The idea that it is a good thing to confront, intimidate, and even rough up people with whom you disagree to advance a political agenda dates back to community organizer and former President Barack Obama but is reaching new levels of hostility since the election of President Donald Trump.
“I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors,” Obama said on the presidential campaign trail in September 2008. “I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican.”
“I want you to argue with them and get in their face,” Obama said.
Fast forward to 2018 when lawmakers and activists are encouraging confrontations with members of Congress who disagree with them or support Trump.
The latest rant took place on Saturday ahead of the confirmation vote on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh when protesters gathered on the steps of the high court, including Jennifer Epps-Addison, network president and co-executive director at the leftist Center for Popular Democracy.
“If you think a few women were getting up in their faces at an airport, if they thought of us calmly saying, ‘Listen to survivors’ was enough to shake and intimidate them, well, wait till they go home,” Epps-Addison said. “Wait till they go to the state fair. Wait till they go to the coffee shop. Wait till they go to the movies. Wait till they go anywhere we see them.”
“Make your voice heard,” Epps-Addison said. “Do not be calm. Do not be silenced. Do not be patient.”
Leftists continue to get marching orders from elected officials, including Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA).
In June, Waters told her supporters at a rally in Los Angeles to “push back.”
”Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up,” Waters said. “And 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,” Water said. “And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
Booker gave similar advice in July at the National Conference on Ending Homelessness.
“Please don’t just come here today and then go home,” Booker said. ”Go to the Hill today. Get up and, please, get up in the face of some congresspeople.”
Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) wife, Kelley, recently wrote an open letter to Booker expressing her anguish over the harm done to her husband after a neighbor attacked him. She shared other “horrifying” threats the family has faced and called on Booker to condemn the ongoing threats and violence.
The same angry anti-Kavanaugh protesters confronted Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) recently at an airport.
And in June, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and her guests were thrown out of a restaurant in rural Virginia after the owner refused to serve them because of Sanders’ service in the Trump administration.
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