Is shaming people like Sarah Huckabee Sanders by refusing them service at restaurants effective?
It’s a debate that’s been raging since the weekend, when the resistance got more aggressive toward Trump’s associates after the administration started sending migrant toddlers to concentration camps.
Harvard professor Steven Levitsky, co-author of the book How Democracies Die, was asked that question on Dean Obeidallah’s progressive SiriusXMProgress show last night.
His answer was an unequivocal yes: Shaming works.
“Public shaming has an important role. When the members of the government and when a government crosses the line and engages in unacceptable and some cases illegal and immoral behavior, they should be shamed,” he said. “This is not the government taking action to bar people from restaurants. This is essentially society itself engaging in shaming of people who arguably ought to be shamed. This is not a normal situation, this is not normal politics descending into some type of illegitimate incivility.”
Levitsky said it’s not just understandable, but “probably healthy.”
“The fact that citizens are shaming certain politicians… I think is understandable, and I think it’s probably healthy.” Author of ‘How Democracies Die’, Harvard’s Steven Levitsky, argues to @DeanObeidallah that public shaming of political figures is necessary in uncommon times. pic.twitter.com/ZgESFj2j90
— SiriusXM Progress (@SXMProgress) June 26, 2018