Read time: 2 minutes

Make Good Trouble For Those Stolen Babies

When you choose to have a public life, you gotta take the scorn if you take the praise.

I’m not sure what civility is anymore. I’m also not sure why Republicans didn’t know that word when Barack Obama was president.

When you choose to have a public life, you gotta take the scorn if you take the praise. Back when I was newspapering, I had people anonymously pay for my lunch. The waiter would say something like, “Your meal has been taken care of by someone who enjoys your writing but wishes to remain anonymous.” I got flowers from people who wished to remain nameless. I got sweet notes.

I also got hate mail, some of it frightening. I got spit on in the grocery store. No kidding, it was on the canned goods aisle by a woman who told me that I was a horrible person for saying that Tom DeLay was a liar and a fraud. When I responded with only a smile, she hauled off and spit on me.

It’s life. I chose to be a liberal columnist in a very red county. You take the good with the bad. It’s the cost doing business.

I did most all of my confronting of public offices on the grounds of the public buildings where they worked. I once followed three county commissioners into the men’s room where they were meeting during a recess to get their stories straight. I became a minor courthouse legend when I caused a crooked district court judge to wet his pants in the courthouse hallway when I confronted him with documentation that could put him in jail.

Congressman John Lewis commanded us all to make good trouble. I try to follow that every day.

I do not believe that violence is ever called for, nor are threats. The people who chose to work for the Trump administration are not immune to criticism. They should be willing to feel a little emotional discomfort to understand how it feels.

Originally published at

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