If we want more women to serve in public life, then it goes without saying that they shouldn't face harassment or threats against their family.

That's a pretty low bar, but one that hasn't been met for Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen who was heckled by protesters while eating out at a local D.C. restaurant. The most disturbing part of this story is that so many of the fellow diners seemed to side with the protesters and think it was okay to harass a public official who was having a private dinner.

Free speech is an important principle in American life, but so is the concept of privacy. What sane person will want to be a political leader if it means signing up for a lifetime of having people yelling at you and your family whenever you are out in public?

Even worse is the threats made against the First Family's son. Sure, Peter Fonda has apologized for the "inappropriate and vulgar" Twitter. But this type of viciousness shouldn't be acceptable or shrugged off as an unfortunate outburst. People shouldn't applaud the idea of someone torturing someone's child. Even when we disagree on politics. Do we really need to say that?

It shouldn't matter if threats are made against someone on the Left or the Right. But sadly it often seems to matter, and companies are much more forgiving of horrible statements made against Republicans than they ever would be if it were against a Democrat leader. That's not okay.

People in every generation have worried that their generation has become too coarse, but surely it's not too much to hope that we can return to a moment when political figures aren't regularly the target to hate and vitriol and people aren't calling for the torturing of politicians' children?