Protesting members of the Trump administration is a First Amendment right

Matt Hasty

The recent remonstrations of Trump cabinet members are an effective form of protest and an excessive in the First Amendment right we all have.

The first publicized story of protest against a Trump cabinet member while in public doing every day things was of Kirstjen Nielsen, the Homeland Security Secretary, who went to a Mexican restaurant on the night of June 19 for dinner and was confronted by protesters over the Trump administration’s border policy. A policy which has separated children away from their parents at the U.S. border with Mexico. Protesters were targeting Nielsen because she is a symbolic face of Trump’s zero tolerance policy. She has publicly defended her agency’s poor treatment of migrant families entering the U.S. illegally.

The protest and shouting went on for ten minutes until Nielsen left the restaurant. Phrases like “If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace!”, “Abolish ICE!” and “Shame!” were shouted at Nielsen. At one point, a recording of children crying inside detention centers after being taken away from their parents was played by protesters.

Another incident of protest to another Trump cabinet member happened last weekend, when Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the press secretary for the White House, was asked to leave a restaurant in Virginia because of her affiliation with the Trump administration.

These protests are coming in response to California Congresswoman Maxine Waters encouraging the public to protest Trump’s cabinet members. Waters justifies her encouragement by saying that she has “no sympathy” for cabinet members and that the public should “turn on them” and “absolutely harass” White House cabinet members while they are doing normal activities of leisure.

Waters adds to that by saying, “They know what they are doing is wrong.” Her goal is to force cabinet members to scrutinize the President and tell him they cannot be seen around him. Waters, a Democrat, has previously called for the impeachment of President Trump and the resignations of Trump’s cabinet members.

These alleged cases of “harassment” are effective forms of protest, which is exercising the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. It was spitting in the face of Hispanic people when Nielsen visited a Mexican restaurant after defending the Department of Homeland Security for separating migrant children at the border. It is saying that you like their food but cannot respect the culture that the food came from.

The government, in an honest and morally sound United States, should always be able to lie down their heads at night with a clear mind of conscience, knowing that they did the right thing.

How do they even sleep, knowing that they put a child in pain because they endorsed a policy that separated children from their parents? Forget political party lines. This is a moral issue. And it is the duty of the American people to call out the government when they commit these horrendous acts.