This New York cow town loves Trump, but talking politics can get you tossed from the only bar

They were not exactly a rowdy bunch. The youngest at the table was a 47-year-old town supervisor, seated with her 10-year-old son; the others were retirees. 

They had just ordered a round of drinks, and were in the process of telling a reporter and videographer how much they loved Donald Trump when the manager of the bar came up and requested in not-exactly printable terms that they leave immediately.

“Get your show out of here,’’ is the expurgated version of what he said to a local Republican politician who had organized the gathering at this town’s only bar.

“I guess he’s not on the Trump train,” Suzanne Aldinger, a retired county employee and Republican committee member, said with a sigh after the group shuffled out of the bar and settled into a barbecue restaurant a few doors down.

Yet fault lines run through many families. Walt’s brother, 63-year-old Charles McCormick, is active in Democratic Party politics, and in fact ran against Vanessa, his sister-in-law, in 2013 for the position of town supervisor.

He believes that Trump’s policies are going to hurt the farmers by cutting off their supply of immigrant labor and limiting the overseas markets for dairy goods. During a meeting at the local firehouse last week of several hundred farmers attending a training session about pesticides, arguments broke out about Trump.

“It didn’t get to the brawling point, but there were a lot of bad words back and forth and about Trump,’’ he said.

“We are extremely divided now, just like the rest of the country,’’ said Cindy Appleton, chairwoman of the Wyoming County Democratic Party and deputy mayor of Warsaw. She said many older, traditional Republicans are discreetly expressing concern. “These people are conservative, but they still watch CNN and read the New York Times, and they know what is going on. They wanted change, but not this much change.’’

Her Republican counterpart, James Schlick, doesn’t dispute that some are concerned.  “I think I’m still Trump’s core supporter, but I got a little nervous when I saw that yesterday,’’ said Schlick, speaking the day after Trump’s freewheeling, rambunctious, 77-minute news conference on Feb. 16.

The bar Aldinger and her friends got kicked out of is owned by a former Republican town official, and used to be the gathering place for party meetings. It is run nowadays by his daughter and son-in-law, who are both registered Republicans. But they’ve stopped allowing political events, especially not events covered by the media — not with this much discord in town.

“It was going to look like a little Trump nest, like we support his views. And we definitely don’t support his views,’’ said manager Tom Streamer, apologizing for booting the group out earlier.

He asked that the name of the bar not be published, but admitted it might be too late. “Everybody in town now knows who we are.’’      

barbara.demick@latimes.com

Twitter: @BarbaraDemick

 

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