What others say: Sanders’ removal from restaurant in poor taste

President Donald Trump is our president.

He was duly elected in November 2016 through the electoral process. Eighteen months after he took the oath of office, we really believe it is time for the president’s detractors to retire their therapy dogs, get over the fact that their preferred candidate lost and come to terms with the fact that he is our commander in chief. People don’t have to personally like Trump or his political views – that is their right – but they do need to respect the office he holds. They also need to respect those who work for him and all Americans. We are sure there were many people who didn’t like Trump’s predecessor, former President Barack Obama, but those who didn’t like him were not as loud and disrespectful as those who dislike Trump today.

When we mentioned that all people in Trump’s staff deserve to be respected – whether they are in personal or professional settings – we meant all of them. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has done a fine job in her difficult role and should be respected for updating the media and the public on what is going on within the administration. Sanders is a highly intelligent woman who holds her own well with journalists who ask some tough questions during some of her news briefings at the White House.

What happened to Sanders on Friday night … in Lexington, Va., quite honestly seems like something that would’ve happened in the shameful era of Jim Crow. Sanders was having dinner with her husband and a small group when The Red Hen’s co-owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, asked Sanders to leave because she works for Trump.

Sanders didn’t put up a fuss. She acted like a lady and politely left. Wilkinson later said Sanders’ support of the Trump administration’s policies banning transgender people from the military and separating families at the border was at the heart of her decision.

Wilkinson’s actions, while not illegal, are simply reprehensible. Sanders is an American citizen, she is serving our country as a member of Trump’s team and was harming nobody by being in this restaurant. Wilkerson was way out of line in asking her to leave and should be ashamed of herself …

Sanders was spot on after the incident when she said: “We are allowed to disagree but we should be able to do so freely and without fear of harm. And this goes for all people, regardless of politics. Healthy debate on ideas and political philosophy is important, but the calls for harassment and push for any Trump supporter to avoid the public is unacceptable.”

People can disagree respectfully with Trump’s policies on issues all they want, but no member of his cabinet or team should have to fear going into a public place and being told to leave. Wilkerson exhibited bad manners as well as deplorable judgment. What kind of business plan is one that sends the message to potential customers that it doesn’t need the business of Trump supporters?

It’s people such as Wilkinson and others who are intolerant of other views who further divide this country, not people such as Sanders who has a difficult job and does it well.

—The Daily News of Bowling Green, June 27, 2018

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