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Booing the president is something Americans do

Jo Majesty

Nov. 09, 2019

President Trump is scheduled to attend the Alabama/LSU football game Saturday, and on Monday he’ll be in New York City for the Veterans Day Parade . It’s a fair bet that someone, somewhere will shout out a boo or two.
Good. Trump may hold the highest office in the land, but in our political culture, no one is beyond verbal attacks. Even loud ones shouted in public.
Alas, at Alabama, at least one school official appeared to be clamping down on such a protest. Jason Rothfarb, vice president of Student Affairs, warned that “any organizations that engage in disruptive behavior during the game will be removed from block seating instantly for the remainder of the season.”
People took this to mean jeering and shouting would not be tolerated, and Rothfarb was forced to issue a clarification that, no, students would not get in trouble for booing.
Wise move. Booing politicians and the powerful is a staple of American culture. It should be allowed to flourish, not condemned.
When Trump attended Game 5 of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros, he was loudly booed. Yet the president appeared to have no reaction, but the left claimed he was devastated by it.
An MSN.com piece by Andrew Joseph on the World Series titled “How President Trump reacted to getting loudly booed at the World Series” included no actual description of his reaction. Joseph wrote: “The fans went on to carry a ‘lock him up’ chant into the inning that was audible in Twitter videos and on the broadcast. And Trump himself appeared to have a reaction to the harsh reception.”
Appeared to have a reaction? A linked video shows Trump clapping and smiling and appearing to have, well … no negative reaction whatsoever.
Last week, he went to a UFC fight at Madison Square Garden. Democratic strategist Adam Parkhomenko tweeted a clip of fans booing. CNN’s Ana Navarro-Cárdenas gleefully retweeted Parkhomenko, gloating that “getting loudly booed at one major sporting event in a week is not enough.” Trump, she added, “needs to stick to going to NRA convention, ‘prayer’ events . . . and meetings where people are wearing white hoods.”
The Democratic Coalition’s Scott Dworkin includes anti-Trump booing in a list of the best things to happen that week.
The video actually showed a mix of boos and cheers , but no matter. Getting #TrumpBooedAgain to trend on Twitter was the goal and success!
Congratulations to the left. If it makes them feel good, boo away.
For them, you see, the catcalls are evidence that Trump is widely hated. Everyone they know despises him, so obviously everyone in America must. They even pass around anti-Trump booing articles like a popular girl knocking over a nerd’s lunch tray: “We all hate him.”
But so what? Again, booing pols is a long and storied tradition.
We all remember George W. Bush stepping out to the Yankees mound to throw the opening pitch and console a broken nation not long after 9/11.
But I clearly remember being concerned that even on that solemn day, he was about to get booed — because this is what happens to politicians, especially at sporting events. In just the past few decades, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush were all booed.
In an amazing feat, Mayor Bill de Blasio got booed at the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center last year. And recall how NYPD cops went even further, defiantly turning their backs on him at a eulogy for a fellow officer.
Jeering politicians is healthy and good. It’s cathartic, a way to vent frustrations and register disapproval in a normal, safe way. It’s a form of speech — and more speech is almost always better than less.
Letting folks boo their hearts out shows we’re unafraid of our leaders and that they answer to us. It certainly beats “milkshaking” politicians and the outright violence that has become a growing phenomenon in the UK.
No, there’s nothing wrong with booing. Politicians should have the backbone to take it, and the rest of us should stop making it such a bit news story.
So go ahead: Boo your politicians. Hey, they probably deserve it.
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