A Libertarian Defense of the Red Hen's Right to Refuse Sarah Huckabee Sanders
By Robby Soave
On Friday, the owner of the Red Hen, a restaurant in rural Virginia, asked a customer—Sarah Huckabee Sanders—to leave. The Trump administration's press secretary then exited without complaint.
It's easy to imagine both left and right upping the ante with these performative acts of resistance, further polarizing society in ways that play right into Pres. Trump's hands. Even so, libertarians should defend a private property owner's right to eject a government official from the premises.
The incident became a national news story after a waiter wrote about it on Facebook, and Sanders confirmed it in a tweet. Since then, the conservative and liberal commentariat have been attacking and defending the restaurant owner, respectively. Reason's Elizabeth Nolan Brown included a useful overview of the controversy in this morning's Reason Roundup.
A summary: Conservatives say that booting Sanders was uncivil, and we should be able to interact with people whose politics we abhor. Taken to the logical extreme, conservatives say, the Red Hen's tactic would result in separate restaurants for conservatives and liberals, which can't possibly be healthy for democracy.
Leftists say that Trump is a fascist—the purposeful separation of immigrant families and mistreatment of children offers better evidence of this than anything we've seen previously from this administration—and Sanders is complicit in fascism. Trump is neither civil, nor likely to be moved by civility, so what's the point of playing nice?
Rep. Maxine Waters (D–Calif.), a frequent talking head on MSNBC and a leader of the #Resistance, made her position clear at a rally is Los Angeles on Sunday, where