An ordinary lunch that the Republican senator from Kentucky was having in a California restaurant on 18 October became a source for discussions on Twitter after a man and woman approached him and one of his senior staffers to apparently engage in a political discussion with them. Although it's not entirely clear how the conversation went, the elderly woman who was filming the encounter apparently eventually lost her temper.
She exclaimed that she and the man were "from New York" and would not be "putting up with Republican bullsh*t", showing the middle finger to a person who was also recording the incident. It's unclear what exactly she was referring to, but Paul's staffer, Sergio Gor, derided her "verbally assault" on the senator, while "complaining about incivility".
Twitterians were mostly infuriated by the incident, which was far from the first occasion when Republican politicians have been unable to enjoy their meals in peace due to people harassing them over political issues.
Can’t we just be able to eat in peace.— Christine Combs (@ChristineComb19) October 18, 2019
He provoked her by sitting and eating in a restaurant. Highly doubtful that he would initiate a conversation. She came up to him.— 34Liisa (@34Liisa) October 19, 2019
Many netizens noted that such behaviour had become typical of supporters of the Democratic Party since Trump won the 2016 presidential election, expressing fear that it could get worse if he wins again in 2020.
To put it simply the Dems lost in 2016 in Trump's gotten things done so even more hate and they're really scared that they won't win in 2020 so they hate it even more— Kennth Phillips (@Watcherreader) October 19, 2019
Another example of the “tolerant left”— Travis Creed (@travis_creed) October 18, 2019
More bad behavior is on display daily from the unhinged Democrats. Republicans are generally more civil and respectful of a person’s freedoms.— Patriot-USA4ever (@PUsa4ever) October 19, 2019
Some, however, argued that people acting inappropriately due to disagreeing with an opponent's political stance can be found on both sides of the aisle.
I'm well aware of the fact people on my side of the political can sometimes behave terribly. I'm also capable of understanding that more than one camp can behave badly. Your pretense that it's one or the other is childish and deceitful.— northierthanthou.com (@Brimshack) October 19, 2019
Neither side has a monopoly on incivility. Foolish to think otherwise. And yes, these people are fools!— JRob8224 (@Rob8224J) October 19, 2019
One twitterian suggested that the woman probably lost her temper for a reason, not just because she was uncivil.
Could it possibly be because they have simply had enough?— Al Wayward (@Wayward888) October 18, 2019
Haven’t you Rand?
The woman sparked fury among netizens in New York after saying that she and the man were from the state, with users arguing that she doesn’t speak for everyone there.
As a fellow New Yorker, I'm sorry. We're not all assholes— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) October 18, 2019
I’m from NY and I just wanna say the “mental case” in this video does not represent NY. Not even close.— HOUSE MUSIC TV (@HouseMusicTV) October 19, 2019
Last June, former spokeswoman for the White House Sarah Huckabee Sanders reported that she had been asked to leave The Red Hen restaurant by the establishment's owner because she was working for President Donald Trump. Sanders noted that she "politely" obeyed the demand and added that the owner's actions "say far more about her than about me".