White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller was apparently so upset by a bartender who allegedly harassed him that he ended up throwing away $80 worth of a meal in the garbage.
The details of the incident are the latest in a line of others in which prominent figures in President Donald Trump’s administration have been targeted by everyday citizens in what are mostly justified (and public) protests against their policies.
Some people have labeled these episodes “harassment,” making calls for a supposed return to "civility." But so long as these incidents remain relatively peaceful, it is the right of the citizenry to express their frustrations to these officials in these ways.
Indeed, Miller’s latest account of how he was “mistreated” seems rather tame. He recently recounted how he ordered a large sushi dinner from a restaurant near his neighborhood.
After exiting the establishment, a bartender rushed out and yelled to him down the street “Miller!” to draw his attention. The bartender flipped both middle fingers toward Miller to express distaste for the White House adviser.
That action prompted Miller to toss the sushi into the garbage.
Also in his neighborhood, several “Wanted” posters with Miller’s likeness have been put up, The Washington Post reports.
This type of behavior from Americans upset with the administration’s myriad outrageous policies is warranted. Democracy doesn’t come with a promise of comfort for those elected to serve, and when dissatisfaction reaches high levels, peaceful actions like these are not only justified but in some cases required.
Protestations in this manner are as old as the nation itself. Colonists took to the streets to protest British transgressions, and certainly the Boston Tea Party and other events replicating it weren’t, by definition, “civil” events.
The criticisms on how these administration officials are being confronted is overblown — their improper behavior and abuses of their authority have more than merited the small bit of discomfort they feel in public. If citizens want to continue peacefully “harassing” these individuals, they’re well within their rights to do so.