Celebrity chef and host of CNN’s Parts Unknown Anthony Bourdain is no fan of Trump, and he made as much clear in today's interview with Reason. When asked what concerns him about Trump, he responded: "what I am not concerned about with Trump? Wherever one lives in the world right now I wouldn't feel too comfortable about the rise of authoritarianism. I think it's a global trend, and one that should be of concern to everyone."
However, while a liberal bashing Trump is hardly news, what was more noteworthy is that the celebrity chef also unloaded on "his own side", when he called out elite east coast liberals - of which he admitted he is part of - saying that their “utter contempt” for working-class Americans was unhelpful and nauseating.
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.
Bingo. It is also why the "shocking" Trump presidency is nothing more than the public's revolt to "Eastern liberals" shooting themselves in the foot by overly believing their own BS.
But Bourdain did not stop there, next lashing out at the tidal wave of artificial political correctness sweeping over the nation: "I hate the term political correctness, the way in which speech that is found to be unpleasant or offensive is often banned from universities. Which is exactly where speech that is potentially hurtful and offensive should be heard" Bourdain said.
The way we demonize comedians for use of language or terminology is unspeakable. Because that's exactly what comedians should be doing, offending and upsetting people, and being offensive. Comedy is there, like art, to make people uncomfortable, and challenge their views, and hopefully have a spirited yet civil argument. If you're a comedian whose bread and butter seems to be language, situations, and jokes that I find racist and offensive, I won't buy tickets to your show or watch you on TV. I will not support you. If people ask me what I think, I will say you suck, and that I think you are racist and offensive. But I'm not going to try to put you out of work. I'm not going to start a boycott, or a hashtag, looking to get you driven out of the business.
But it was his commentary on the arrogance of the liberal superclass that all other liberals (and conservatives) should note and learn from, and it is 100% accurate.
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. Nothing nauseates me more than preaching to the converted.
The self-congratulatory tone of the privileged left—just repeating and repeating and repeating the outrages of the opposition—this does not win hearts and minds. 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.
Bourdain is, of course, correct, although we fail to see how America manages to cross so many great divides - racial, ethnic, social, religious, and of course, wealth - in the near future, no matter who the president is, in a peaceful manner.
Finally, in an amusing twist, Bourdain despises such shining examples of self-righteous liberals as Bill Maher even more than he hates Trump. When asked what he thinks of Bill Maher, his answer was emphatic:
Insufferably smug. Really the worst of the smug, self-congratulatory left. I have a low opinion of him. I did not have an enjoyable experience on his show. Not a show I plan to do again. He's a classic example of the smirking, contemptuous, privileged guy who lives in a bubble. And he is in no way looking to reach outside, or even look outside, of that bubble, in an empathetic way.
In retrospect, if more people could see the world through Bourdain's eyes, there may still be hope.