Monday, October 4, 2021

Harassing Senator Sinema in the Bathroom

With many people today it seems that the point is less to convince political opponents of the rightness of your beliefs than to bully them into being quiet about their opposition or failing that, to humiliate them and make them pay a personal cost for daring to oppose you. 
Because Arizona Democratic Senator Krysten Sinema has so far refused to support a proposed $3.5 trillion bill that would greatly increase the social safety net and possibly provide citizenship to illegal immigrants, many Democrats in and out of the media have called her all sorts of nasty names. 
That's all par for the course. Politics is not a place for shrinking violets. 
What's not normal is the idea, too often accepted by many people at various points along the political spectrum, is that their opponents are not only mistaken but bad corrupt people who don't deserve to be heard, don't deserve to be engaged with, and certainly don't deserve anything so basic as to be able to use the restroom with some form of privacy. 
Bad people, however that is defined, apparently don't deserve anything so old fashioned as dignity. They must be ritually humiliated until they see the error of their ways. An activist group representing illegal immigrants decided to harass Senator Sinema in class and in the bathroom.

"After deceptively entering a locked, secure building, these individuals filmed and publicly posted videos of my students without their permission -- including footage taken of both my students and I using a restroom," the statement said.

While she wrote she supports the First Amendment, she shunned the protest -- by a group she doesn't name but claims to have met with several times since she was elected to the Senate.

"Yesterday's behavior was not legitimate protest. It is unacceptable for activist organizations to instruct their members to jeopardize themselves by engaging in unlawful activities such as gaining entry to closed university buildings, disrupting learning environments, and filming students in a restroom," she wrote.

Whether people like it or not the fact is that as the Senate is currently constituted, Democrats need Senator Sinema's (and Senator Manchin's) vote to pass their preferred legislation. 
Insulting Sinema or taking video of her in the bathroom doesn't seem to be the most effective method of convincing Sinema to vote for policy she at this time clearly doesn't support. All this does is make Senator Sinema look sympathetic and shine a light on the self-righteous bullying attitude of some illegal immigrants and their supporters.
There's a time and place for everything. And everyone should be able to use the bathroom in peace without being videoed or shrieked at by lunatics--many of whom aren't even part of the American body politic because they can't vote.
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