Guest Column

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No Threatening Political Language in Laguna

By Denny Freidenrich

Politics is a contact sport. Candidates understand there is no trophy for simply showing up. With these thoughts in mind, is it any wonder chants like “Lock her up” and “AOC sucks” are heard at GOP political rallies coast to coast? In my opinion, it’s all part of the coarse, win-at-any-cost mentality that has engulfed our country since 2016.

Having first moved to Laguna in 1970, I have attended my fair share of City Council meetings. My memory is far from perfect, but I never remember residents being so worked up about an issue–from the height limitation referendum to various tax increases to the Village Entrance and more–that they chanted anything like what we are hearing now on a daily basis.

With apologies to the council members I won’t be mentioning, imagine how shocked we would be if people started yelling “Lock Toni up” or “Peter sucks” every other Tuesday. Frankly it’s unthinkable, which begs the question: If people on both sides of the political aisle wouldn’t put up with it here at home, then why aren’t good, decent Republicans just as horrified about what they are witnessing on a national level?

I grew up in a political family. My father was a delegate to the 1952, ’56 and ’60 Democratic National Conventions. Two weeks before entering the seventh grade, my dad introduced me to then-Sen. John F. Kennedy. I never will forget shaking the hand of the future president at the San Francisco Airport.

After graduating from Stanford in 1959, my older brother worked for Sen. Clair Engle on Capitol Hill and decades later was picked to be a federal elector in 2000 and 2008. For my part, I served as a staff assistant to Rep. Don Edwards in 1972, and as a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee in 1974.

In stark contrast to what I have seen these last two years, I believe in civil discourse and the need to protect people’s right to vote. Call me a dinosaur, but aren’t these the fundamental building blocks of American democracy?

Threatening one’s political opponents with jail or worse is what dictators and unruly mobs do in other parts of the world. We never would allow that here in Laguna, so why is it acceptable, no encouraged, at GOP rallies in Michigan or Pennsylvania for example?

Mindful that celebrities like Kathy Griffin and Madonna have made outlandish statements of their own, let me remind you neither has resulted in ugly chants by tens of thousands in an arena. That said, I invite my Republican friends in town to respond to my question.

Denny Freidenrich was appointed to the city’s golf committee in 1974, represented Laguna and three other beach cities during the No on Offshore Oil Drilling fight in 1985, created the personalized lobby tiles found at the entrance to the Laguna Art Museum in 2000, and brainstormed the first public event to assist the victims of the devastating Bluebird landslide of 2005.

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  1. As a former Reagan Republican, I have re-registered as a Democrat so I can do what I can to return the Democratic Party back to a more traditional way of viewing government, where the government that is as small as possible gives anyone willing to put out the effort to succeed, a chance they would never get anywhere else in the world. Radical leftist progressives (Democratic Socialists) have hi jacked the party and career Democratic politicians have joined their agenda not because they agree but because they don’t want to give up the power and comfortably lifestyle they have become accustomed to. Each party is just responding to the other’s escalation tactics to wrestle power from the other, that’s why you hear the chants. Get the government out of the private sector and let the principles of the founding fathers and capitalism work.

  2. Wow, another liberal snowflake melting because of some words at a Trump rally. How quick to forget the hundreds of liberal protesters arrested during the Kavanaugh hearing, mobs were calling him a rapists a bit worse than “AOC Sucks”. At the same time University of Texas liberals were stealing and tearing up conservatives protest signs. And how many people have been threatened or attacked for wearing Obama vs Trump clothing? Not including Jussie!

  3. “Protests in June 2016 in downtown San Jose quickly devolved into a bloody scene when demonstrators outside the rally venue attacked the president’s supporters, pelting them with eggs and water balloons before punching them and snatching their “Make America Great Again” caps and setting them ablaze.”

    Sounds like this treatment by the left would hurt more than a few words.

  4. Black Trump supporter sucker punched in Laguna Beach:

    Maxine Waters at Los Angeles rally: “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them!”.

    “they’re not going to be able to go to a restaurant, to be able to stop at a gas station, to be able to shop at a department store. The people are going to turn on them, they’re going to protest, they’re going to absolutely harass them”

    Eric Holder: “When they go low, we kick them. That’s what this New Democratic Party is about”

    So then why aren’t good, decent Democrats just as horrified about what they are witnessing on a national level?

  5. Remember all of those Democrats rioting and breaking store front windows when Obama won? Oh wait, that didn’t happen.

    But it did happen in Portland Oregon, Los Angeles and other parts of the country when Trump won.

    And there are about a hundred YouTube videos of Trump supporters being accosted and even assaulted for wearing hats that simply say, “Make America Great Again”. The mostly Democrat controlled media isn’t interested in any of these stories of course.

    So… what was your point again? It seems to have been eclipsed by facts.

  6. I’m not your Republican friend, but I am a Republican and I’ll answer your question for you, since you seem to be having a little trouble.

    24/7 on mostly Liberal news is the message essentially of “lock him up” regarding Trump.

    I don’t know how you missed that.

    Your move.


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