The Other McCain

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No Republicans Allowed: Restaurant Owner Ejects WH Spokeswoman

Posted on | June 24, 2018 | 2 Comments


White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant where Republican customers are not welcome:

Stephanie Wilkinson, co-owner of The Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Va., told The Washington Post on Saturday that Sanders’s support of President Trump’s desire to ban transgender people from the military, in particular, was antithetical to her beliefs.
The restaurant employs several LGBT employees, Wilkinson said, some of whom voiced concerns over serving Sanders because of her previous comments defending Trump’s proposed ban.
“I’m not a huge fan of confrontation,” Wilkinson added. “I have a business, and I want the business to thrive. This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals.”
Wilkinson told the Post Sanders worked in an administration that is “inhumane and unethical.”
She added that the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families who are apprehended illegally entering the U.S. also contributed to her staff’s concerns. . . .
“Tell me what you want me to do. I can ask her to leave,” Wilkinson said she told her staff. “They said yes.”

Ms. Wilkinson is a Democrat who hates Republicans so much that she does not want to serve any Republican customers. Could I offer an intelligent discussion of the Trump administration policies that Ms. Wilkinson criticized? Yes, but you cannot argue with hate. No amount of facts or logic can persuade someone like Ms. Wilkinson, whose beliefs are based in an irrational prejudice. She hates all Republicans, and there is no point wasting your time by arguing with partisan fanatics.

A basic principle of courtesy is that one should never go where one is unwelcome. This is why, for example, I have never participated in any kind of “counter-protest,” although I’ve covered quite a few during my journalism career. When the Revolutionary Communist Party held a protest at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, I was there with my camera and notebook, but I certainly did not argue with that ranting mob of anti-American extremists.


Sometimes, courtesy is just smart business. If I had told those Commies what I really thought of them (i.e., “the only good Communist,” etc.), this might have interfered with my ability to get the story, and perhaps endangered my personal safety. So I just kept my mouth shut and did the job I was there to do. And this has been my practice at all manner of events. Covering Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail in 2008, for example, I was unctuously polite to her staff, and even met Chelsea Clinton, who struck me as very nice young lady.

If a right-winger like me can be courteous to Communists and Democrats, why can’t Ms. Wilkinson be courteous to Republicans?


Like all Americans, Ms. Wilkinson and her employees at the Red Hen restaurant are entitled to their opinions on matters of public policy, but her rudeness toward Republicans is not smart business. Lexington, Virginia, is in Rockbridge County, which voted 62% for Trump in 2016. Lexington is also home to Virginia Military Institute, where the corps of cadets are legendary for their patriotic courage. For a restaurant owner in Lexington to insult the President of the United States, by refusing service to a member of the White House staff, is not likely to help Ms. Wilkinson’s business, to say the least. Would I want any of the 6,671 Rockbridge County residents who voted for President Trump to protest the Red Hen, or to say mean things to Ms. Wilkinson or her staff? No, of course not. Such behavior is rude, and also unnecessary.

Because a courteous person would never go where he is unwelcome, and because Republicans are unwelcome at the Red Hen restaurant, the polite thing for Republicans to do is to avoid Ms. Wilkinson’s establishment. Fortunately for Republicans in Rockbridge County, downtown Lexington offers many other excellent dining choices, including Niko’s Grille, Salerno Pizzeria and the Southern Inn. No courteous Republican would ever protest at the Red Hen, for the simple reason that no Republican should ever go near the Red Hen, where the owners and staff hate Republicans so much they would not serve dinner to Sarah Sanders.

Also, courtesy would solve both of the policy issues Ms. Wilkinson mentioned in justifying her “no Republicans allowed” attitude. If the U.S. military does not want transgender troops in its ranks, a courteous transgender person would simply not volunteer for the military, and if the United States doesn’t want foreigners to cross its borders without legal permission, no courteous person would be an illegal alien.

Good manners solve many problems in life, and let’s hope courtesy will soon solve the problem of Ms. Wilkinson’s anti-Republican restaurant.




2 Responses to “No Republicans Allowed: Restaurant Owner Ejects WH Spokeswoman”

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