After the third inning of Sunday’s Game 5 of the World Series, while sitting in a luxury suite, President Donald Trump was introduced to a sold-out crowd at Nationals Park. The announcement was met with a cascade of boos—hitting almost 100 decibels—and chants of “Lock him up!” and “Impeach Trump!” Behind home plate, Veterans for Impeachment signs were unfurled.
It was a rare, uncontrolled setting for the president, who has avoided such Washington events as the Kennedy Center Honors and the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.
Now we know why.
Despite being one of the earliest and fiercest critics of the president, I tweeted out supportive words for Democratic Senator Chris Coons, who told CNN’s John Berman, “I’m enough of a sort of traditionalist about our institutions—even when there’s a lot that our president does that I find disturbing, offensive, unconventional. I have a hard time with the idea of a crowd, on a globally televised sporting event, chanting ‘Lock him up!’ about our president.” Coons added, “I frankly think the office of the presidency deserves respect even when the actions of our president at times don’t.”
Based on the reaction on my social-media account and elsewhere, many Trump critics were having none of it. They seemed to think that Trump was reaping what he had sowed. The fans at Nats Park were speaking truth to power. Trump dehumanizes others; he deserves to be put in his place. Turnabout is fair play. Being proper and polite is for losers. Bullies such as Trump deserve to be bloodied on the playground. It’s not “sinking to his level. It’s turning his own weapons against him,” one user responded to my tweet. People need to stand up to “a criminal, a liar, a bigot, a fool, a con man,” wrote another. “So sick of taking the high road with this guy and his fans. Where has the high road gotten the country since he took office?” asked a third.