'Progressives are not served here'

Nor are Planned Parenthood employees and supporters. Nor are people who voted for President Barack Obama. Nor is anyone from the fake news media.

If we are to celebrate, as the left is, Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner of the Red Hen restaurant, for asking presidential press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave her establishment because as she said, "This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals." Then what are we to say when the political right starts excluding progressives. Just as a start. Add the rigid pro-choicers. And Democrats. Gun control advocates. Anyone with a Hillary Clinton bumper sticker.

How about a sign that warns: "Illegal aliens not served here. Show us your papers."

Even the liberal Washington Post editorial board said the Trump team should be allowed "to eat in peace." One self-styled progressive saw the consequences:

How long until Trump's fans counter by hanging signs in their stores, restaurants and bars that read "No liberals allowed" or "Trump supporters only." I bet that would play well in certain red states. And would progressives in blue states respond in kind?
Dean Obeidallah laments that "applying this to the average American divides us even more as a nation and makes it less likely that we can ever return to being the United States of America." But just as I was thinking that he understands, he slips into the progressive cant that the stakes are too high to remain silent. (See some other liberal reactions here.)
Before we rush into and dispense with comparisons about conservative bakers and florists who refuse to cater to gays, we should note that discrimination in public accommodations based on political beliefs is not against the law. Only certain classes (race, sex and so forth) are protected under the law from discrimination. The baker and florist cases involve more complicated issues involving the First Amendment provision barring government from interfering in someone's practice of religion. Perhaps only in Washington D.C. is discrimination based on political affiliation banned by law. 
Speaking of legalities, Sanders is being attacked for allegedly violating the federal ethics law by using her government account to supposedly drive away business from a private enterprise. I don't know whether that's correct, but isn't it a little hypocritical of Democrats to jump on the issue in light of Hillary Clinton's massive misuse of government accounts?
Putting legal questions aside, what we have in the case of the Red Hen is a measure of the left's raw and growing bigotry that only fuels a pro-Trump backlash. Add it to the left-wing harassment that drove Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen from a restaurant. And the left-wing hecklers that required Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to need a police to escort out of a theater playing a movie about Mr. Rogers.
Let's get down to basics and consider Red Hen restaurant owner Wilkinson's argument that "the stakes are too high" to allow the Trump team to dine. She, herself, enunciated her standard for serving customers: They must be honest, compassionate and cooperative.
Is this a test that she'll apply to all customers? How does she know. Do customers have to sign a document attesting to their honesty, compassion and cooperation?
Well, if Hitler walked into a restaurant I owned, I would refuse to serve him. That also goes for brutal tyrant Kim Jung-Un. But where do you draw the line?
More important, the issue is broader than how you consistently implement such a policy. It's about how we get along with each other. Are we to shun and expel from the American community anyone we don't agree with? Yes, separating children from their parents at the border is wrong, but can't we reserve some of our moral outrage for parents who knowingly exposed their children to such a dire consequence?
Some pro-lifers believe that abortion is murder, arguably a greater moral issue than Trump's immigration policies. But does that mean that Planned Parenthood workers should be excluded from  public accommodations? Should we keep retaliating against each other for our political beliefs until we reach political gridlock.
Maybe we're already there.

www.dennisbyrne.net

My historical novel: Madness: The War of 1812

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Comments

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  • I would rather not go where I am not welcomed due to my thoughts and beliefs. That a business owner tell me so with a red hen decal is fine with me.

    It us not only public figures who are being harassed, but private citizens as well, should they wander into a Cheesecake Factory with a MAGA hat.

    Further, I like the idea that if they are going to shame and harass based on politics, that I know so and don't contribute to their fascist beliefs.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    And that's the problem. We retreat into our own tribes where we become tone deaf to what's going on elsewhere. It just reinforces our divisiveness.Then again, as the old saying goes, "I wouldn't belong to any club that would have me as a member."

  • Is there an essential difference between not providing Sarah Sanders the service a restaurant normally provides because of her political beliefs and not baking a wedding cake for a gay couple based on one's personal religious principles? Just asking!

  • In reply to HHH Is My Hero:

    The answer is in the post. You may have missed it.

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