A server at a Mexican restaurant is sharing her unique way of supporting Bernie Sanders’ campaign by using money from customers who sport pro-Trump apparel.

Illinois Institute of Technology student Alidia Mickelson — who works part-time as a server — recently tweeted a screenshot of a “thank you” redirect page from Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign website, which only shows after a donation is made. Mickelson said the money for her donation came from Trump supporters.

“[E]very time i have a customer wearing a ‘make america great again’ hat i directly donate their tip to bernie’s campaign,” Mickelson wrote, along with the hashtags #FeelTheBern and #Bernie2020.

The fact that Mickelson is able to donate any money at all as a server is uncommon, as servers have made the federal tipped minimum wage of $2.13/hour since 1991. Even when accounting for tips, a server wage is still a poverty wage. According to a 2018 study by the Economic Policy Institute, servers in Washington, DC are essentially making the minimum wage in spite of tips, with the exception of a small amount of servers at high-end restaurants who make better wages than most.

“The median hourly wage of waitstaff in the district in May 2017 was only $11.86, including tips. At that time, D.C.’s minimum wage was $11.50 per hour. In other words, the typical D.C. server made a mere 36 cents above the minimum wage,” the EPI wrote.

Despite working as a server, Mickelson donating her tips from MAGA hat-wearing customers is on-brand for the Sanders campaign. As Grit Post has previously reported, the bulk of Sanders’ $18 million in second quarter donations came from low-wage workers. Many of these workers work for employers whom Sanders has criticized for paying poverty wages, like Walmart and Amazon.

Even though Mickelson has just 343 Twitter followers, her tweet about donating Trump supporters’ tips to the Sanders campaign has been retweeted nearly 1,200 times, and liked more than 7,300 times as of this writing.

(Featured image: Wikimedia Commons)


Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.


  1. What I don’t understand is why Trump supporters would dine in non-American eating establishments such as a Mexican restaurant – or, from my observation, Chinese restaurants (one Chinese restaurant I frequent seems to do booming business from the grubby, toothless, redneck variety of Trumpsters) . . . I mean, wouldn’t they consider such food too “un-American” for them? Not to mention wouldn’t they get upset at the staff for speaking in broken English to them, or their native languages amongst themselves?

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