I have previously condemned both sides of our angry politics for calling their opponents "traitors", "terrorists" and "enemies". That overheated rhetoric continues this week. Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi calls not only President Trump, but also her own congressional colleagues "enemies of the state". I have been very critical of President Trump in using that language. I have also long criticized Pelosi's behavior as a spokesperson, including her ripping apart the state of the Union. This attack is particularly egregious from a seated speaker representing the body as a whole. If we cannot agree to condemn even that language, we have lost all sense of propriety or propriety in our public debate.
In an interview with MSNBC presenter Ayman Mohyeldin on Monday, Pelosi was asked about the controversy surrounding the postal service and postal voting. She replied:
“Thank you for the opportunity to say. I want to say one thing to the American people: don't pay attention to Donald Trump. His aim is to stop people from voting, to intimidate them by saying that he will have law enforcement officers in the elections to actually welcome Russian intervention in our elections. . . We take an oath to protect and defend the constitution from all enemies at home and abroad. And unfortunately, the domestic enemies of our electoral system and our constitutional compliance are at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. right with their allies in the United States Congress. ”
Pelosi makes it clear that her colleagues are among the domestic enemies sworn by the House, which is required as a qualification for an office under Article VI, paragraph 3.
It is another denigration of our political debate. However, this directly calls on those who support Trump in Congress to be domestic enemies. Pelosi previously sparked controversy over comments on the floor that were viewed as violating house rules.
Pelosi himself has made efforts to condemn Trump for his "low standards using shameful language about members of Congress".
This is not a statement on the floor and is not a clear violation of the house rules. However, it is again a violation of the traditional role of the speaker. Nobody expects a speaker to be impartial, especially not from the ground. However, she is the most senior member of the House of Representatives and sets a good example. This is the enduring example of the speaker's crude and reckless partiality. I agree with Speaker Pelosi in some of these political struggles. However, it is a reprehensible moment to label your own members as enemies of the state that would be widely condemned in the media if party affiliation were reversed.
I admit that I am hopelessly out of touch with the beating, insulting nature of modern politics. I still believe that our leaders should be role models in their language and behavior, especially presidents and speakers. This is a seated speaker who says that members who disagree with her are enemies of the state and the very dangers members are sworn to oppose threats to the entire nation.
It is easy to venture this free fall into such harmful and demagogic language. We can give in to the moment and label opposing voices traitors or insist that our leaders meet minimal standards of courtesy and responsibility. It is neither. Once we get used to calling opposing views effective betrayal, it won't be long before people begin to take such terms literally and treat dissent as treason.
Spokesman Pelosi should apologize for this attack and reaffirm that there is still a degree of decency and courtesy left in our public debate.