Ever since Donald Trump took office, America is no longer a country of open-mindedness and tolerance. There are petty confrontations everywhere. Recent incidents include White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was kicked out of a restaurant and protesters crashed Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsens dinner at a Mexican restaurant. The division is deepening and permeating into every business and corner. It’s not good for America.
In the past, America was generous and accepting. No more. Anti-immigrant sentiment is raising its ugly head. By a vote of five to four, the United States Supreme Court upheld President Trumps Muslin ban as constitutional. The constitution no longer protects everyone in this land, only citizens and legal residents. This is a step backward.
Following Justice Kennedys retirement, Trump will nominate a conservative judge to replace him. The impact can last generations. Conservatism and division are likely to continue in America with no end in sight.
Speaking of professionalism, non-politicians should avoid talking politics at some occasions to keep the harmony. The profession of a restaurant is supposed to be serving customers, bringing enjoyment of food and making guests at home. It could have been non-partisan and treating friend and foe as equal. But now we are seeing a free for all.
The owner of Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia politely asked Sanders and her family to leave in private because she disliked Sanders for often defending Trump. The owner explained that “the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation”. Obviously, it was a result of Trumps “zero tolerance” policy that tore families apart. Therefore, Sanders became a persona non grata.
Sanders offered to pay but the owner declined, showing a bit “graciousness”. However, Sanders posted the encounter on Twitter. “Her actions say far more about her than about me,” Sanders said. “I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.” Her tweet has gone viral.
Although Trump has never set foot in this restaurant, he commented on the situation via Twitter upon learning the situation. It was to be expected that he would supporting Sanders. Instead he focused on outside appearance of the restaurant, crassly ridiculing its canopies, doors and windows. “I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!” With such a response, it is easy to see who has more class among the owner, Sanders and Trump. With such a president, it is no wonder the society is increasingly divided and violent, and Americans are losing their manners.
American courtesy dictates avoiding open discussion of controversial topics such as religion, politics, abortion and homosexuality to maintain certain boundaries and keep our minds “fresh” and not “polluted”. But the taboos have been broken by polarization. The many words and deeds by Trump have deepened the division and that is our misfortune.
As the President of the United States, Trump is unable lead by example and become a role model. On the contrary, he doubles down to the other extreme. He only thinks about his supporters. He often tweets personal attacks on his subordinates, opposition party and the media. Even if it was none of his business, he would tweet to get involved as long as it could put himself in the spotlight as if he was afraid people would forget about him.
Granted, the fact that liberal media are trying to put Trump under a microscope also contributes to further divisiveness. Racial hatred and partisan fights are on the rise. Nowadays, Chinese American would get yelled at “Go back to you country” on the street. Minority stores and restaurants have become targets of harassment. Pan-politicization has worsen. Americans are no longer tolerant to different opinions. How will narrow-mindedness make America great again?