For days leading up to the election, President-elect Donald Trump was pummelled (not without reason) for suggesting that he might not accept the results of the election. Now, many of the same people who were outraged, are protesting the results of the election. Some however have gone further and taken the rhetoric to violent levels. For example, Actress Lea DeLaria, right, (Big Boo on “Orange Is the New Black“) wrote on Instagram that she wanted to “take out” Republicans and Independents with a baseball bat. Likewise, Matt Harrigan, CEO of the network security firm PacketSled went on Facebook to say that he would kill Trump.They are only two of a chorus of liberals who have discarded any measure of restraint or principle in lashing out at the results of an election because it did not turn out the way that they wanted.
DeLaria left little doubt as to how she believes people should react when they do not get what they want in a democratic process. She suggested that people “pick up a baseball bat and take out every f–king republican and independent I see. #f–ktrump #f–ktheGOP #f–kstraightwhiteamerica #f–kyourprivilege.” It is not clear if studios would react to her hateful message. There has been no such reaction thus far.
There was a response to Harrigan, who is now the former CEO at PacketSled. Somehow threatening the life of the President-elect did not sit well with the security company. It also did not help to prove that you are a dysfunctional moron in publicly threatening a president, which is a crime under federal law.
Harrigan went back on social media to say it was just a joke — just one that no one thought was funny:
“My recent Facebook comment was intended to be a joke, in the context of a larger conversation, and only privately shared as such. Anyone who knows me, knows that I do not engage in this form of rhetoric with any level of seriousness and the comment most certainly does not represent my real personal views in any regard. I apologize if anything that I said was either taken seriously, was offensive, or caused any legitimate concern.”
In the meantime, the company is working with the Secret Service after dispatching their CEO:
“The PacketSled Board of Directors accepted the resignation of President and CEO Matthew Harrigan, effective immediately. Fred Wilmot, the company’s Chief Technology Officer, will serve as interim CEO while the Board of Directors conducts a search for a permanent replacement. We want to be very clear, PacketSled does not condone the comments made by Mr. Harrigan, which do not reflect the views or opinions of the company, its employees, investors or partners.”
These statements raise a long-standing debate that we have had on this blog over the discipline or termination of employees for their actions in their private lives. Companies are not restricted under the First Amendment in this sense. If any employee embarrasses the company by their association with controversial actions or statements, they can be terminated. That can create a “Little Brother” problem that we have previously discussed.
While I know people coming to Washington protest the election, I do not share that view. They, of course, have every right to protest, but I believe that the country should come together in the 45th peaceful transfer of power in the country. Those voters who prevailed have every reason to celebrate. Those who lost are protesting the results of a democratic process — a problematic notion. Nevertheless, both the inauguration and the protests reflect the core rights protected in this country so long as people like DeLaria and Harrigan do not find solace in calling for violence as a way to vent their disappointment. President Barack Obama said once that “elections have consequences.” The inauguration is one of those consequences.