We’ve all read over the last couple of days how the president, out of his own pocket, treated the Clemson Tigers, the National College Football champions, to a fast-food feast at the White House. Wendy’s, Dominos, and McDonald’s fare was on hand and the Clemson QB liked it. He called the trip “awesome.”
Seems innocent, right? Where is the issue? Anyone of us who has had teenage sons knows they probably preferred that to other grub normally served at the Executive Mansion. I’m personally convinced of the McDonald’s magic, as my parents beneficently bought it for us as an infrequent treat during my 1960s childhood. It is a given that the franchise has some super secret ingredient, especially in their French fries, that makes the consumption of their food every once in a while, even though you know there are much better burgers around, like a fever that needs to be quelled. When they were younger my kids partook as well.
But there are people who thought the president somehow insulted these college athletes with his spread. That it was demeaning and beneath the dignity of the White House.
And there, right there, is the reason Trump won the presidential election.
Stay with me here.
America, regrettably for my fellow elitists, was founded as an upstart egalitarian nation. If not, why did the ingrate colonists boot out Good King George? From the election of Andy Jackson, to Harry Truman, to Donald Trump, Americans like to regularly give a swift kick in the pantaloons to those who would lord it over them. Does this also manifest itself in a certain clod-hopping anti-intellectualism and pitchfork ignorance? Yes. But that is the price you pay in a constitutional republic run indirectly by the people. And there are a lot more of the common man than there are of the uncommon elite. Which, of course, makes it fun to be an elitist.
For the better part of our political history populism was aligned with the Democratic Party and the Left in general. The Republicans and the Right were supposed to be the idiot sons of self-made men, jolly rapers of nature, and muttonchopped robber barons.
The little people, not leprechauns, had few things in common with them and in their huddled numbers in the cities voted for Dem machines. The Civil War brought more into the GOP fold because of the party’s identification with the Union. But Democrats still were the party of the underdog worker against the top-hatted wealthy caricature. The truth was much more complicated, but that was the easy perception taught to and internalized by most Americans. Franklin Roosevelt amplified the spin and solidified many groups under the Dem umbrella for more decades.
But then, the 60s came and changed all that.
The children of middle and upper middle class homes went Bolshie and working class kids and their families found they had little to nothing in common with the petulant scruffy defenders of Ho Chi Minh cavorting on the campuses of Harvard and Yale.
In turn, the Ivy Leaguers came to understand that they loved “the people” as a concept but loathed them as individuals. These cave-dweller reactionaries stood in the way of social justice and the coming bright shiny triumph of socialism. Thus, they were to be regarded as talking toe fungus.
As the years passed the new political definitions set in cement. Today, a topsy turvy version of our traditional perception reigns where white working class families align with the GOP, many on purely social issues, while formerly hippy/current toffs now approaching their dotage tend to vote Dem. Minority families vote Dem, though ultra-conservative on social issues, because they have been subject to a steady drumbeat of false grievance for so long it could pass in a pinch for “A Clockwork Orange“-like programming.
And now, we’re back to fast food.
The convenience of a McDonald’s or other such venues are fine for middle class families. The food is okay (again, the fries are narcotic), relatively inexpensive, and usually liked by kids. Easy peasy. Perfect in the car during a run to football practice, ballet rehearsal, or when cooking isn’t the best option given family schedules.
But in the tofu households of the aforementioned PC class all that red meat, sugar, and god knows what else is looked upon as poison to be avoided at all costs. Worse than that? It’s embarrassing. The gardener and his family eat fast food. Thus the poodle people couldn’t possibly. Who knows? You might even catch toxic masculinity from it!
So when the president laid out his feast he was doing what he does best. Baiting the Left. He is canny and knew what the reaction would be. He also surmised what the reaction to the reaction would be with working families like the ones in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan who gave him the margin of victory in 2016. It also must have amused him that he was using McDonald’s as bait, as Joan Kroc, the wife of founder Ray Kroc, gave millions to various left-wing causes. And we all know that Chic-fil-A is the power food for conservatives anyway.
Am I overthinking this? Just go with it.
When we see the president munching a quarter pounder with cheese meal on Air Force One it is the same message. It also plays into the president’s I Don’t Give a Damn What the Left Thinks persona, which is perhaps his most endearing quality. This guy, with more money than the Executive Board of the ACLU combined, does not stand on ceremony. He eats what he wants where he wants. The froo-froo Food Police can lump it.
The Left will turn up their collectivist noses at his blatant disregard for their cultural norms, express their heartfelt compassion for “working families,” and order the kale salad at that chic new eatery next to the Womyn’s Book Store in that quirky newly gentrified section of town. Salad dressing on the side, please. Their sincerity will look as legitimate as Elizabeth Warren downing a beeeah.
BTW, note to squaw: You represent Boston in the U.S. Senate. That should have been a Sam Adams Winter Lager, poser.
The president? He’ll merrily chomp on those glorious McDonald’s fries all the way to reelection. He’s McLovin’ it!