenders AND she hit your house several times? Meanwhile, she insisted that NOBODY better throw paint on her house because that’s not OK! My guess is that the chances of you throwing paint on her house would quickly rocket from “zero” to “highly likely.”
That’s one of the advantages of having norms in a society. It doesn’t mean you love the other side; it just means there’s a basic level of tolerance, respect, and standards that everyone needs to accept to keep things from getting out of hand. The alternative to that is essentially, “anything goes” and inevitably, that turns out to be a bad idea because human beings, being human beings, tend to escalate things. Like in our example above with the paint? Maybe you get so angry at your neighbor that you don’t just throw paint on her house, you throw it on her car, too. Then another neighbor down the street smashes someone’s window and sprays paint INSIDE of their house. Next thing you know, one of your neighbors comes home from work to find every square inch of the inside of their house, including their dogs, covered with paint and that’s the new standard.
This brings us to the protesting norms in America that have been, with the full support of the Left, rapidly breaking down.
We could go all the way back to the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement to see this starting. Tea Party rallies were forced to stick to the letter of the law and unfriendly areas sometimes deliberately tried to make it difficult for them to get protest permits. Yet and still, although the Tea Partiers themselves were incessantly smeared in the media and accused of being potentially violent, they obeyed the law and even took pride in cleaning up after themselves.
Then came the Occupy Movement. Not only did they typically not bother with permits, they often turned public parks into filthy, rat-infested (I can attest from personal experience that this is not an exaggeration) camps full of homeless people, criminals, and weirdos that had nothing better to do than to sit around in a park for months at a time. Liberal cities turned a blind eye to their bad behavior, oftentimes for months at a time. Wealthy liberals and liberal groups actually brought food in for them. In and of itself, all of that was a problem because both groups weren’t treated equally under the law purely because of politics.
Now, fast forward to 2020. We saw “peaceful protests” that featured people breaking curfew, screaming threats, and throwing things at the police. Is that really a “peaceful protest?” Not really. No. Sometimes these protests exploded into violence, looting, rioting, and arson, at which point the media tried to pretend they were “mostly peaceful.” Despite the fact that EVERYONE knew the bad actors were using the protests as cover to break the law, the “peaceful protesters” refused to do anything to make it harder for them to do so. Essentially, they were aiding and abetting a violent crime wave. In many instances, the “protests” moved on to blocking roads. More than a few times, protesters behaved menacingly towards drivers and were run over as people tried to flee them.
In a sense, you could say that those idiots were the forerunners of most prominently, the truckers in Canada, who protested COVID-19 vaccinations by deliberately snarling traffic, trying to prevent goods from crossing into the United States, and honking their horns to annoy people. Even the January 6th riot at the Capitol was not an insurrection, it was conservatives playing the same game that liberals did all through 2020. Were conservatives storming through the Capitol building worse than liberals looting Wal-Marts? Arguably yes, but both were disgraceful, and the January 6th riot would have never happened without an entire year+ of liberals winking at rioting when their side did it.
Along similar lines, liberals have decided that it’s okay to threaten and intimidate people they don’t like that are out in public. Remember this during the Trump Administration?
“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that (Trump) 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. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.” – Maxine Waters
Liberals responded to comments like this and harassed everyone from Kirstjen Nielsen to Steve Bannon to Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
This year, liberals included conservative members of the Supreme Court in their harassment because they didn’t like the Roe vs. Wade decision. In an attempt to intimidate the justices into ruling the way they wanted, they “protested” them at their homes. Brett Kavanaugh faced an assassination plot over the ruling:
Roske arrived to Kavanaugh's home early on June 8 wearing black clothes and carrying a backpack, according to the affidavit. A Glock 17 pistol, two magazines, pepper spray, zip ties, a hammer, screwdriver, nail punch, crowbar, pistol light and duct tape were inside his bag, according to the affidavit. He was arrested "without incident" after allegedly calling authorities to tell them he was suicidal and wanted to kill Kavanaugh, police have said.
The general feeling on the Left about that could best be summed up as, “Good. He deserves it.” Despite the fact that Brett Kavanaugh just had a liberal show up at his house planning to kill him, the Left wildly cheered protesters showing up to harass him when he dined at Morton’s Steakhouse. This promoted collection of articles from Google gives you a good idea of the reaction on the Left:
In particular, it’s worth noting that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed this behavior:
Well, since then, a couple of noteworthy things have happened:
48-year-old Seattle man was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of a hate crime after threatening to assassinate Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D. WA.
