If you own a small business and voted for President Trump in 2016 or are thinking you might vote for him this year, you might want to keep it to yourself. Because if your oh-so-tolerant, oh-so-open-minded progressive customers find out about your grave political transgressions, they might just organize a boycott campaign against your firm and seek to destroy your livelihood.
That’s exactly what happened to Thomas Bosco, who owns the Indian Road Café in Manhattan.
In May, Bosco went on MSNBC to discuss the devastating economic impact of the coronavirus lockdowns on his business. When asked by host Ari Melber how he graded Trump’s performance during the pandemic, Bosco indicated that while mistakes were made, he still supports the president. Bosco added that he also supports Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.
At this point, Melber, for God knows what reason, asked Bosco if he had voted for Trump. And would he again? The answer to both questions was yes. And that is all it took.
Here is how The New York Times described the local reaction: “The backlash was swift, as you might expect. Neighbors railed in the comments on various neighborhood Facebook groups, posting hundreds of angry messages aimed at the cafe — and one another. Some people called for a boycott.” Note the term “as you might expect.” What sane person would expect this?
One member of the mob egging on the destruction of this man’s livelihood and that of his employees was Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. She wrote, “It’s hard to ever go back.” Really? Why? Because he voted for Trump? The American Federation of Teachers has 1.7 million members. Guess what, Randi? Some of them voted for Trump. Are you comfortable representing them?
To be clear, this is madness. Bosco is a restaurant owner who opened his business to a largely liberal community that is now turning its back against him. All this, because he committed the same sin as 63 million other Americans when he cast his ballot for Donald Trump. That is 63 million people that these dour, nothing-better-to-do lunatics wish to see bankrupted.
Do those Trump voters have kids to feed? Too bad. Mom should have thought of that before she voted for the Bad Orange Man.
Does the left really want a civil war? Because such vengeful politics targeting anonymous nobodies is the kind of thing that will rip asunder our social fabric and make a common life together impossible. It will also have a chilling effect on discourse at exactly the time when everybody seems to agree a Great National Conversation is needed.
Vilifying Trump voters and targeting them for economic destruction serves absolutely no valuable social purpose. It is a temper tantrum, it is scream therapy, it is a way for mostly white, affluent progressives to enjoy their weekend in the Hamptons guilt-free. It is literally the least they can do and often the only thing they do. Nothing gets accomplished at all, but hey, at least, they showed that awful restaurant owner guy who voted for Trump!
What makes this situation all the more sad is that if you watch the MSNBC panel discussion in which Bosco appeared, he seems to be a deeply compassionate human being. Restaurants that choose to stay open in Gotham are losing money; in many cases, they are open to only keep their employees afloat.
Bosco talked about how he felt scared when the shutdown happened, and how the government helped him with a generous check. He spoke in the spirit of partnership with an understanding that we all need to help each other. And for his trouble, he has been stabbed in the back by his neighbors.
So if you’re in Inwood one of these days, stop by the Indian Road Café and grab a sandwich, support this local upstander, who committed no sin other than speak his mind. Don’t let the shallow souls of the cancel culture claim another scalp. Send the message that this a free country. We aim to keep it that way, bozos.
David Marcus is The Federalist’s New York correspondent. Twitter: @BlueBoxDave