- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 30, 2018


President Donald Trump’s State of the Union is just hours away — and that means, in the eyes of the left, let the protesting begin.

A growing list of Democrats have announced they won’t be attending this all-so-important presidential address. But why not?

One of America’s greatest strengths is its First Amendment, and the right of citizens to speak freely — particularly on matters of politics. The left has struggled with that notion of late, seeing Republican rhetoric as one and the same as hate speech, tossing out the race card every time a conservative message comes on immigration, border control and the need to keep watch on who comes into America, or on tax reform. Or education. Or global warming. Et cetera. Just ask Milo Yiannoupolos, Ann Coulter or Ben Shapiro, targets all of hate-filled snowflakes who apparently couldn’t suffer their planned presences on their college campuses.

But those who won’t listen to alternative views are simply making a conscious decision to stay in ignorance and immaturity — to stay in their very small partisan shells. At the very least, it seems prudent to adopt a “know thy enemy” standpoint. Doesn’t it?

Here are at least some of the small-minded in the Democratic Party camp who’ve opted out of the address: Reps. John Lewis, Maxine Waters, Frederica Wilson, Barbara Lee, Gregory Meeks, Earl Blumenauer, Jan Schakowsky and Pramila Jayapal.

“ANNOUNCEMENT,” Jayapal tweeted days ago. “With all the racism coming from the White House, I will NOT be attending @realDonaldTrump’s State of the Union. Instead, we’ll focus on the State of OUR Union, our opposition to his agenda, and we will lift up a progressive and inclusive vision of our country.”

How, by removing themselves from a scene that’s supposed be inclusive?

Blumenauer said similarly in a tweet in early January: “Rather than listening to another destructive, divisive speech by Trump, I will not attend this year’s annual address to Congress. Instead, like I did during his inauguration, I’ll be working at home listening to Oregonians about what they think about the State of the Union! #SOTU.”

Listen up, Dems.

It’s one thing to stand in opposition to a political viewpoint, a political party, a presidential agenda.

It’s another thing to call out the president for divisiveness — by being divisive and refusing to participate.

It’s not just paradoxical to the argument. It’s hypocritical and dopey and theatrical. It’s divisive with a capital “D.”

Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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