Small business owner appears in photo with Trump... with predictable results

Out in Massachusetts, there’s a chain of “soda / pet stores” (yes… that’s apparently a thing) owned by an ambitious small businessman named Dave Ratner. Dave has fallen on some hard times lately, but not because of a slumping economy or sudden plunge in the soft drink and pet accessories market. You see, Dave showed up in a recent picture taken at the White House where President Trump was signing an executive order on health care.

Do I need to remind you that I mentioned Dave is from Massachusetts? So you know that simply wasn’t going to fly. The response from the left was immediate and pointed. (Boston Globe)

Ratner attended President Trump’s signing Thursday of an executive order authorizing changes to the Affordable Care Act designed to create cheaper — and less comprehensive — health insurance plans. An Associated Press photograph of the event, with Ratner smiling broadly behind Trump, has come back to haunt him.

“It was 42 years of building a wonderful brand and having it destroyed in one day,” said Ratner, interviewed Sunday morning after what he terms “the worst two days of my life.”

Ratner has been excoriated on social media, and many customers are calling for store boycotts. He was not prepared for the strong reaction.

“I feel like I walked into a room, and somebody shot somebody when I was in the room, and so people are looking at me,” he said.

Ratner has apparently been a regular fixture in that area for decades, well known for his crazy commercials and videos. The guy is a character and plays up being a wacky sort of figure. He’s also in no way, shape or form your typical #MAGA hat wearing, fanatical Trump supporter. He belongs to a small business consortium, the National Retail Federation. For years he had been able to use that group to negotiate for cheaper health insurance rates for his roughly 150 employees at the various soda and pet outlets he operates.

Then Obamacare came along and that ability vanished. He’s spent the past several years traveling back and forth to Washington and Boston talking to every official he could find to complain about that portion of the law. It turns out that Trump’s recent executive order rolled back that part of Obamacare so the group could negotiate for better rates again and the National Retail Federation sent Dave an invitation to go to Washington and attend the signing.

According to Dave, he didn’t even know what else was in the order, nor was he a fan of the President. But this looked like a good deal for small businesses so he jumped at the chance.

Now that the picture has surfaced and been passed around on social media, he’s getting menacing phone calls and facing threats of boycotts from pet owners, soda drinkers and pretty much everyone who hates Donald Trump. The local paper interviewed folks at the dog park in Northhampton and pretty much all of them were in the loop and ready to hang Dave out to dry.

Welcome to social activism on the Left in 2017. A guy who provides 150 local jobs and serves a popular (if eclectic) consumer niche was trying to find a way to get more affordable group health insurance for his workers. When that goal was achieved he accepted an invitation he’d never asked for to go to the White House and celebrate that achievement. And now the liberal hordes on social media are trying to shut him down. Over a photgraph. Great job, guys.

For a bit more of a taste of Dave’s rather unique style, here’s his video where he explains what to do if your dog farts too much.

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