Maybe, just maybe, some on the Left are realizing that their anti-Middle America mentality is a big reason Trump won. Of course, many others still blame sexism or Russian hacking for Hillary’s loss. The latter two are sad attempts at denying the truth.
One well-known, self-described “privileged Eastern liberal” is pointing a finger at himself and others like him.
Anthony Bourdain, who hosts a culinary travel show on CNN called Parts Unknown, seems to be accepting at least a portion of responsibility for the November 8 election outcome.
In an interview with Reason, Bourdain said the following.
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.
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.
Honestly, I was a bit shocked when I read Bourdain’s words.
I’ve seen his show a few times. He travels to very interesting places, eats food that I wouldn’t dare touch, and works at understanding the cultural trends and norms of each destination. He truly desires to know more of what makes people tick in other corners of the world. Now he’s finally doing the same with his fellow Americans on the other side of the political aisle. It only took a Trump victory for that self-awareness to begin creeping in.
I did not support Trump during the campaign or on election day, but he is our president. He will be held accountable by me and many others for his wrong decisions and questionable conservatism. That being said, I completely understand the feelings those in Middle America (where I reside) have had for a while. Those feelings pushed many to excitedly support Trump. You don’t have to be a Trump supporter to see this, as Bourdain has made clear.
Middle Americans are often marginalized by those on the coasts as being uneducated, inarticulate, not well-read and not well-traveled. Placing rural folk in this kind of box did not do Hillary any good, for she “lost rural America 3 to 1.”
I’m not saying Donald Trump is the answer. I certainly hope he proves me wrong and leads with strength, wisdom, and stands on a conservative foundation, but all that remains to be seen.
For now, Bourdain and other “privileged Eastern liberals” with an ounce of self-awareness should take note, or Trump is likely to have a second term.