Trump’s press secretary evicted from restaurant

 

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, President Trump’s Press Secretary, was asked to leave a restaurant in Lexington, Virginia on Friday evening. She wasn’t drunk, rude, unruly or agitated. The problem, it seems, is that she was there. This article is from The Washington Post, and is written with a sympathetic view towards the restaurant owner. Quote:

Stephanie Wilkinson was at home on Friday evening – nearly 200 miles (322km) from the US White House – when the choice presented itself.

Her phone rang about 8pm. It was the chef at the Red Hen, the tiny farm-to-table restaurant that she co-owned just off Main Street in Lexington, Virginia.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders had just walked in and sat down, the chef informed her.

“He said the staff is a little concerned. What should we do?”

She knew Lexington, population 7000, had voted overwhelmingly against Trump in a county that voted overwhelmingly for him. She knew the community was deeply divided over such issues as Confederate flags. She knew, she said, that her restaurant and its half-dozen servers and cooks had managed to stay in business for 10 years by keeping politics off the menu. End quote.

The smart thing to do would have been to keep it off the menu. But no. Quote:

They stepped outside, into another small enclosure, but at least out of the crowded restaurant.

“I was babbling a little, but I got my point across in a polite and direct fashion,” Wilkinson said. “I explained that the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation.

“I said, ‘I’d like to ask you to leave.’ “

Sanders’ response was immediate, Wilkinson said: “‘That’s fine. I’ll go.’ “

Sanders went back to the table, picked up her things and walked out. The others at her table had been welcome to stay, Wilkinson said. But they didn’t, so the servers cleared away the cheese boards. End quote.

No one from the party was going to stay under those circumstances. For a restaurant that tries to ‘keep politics off the menu’, this was an extraordinary move. Quote:

For all the angst that evening, Wilkinson said, everything had taken place with decorum. She had been polite; Sanders had been polite; the press secretary’s family had been polite as they followed her out the door. End quote.

I would expect no less from the Press Secretary of the President.

Now we all remember the case of the gay couple who sought out a Christian baker to make their wedding cake. It was big news, but at the end of the day, I think most of us agreed that it is the business owner’s prerogative to deal with who they please. So, from that perspective, the owner of the restaurant was perfectly within her rights and was lucky that Sarah Sanders left without a fuss.

But actions have consequences, and this is particularly important when running a business. In just about every general election in the developed world, the winner gets only slightly over 50% of the vote. Sometimes, it is not even that. So, whoever wins an election takes power knowing full well that almost half of the electorate voted against them.

So it is for a business owner that lets politics override business sense. If they had simply ignored the situation, allowed the party to eat their meal in peace and then talked about it among themselves afterwards, no harm would have been done. Nobody would have heard about it.

Now, the whole world has heard about it. Because Sarah Sanders tweeted about it.

The consequences became dire. Quote:

Between the fury and fawning of 2000 people who almost certainly had not eaten at the restaurant, the Red Hen’s Yelp reviews almost instantly averaged out to two-and-a-half stars. Another Red Hen in Washington was at pains to make clear that it had no affiliation with Wilkinson’s restaurant.

Added Sanders’ father, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, on Twitter:

“Bigotry. On the menu at Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington VA. Or you can ask for the ‘Hate Plate’. And appetizers are ‘small plates for small minds’ ” End quote.

Doesn’t sound like a restaurant that likes to ‘keep politics off the menu’ then, does it? Give me a Hate Plate with a side of fries?

Virginia is Trump country. Wilkinson claims that somehow Lexington is anti-Trump, but the nearby towns are not. Not all of their clientele are locals, obviously. Quote:

Wilkinson doesn’t know where all this will leave the Red Hen when the news coverage dies down – or even when it opens again for dinner Saturday, for that matter. In a quick Facebook scan in the morning, she learned that people are already calling for protests outside the Red Hen, hashtag #MAGA.

“Whatever happens, we will soldier on,” Wilkinson said. “Absolutely, yes, I would have done the same thing again.

“We just felt there are moments in time when people need to live their convictions. This appeared to be one.” End quote.

Having strong principles is great, but when you are a business owner, you have to think carefully about putting those principles on display. The workers at the restaurant, all Democrat voters, might very well be happy with their stand, but will they still be happy if the restaurant is forced to close because it has been targeted by angry Republican voters? These things cut both ways.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the Press Secretary to the President. She tells the world about his policies. She doesn’t actually make the policies herself. It is the President who does that so what was all the fuss about?

Still, I have to say, Sarah Huckabee Sanders is one badass woman. It was idiotic of the restaurant owner to mess with her.


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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