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Hooper: Michelle Obama's 2016 clarion call needs to be heard today

Published Jun. 25, 2018

When they go low, we go high.

Those words drew an astounding amount of applause when then First Lady Michelle Obama delivered them at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Yet some people treat the statement as merely the basis of a good meme, instead of a blueprint for meaningful engagement.

The reprehensible nature of President Donald Trump's decision to separate immigrant children from their families, and Jeff Sessions' appalling use of a Biblical quote to defend that decision, can't justify spontaneous confrontations.

They can't give credence to challenging Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi at Tampa Theatre, as some did on Friday night. They can't lend credibility to forcing White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders to leave a Virginia restaurant. They can't rationalize shouting down Secretary of Homeland Security (and Berkeley Prep graduate) Kirstjen Nielsen at a dining spot, even though Nielsen's decision to dine at a Mexican eatery seems remarkably tone deaf.

Still, those so compelled to allow their anger to spill over in such a rash way need to ask what they hope to accomplish. If it's to change policy or help those in need, it's not going to work.

The outbursts we've seen in the last week only serve to strengthen the resolve of the targeted policy makers, make them appear to be victims and drive their supporters to the polls.

Also, it's just wrong. Let people eat in peace. Take them on at work. Stage a sit-in at their office.

Civil disobedience must be strategic and purposeful. Effective change most often comes from staking out a righteous claim on moral high ground.

As Barack Obama said at the 2016 DNC, "Don't boo, vote."

That's all I'm saying.