Less than two months after the presidential election, people still wonder how Donald Trump became the President-elect. Chef, television host, and outspoken traveler Anthony Bourdain is not surprised. He believes that “privileged Eastern liberals” are to blame for the shocking results of the November presidential election.
Recently, Bourdain spoke to Reason about the recent election. Calling himself a working man, growing up with traditional working-class roots, Bourdain not only tries to find those small, family-run businesses that serve authentic food, but also talks and understands why the masses are so frustrated in the United States and in countries like Italy, where the government has been dramatically changed.
“When people are afraid and feel that their government has failed them, they do things that seem completely mad and unreasonable to those of who are perhaps under less pressure.”
Bourdain explains that the “privileged Eastern liberals,” including himself, who are not sitting down and speaking to those in red states and discussing what their needs are, is the reason that Trump won. He believes that the inability to communicate with these people that they do not see eye to eye with and instead call “morons” with contempt is why Trump was elected.
“The utter contempt with which privileged Eastern liberals such as myself discuss red-state, gun-country, working-class America as ridiculous and morons and rubes is largely responsible for the upswell of rage and contempt and desire to pull down the temple that we’re seeing now.”
While Bourdain includes himself as part of the reason that Trump did win the election, he is open-minded enough to understand that the other side, the gun-toting side that picked Donald Trump to be the next United States President are trying to do the best they can with what they have.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in gun-country, God-fearing America.There are a hell of a lot of nice people out there, who are doing what everyone else in this world is trying to do: the best they can to get by, and take care of themselves and the people they love. When we deny them their basic humanity and legitimacy of their views, however different they may be than ours, when we mock them at every turn, and treat them with contempt, we do no one any good.”
Bourdain explains that the lack of communication with those who have different values, including carrying guns is why things are going to be worse in the United States. Instead, the famous chef believes that sitting around a table and breaking bread would enable both sides to uncover their similarities, not their differences, and ultimately bring people together. He believes that the public ridicule and name calling only keeps the gulf between sides more prominent.
“It doesn’t change anyone’s opinions. It only solidifies them, and makes things worse for all of us. We should be breaking bread with each other, and finding common ground whenever possible. I fear that is not at all what we’ve done.”
Yet, while Bourdain is sympathetic to those in red states that voted for the Republican candidate, the Washington Post reports that Bourdain has no love for Trump himself and disdains anyone doing business with the billionaire businessman. One example is chef Alessandro Borgognone who will soon have a sushi restaurant in a Washington Trump hotel. Bourdain has already decided he will “never eat in his restaurant” and holds “utter and complete contempt” for the restauranteur.
Do you agree with Anthony Bourdain’s assessment that the inability for “Eastern Liberals” like Bill Mahr is the reason that Donald Trump is now the President-elect? Do you think that there is common ground as Bourdain claims there is?
[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]