“Kirstjen Nielsen, child snatcher!”


Back in the days when Margaret Thatcher was an ambitious up-and-coming politician eager to make her mark as a Conservative cabinet member by cutting benefits and services, she instituted polices that resulted (as I recall) in children having less access to milk. This led to chants of ‘Maggie Thatcher, milk snatcher’. The Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen also seems anxious to make her mark in conservative politics by showing how mean she can be with her enthusiastic embrace of Donald Trump’s cruel politics and rhetoric towards immigrants. Those policies have led to 3,700 children already being separated from their parents with no idea of how to reunite them that have led to the slogan “Kirstjen Nielsen, child snatcher!” which does not rhyme but is apt nonetheless.

Social media has been used to quickly organize protests against her at restaurants and on the street outside her home

This has led to some pearl clutching among the elites who fret that the political world and the private world should be kept separate and that even if you implement the most odious policies, you should be able to go around in public and be treated with the deference to which you are accustomed, as if nothing is wrong. This is of course, a variant of the ‘civility’ movement that conservatives love to promote, who go on to say that protesting obnoxious speech and a violation of the speaker’s free speech rights.

But should one be completely immune to the consequences of one’s speech and actions? Most people have no contact with the elites who design and implement these policies. We are not part of the press corps, nor are we invited to discuss things with them in the media. These people live in bubbles, driving around in glass-tinted limousines. There are very few opportunities for ordinary people to tell them to their faces how they feel. Is it undoubtedly annoying to go to a restaurant to eat and find people heckling you because of what you are doing? Yes it is. Is it upsetting to go to a restaurant and have them say they do not want you there because they think you are an awful person, as Trump press spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders found out? Yes, it undoubtedly is. But not being able to have a leisurely meal in a restaurant is a complaint of the elites. It is only annoying, nothing more. It would be wrong to take such actions against anyone because of who they are, based on their gender or race or ethnicity or sexual orientation because that cannot be changed. But people’s words and actions can be changed and sometimes it is public opprobrium, angrily expressed, that is needed to break through their cocoon and let them know how angry people feel.

For the elites, politics is a game because it does not really adversely affect them personally. Even the talking heads on TV who seem to loudly disagree with each other, often proudly state how well they get along privately in the green rooms. It is all academic to them, a show put on for the rubes who watch. And they want to carry that protective cocoon around with them in their everyday lives too, even with the rest of the public who do not have the luxury of their own cocoon but suffer from the actions of those who live in them and who inflict trauma on the children who have been separated from their parents.

It apparently is also the case that young people who work in the Trump administration are facing considerable hostility as they try to navigate the Washington DC social scene.

Of course, like all highly privileged people, they tend to whine about the slightest inconvenience or slight they receive. I have little sympathy for them. Can’t get a date because you work for Trump? Cry me a river.

Comments

  1. says

    The whole “elites” thing bugs me. Is it a proxy for “rich” or, what? I know that Calvinism said there were “elites” who were foreordained to go to heaven, but – absurd ideas of religion aside – why can’t they just say “talking heads” or “rich talking heads”? It’s deflective language and it’s weird coming from people who were also chosen by good luck.

  2. says

    “Why are they elite? I have a much better apartment than they do,” Trump told rallygoers.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/393387-trump-mocks-elites-at-campaign-rally

    Orange Yeller has decided that the “elites” the rabid right keeps complaining about decided to call themselves elites and that he is much more elite than any of them, so expect to see rhetoric about the “elites” from the right to die down for a while.

    But anyway, back to the subject at hand…

    Conservatives: Businesses should have the right to serve only whoever they want.

    Business: We don’t want to serve you.

    Conservatives: HOW DARE YOU!!! Where is your civility?!?!?!

  3. Matt G says

    I keep wondering when Republicans are going to hit bottom with their hypocrisy, dishonesty, bigotry, etc. Still waiting….

  4. jazzlet says

    Mrs Thatcher earned the title ‘Milk Snatcher’ when she was the minister for education. For many years children in primary school were given, for free, one third of a pint of milk at morning break. Mrs thatcher decided the milk would no longer be free which meant a lot of the children who needed it most wouldn’t get it, hence Milk Snatcher. In practice once it was no longer free many schools simply abandoned the practice as it was rather a hassle. I remember as an older primary student – 9 or 10 – taking my turn as milk monitor, two of you had to go and collect a metal crate of around forty glass third pint bottles which was heavy, struggle back to the classroom with it, put a straw through the foil top of each one, distribute them, then collect the empty bottles up and return the now much lighter crate. In winter the milk was often partially frozen and in summer it could be on the turn. Personally I hated having to drink it and probably as a result of having been forced to drink milk in primary school I’ve never drunk plain milk since.

  5. Holms says

    Orange Yeller has decided that the “elites” the rabid right keeps complaining about decided to call themselves elites and that he is much more elite than any of them, so expect to see rhetoric about the “elites” from the right to die down for a while.

    Why on earth would you expect that?? You seem to think they will a) recognise the self-contradiction of Trump calling other people elite, and b) therefore forgo one of their favourite complaints out of intellectual honesty…

    I’m quite certain both of those are literally impossible.

  6. Quirky says

    One characteristic of the true Anarchist is consistency.
    .
    Don’t want to serve Sarah Huckabee? Ok, no problem. Don’t want to bake a cake for homosexuals? Ok. no problem. Don’t want to serve a member of a race you don’t like? Ok, no problem. Don’t want to provide flowers to a homosexual wedding? Ok, no problem. Don’t want to serve a member of a religion you disagree with? Ok, no problem. Don’t want to serve someone you consider an elite? Ok, no problem. Don’t want to be stopped at a border and have your children taken? Ok, no problem.
    Don’t want to have your autonomy violated? Ok, no problem!

    Come on Republicans and Demopcrats, Socialists and Communists, what’s your problem?

  7. Holms says

    The core characteristic of the single-issue bore is that every issue can be made to relate back to their obsession.

  8. Quirky says

    Truth is Holms, there is a common root from which the superstitious beliefs of the people of the world spring forth..
    .
    Once you go down the rabbit hole deep enough to discover that common root your eyes will be opened. Take the red pill, Holms.

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