The radical left is overstepping—once again. This past week, a group of “Build Back Better” protestors chased U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema into the bathroom at Arizona State University. They literally taped her going into a stall. This is totally outrageous. It is also illegal.
In Arizona, it is unlawful for any person to knowingly photograph, videotape, film, or digitally record another person without that person’s consent when they are in a restroom, bathroom, locker room, bedroom, or other location where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and the person is doing things like urinating, defecating, dressing, or undressing. Looking at the video, it appears as though they violated the state statutes. Prosecutors should take action, but I will not hold my breath.
Instead of intimidating Senator Sinema to support their position, these radical protestors likely alienated her and undermined their argument with the general public. I know because it happened to me during my time as Governor of Wisconsin.
Death threats were common during the start of my first term as we took on the big government’s special interests. At one point, 100,000 protestors occupied the state Capitol and square.
After a steady stream of threats against my safety, we began to get updates about threats against my family. One threat that was passed on to me by a member of our security detail was from a person who claimed he would gut my wife like a deer. Another was directed at my wife and told her to intervene, or I might be the first Governor in Wisconsin history to be assassinated. It went on to detail where my children went to school, where my wife worked, and even where my father-in-law lived in a retirement apartment building.
Instead of making me feel scared, they pissed me off. I walked into a press conference and gave one of my most forceful defenses of our reforms.
I guess that Senator Sinema likely shares this sentiment.
First, she does not strike me as being easily intimidated. Plus, she comes from a state that historically rewards mavericks. While the media is not fawning over her the way they once did with former United States Senator John McCain, the voters in Arizona seem to appreciate an independent streak.
In addition to propping Senator Sinema up with swing voters in her battleground state, the radical efforts of many on the left are likely hurting their position with the general public across the country. Pursuing actions that so clearly cross the line often lead others to question the entire basis of their agenda.
During the protests in Wisconsin early in my tenure, protestors overplayed their hand. On a day when I was kicking off the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Wisconsin, protestors dressed like zombies came out of the state Capitol building and got between the Special Olympics athletes and me.
My first reaction was to call out the pathetic group of protestors for interrupting this remarkable event. Instead, I noticed that the athletes were not bothered and were listening to my words of encouragement. Thankfully, I stayed focused on them, their families and coaches, and the members of law enforcement who had volunteered to run to raise funds and awareness for the Special Olympics.
The evening news that night led with images of the zombie protestors disrupting an event for the Special Olympics. Viewers were enraged. Regardless of whether they fully agreed with my reforms or not, they were thoroughly incensed at what they saw on television. This was a turning point as so many said, “These people are not from Wisconsin. We don’t do things like that here.”
The simple truth is that they were not. Many of the protestors were driven and flown into Wisconsin from all over the country. It was not hard to tell. They carried banners with their names and locations on them. Many of them were paid to show up and cause trouble. They interrupted plenty of other events around the state, but none were as obnoxious as the day of the torch run.
Voters in Wisconsin were turned off. They didn’t want outsiders trying to tell them what to do, and they didn’t like paid agitators stirring up trouble in their beloved state.
Political operatives on the left soon figured out that they had a massive problem, but it was too late. Once they stoked the flames of the radical activists, they couldn’t put out the fire.
Going into our recall election, we made it clear that outsiders were directing the campaign against us. Big government union bosses and radical Washington-based special interest groups drove the efforts to oust me from office. Republicans, Independents, and even some discerning Democrats took note–we won the recall election with more votes than we did in the first election.
The bathroom antics of the radical left are likely to backfire again—leaving their agenda stalled in the United States Senate. That is good for America.
• Scott Walker is the president of Young America’s Foundation and served as the 45th Governor of Wisconsin from 2011 to 2019.