Booing the president: Was it justified?
President Trump is “an avid sports fan,” yet he “stays away from most sporting events,” said Christine Brennan in USA Today. “Now we know why.” After the Washington Nationals’ public address announcer introduced him during Game 5 of the World Series, the hometown D.C. crowd greeted him with “intense and long-lasting” boos. A lusty chant of “Lock him up!” followed “for several minutes” from the outfield and upper deck. Trump, who rarely travels beyond the protective bubble of his rallies and properties, is the only president since William Taft in 1910 not to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at a Major League Baseball game. He hasn’t even attended a single game. “Odds are, he won’t come back anytime soon.”
Donald Trump, the man, may deserve the “karmic payback” the crowd gave him, said Quin Hillyer in WashingtonExaminer.com. He encouraged “lock her up” chants when running against Hillary Clinton and has often used harsh rhetoric against opponents and critics. But Trump, the president, is deserving of respect when he’s serving in “a nonpolitical capacity or in a ceremonial role.” By booing and taunting him, Americans besmirch the office he occupies on behalf of everyone, and so ultimately, they “disrespect themselves.”
Admittedly, “it’s wrong to call for the imprisonment of political opponents,” said Greg Sargent in The Washington Post. But in judging the crowd for its “lock him up” chant, let’s remember the context of this moment in history. With Attorney General William Barr’s help, Trump is actually turning loose “the machinery of law enforcement” upon his political enemies. Trump and his lawyers also insist he can refuse to comply with the impeachment process and that he’s above the law. That’s why I gloated when I heard the crowd boo Trump, said Jennifer Weiner in The New York Times. I “watched the video over and over,” and thought, “I hope it hurt.” But then I felt a little sick. Yes, Trump should be booed, if only to make him aware of the reality beyond his army of “sycophants and suck-ups.” But that doesn’t mean we should get down in the mud with him and wallow in anger, hatred, and vengeance. “If Donald Trump remakes all of us in his image, no matter who takes the White House in 2020, he will have won.” ■