Where Will the Secret Service Agents Be When Warren Needs Them in the Presidential Election Debates?

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Where Will the Secret Service Be
When Senator Elizabeth Warren Needs Them
in the Presidential Election Debates?

Reality TV impeachment is just a sideshow. The likelihood that the House of Representatives will vote to indict President Trump on charges of seeking the assistance of a foreign government in his re-election campaign should not obscure the fact that a trial in the Senate would not last more than a week, if in fact it even goes that long. Precedent will permit the Republicans in the Senate to call the question about a motion to dismiss the case, after staging a superficial examination of evidence, and the matter will become a campaign footnote.

The Senate’s “Not guilty” verdict will, unfortunately, only encourage Mr. Trump’s relentless desire to win an election by any means necessary. “Election rules are for little people,” Trump has all but said, ever since he launched his first campaign. If readers hear an echo of the infamous statement about taxes by one of Trump’s fellow members of New York’s upper crust, I assure you it is intentional.

The political necessity of impeachment is, however, akin to that ominous moment in the last election’s debates when Trump left his podium to stalk Clinton as she spoke. It was one of the most unsettling moments of male aggression in a mass media forum that I have ever witnessed, and I know that I am hardly alone in wishing that Hillary Clinton had immediately upbraided his contemptuous behavior. Linda and I watched that scene on a movie screen with hundreds of my fellow citizens at the Art Theater in Long Beach, and one could feel an immediate, palpable desire in that movie theater for Clinton to defend herself. In retrospect, she has spoken about the ambivalence she experienced as to how to act at that moment.

Given Mr. Trump’s past behavior, in fact, I believe that at least two Secret Service agents should be assigned specifically to curtail, if not preclude, such behavior on stage, should Elizabeth Warren win the nomination. No one should be caught off-guard by Mr. Trump’s tendency to repeat previous behavior that has been successful; he willingly accepted Russian’s assistance in the 2016 election, and there is substantial evidence that he has recently solicited the assistance of the president of the Ukraine in acquiring damaging material about a major potential opponent in next year’s election.

As such, it should be assumed that Mr. Trump’s stage protocol for future presidential debates will include physical intimidation, and it is the job of the Service Service to protect the candidate by any means necessary from any predation on her stage space. It is shameful — utterly shameful — that the United States is run by a man who has demonstrated so little respect for women that additional vigilance must be mounted to grant a candidate a sense of personal safety on a public stage.