According to The Seattle Times, the man was caught standing outside Jayapal's Seattle residence spouting threats and obscene language just before midnight this past Saturday.
When officers arrived on the scene, the man reportedly had a handgun at his waist. According to neighbors, the man apparently drove by the lawmaker's house three times and at one point told Jayapal to "go back to India, I'm going to kill you."
AOC also had an encounter on Wednesday that she didn’t appreciate:
I don’t say a lot of nice things about AOC, but I will admit that she does have a very nice booty. I’d also like to condemn the behavior of the person harassing her – and that’s what he was doing. He wasn’t protesting or trying to get a journalistic question answered. He was harassing her. However, how do I do that when this is the world that people like AOC WANT TO LIVE IN? Well, that’s not exactly true. They want to live in a world where people on their side are free to do these things to conservatives at will, but it’s considered out-of-bounds for it to be done back to them.
This is behavior I don’t support, no matter who it’s aimed at, and I haven’t been shy about saying so. For example, this is from a column of mine that dropped on September 27 of 2021 called, “15 Rules That Will Keep Politics from Turning You into a Bad Person.”
6) You don't deliberately block traffic with your protest: You are not the center of the universe and just because you’re all fired up about some issue doesn’t mean other people shouldn’t be able to peacefully drive home.
7) Protesters shouldn’t be out harassing random diners: The level of narcissism it takes to scream at random people eating their dinner because they’re not paying enough attention to you is almost beyond belief.
8) You don't protest at someone's home: There is an implicit threat to showing up outside of someone’s personal residence to protest. It’s basically like saying, “We want to hurt you and we know where you live.”
9) You don’t follow people around you disagree with and harass them: If you think someone is violating store policy, feel free to inform a manager. If you think they’re breaking the law, call a cop. Following someone around and confronting them is weird, creepy, and potentially threatening behavior.
10) “Mostly peaceful” political protests are not okay: You don’t burn down businesses, attack people, pound on people’s cars, break windows, force your way into buildings, trespass, attack the police, threaten people around you, or otherwise act like a mob. If you do, no matter what your ideology, you deserve to face legal consequences.
This is from a more recent tweet.
I don’t get EVERYTHING right. For example, I thought Hillary would beat Trump in 2016 and that was flat out wrong. However, 95% of the time I’m spot-on. I’m as good at this as anybody you’re going to run across in politics. Keep that in mind when I tell you that if this keeps up long-term, people are going to die as a result of the violence caused by this harassment. People DID die during the 2020 riots including the dirtbag “protesters” Kyle Rittenhouse ended up having to kill in self-defense to save his own life.
This issue has developed because the Left has merged the definitions of “protesting” and “harassment.”
You are not “protesting” when you show up outside of someone’s house or in a restaurant, you are trying to intimidate and harass them. “We know where you are. We can get to you. You won’t be safe.” You are not “protesting,” when you block traffic or glue yourself to artwork, you are harassing people. Do you have a “right” to do this, constitutional or otherwise? Abso-freaking-lutely not. You know what should happen when people do this?
This isn’t taking anyone’s free speech away. In fact, there are specific laws on the books about harassing Supreme Court justices at their homes that the corrupt DOJ is refusing to enforce. The Supreme Court has also ruled that cities have the right to prohibit political protests in front of ordinary people’s homes. Certainly, it is possible to go too far in prohibiting protests in certain areas. But prohibiting the protesting of individuals eating in a restaurant or on freeways seems to be a no-brainer because again, the primary purpose of that activity is to harass people, not protest.
So, what about the guy who harassed AOC? Should he go to jail? No, because Congress is an appropriate place to speak with Congressional representatives, BUT – and this is a big BUT – should people across the ideological spectrum be condemning his behavior and saying it’s unacceptable? In an ideal world, yes. However, we don’t live in that world. We live in Paint World, where AOC is laughing about other people having paint thrown on their houses and is OUTRAGED that someone might do the same thing to her. If you’re going to live by the paint, eventually you may die by the paint. One day, sadly, that’s literally going to be the case for more Americans unless more people on the Left start to realize that they don’t get a free pass from the new rules they create for public behavior. It would be nice for them to drift back towards sanity, but it doesn’t seem likely that’s going to happen any time soon.