*I like Anthony Bourdain, I really do. I consider him to be a world citizen who, for the most part, gets it when it comes to understanding the world and the people in it.
Which is why it pains me to write a post ripping him for his latest pronouncement about the white working class and politics in this country.
"Anthony Bourdain, an outspoken critic of President-elect Donald Trump, has called out "privileged Eastern liberals" - including himself - for their "utter contempt" of working-class Americans that he says made Trump's presidency possible...
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,....
I've spent a lot of time in gun-country, God-fearing America," he added. "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."
I have been seeing a lot of this kind of commentary since the election: Sympathy for the "poor working class white guy" who has been left out of the political mainstream by the political class and the elites in Washington.
I call bulls**t.
First, they are white, and let's not kid ourselves, they are not missing out on any of the privileges in this country. The government, as it is currently structured, did not fail these people. They have, for the most part, failed themselves. They have held twenty and thirty dollar an hour jobs working in mines and steel factories for years, and they failed to see the global revolution coming. No one is denying them their basic humanity or mocking them. They are properly represented in Washington and the halls of power by a very conservative and republican legislative body.
I am sorry, unlike Bourdain and the other apologists, I view "God-fearing America" and "gun-country" a little differently than they do. To me, there is nothing "God-fearing" about these people. Their history tells me something quite different.
I suspect that the reason trump did so well among them had nothing to do with him running as an outsider who is going to shake up Washington, but had more to do with him running as the candidate for certain kinds of white people who was supported by the likes of David Duke and the folks in the alt-right movement. There is nothing wrong with wanting your race to be recognized and properly represented , but let's not pretend that it is something else. Trump built his political career on a campaign to delegitimize the president and has drawn like-minded people to his movement.
"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."
Mr. Bourdain and others should be lecturing them, not us. I suspect that they don't want "common ground", they want things the way they were, and there was nothing "common" about that.
*Image from ModernMom.com