Steak and Ketchup   Leave a comment

It must have been a slow news weekend for the liberal media, and President Trump didn’t give them enough to get hysterical about, so they decide in mass to feign outrage about how he eats his steaks. Apparently, Trump likes his steaks well-done and eats them with ketchup. Look, I’m not a fan of well-done steaks and the idea of putting ketchup on a fine steak horrifies me. If I had to guess, my hunch is that Trump’s penchant for well-done steaks is likely related to his well-documented fear of germs and his desire to not see any blood, rather than his palate. The ketchup thing I can’t speak to. Maybe it’s to flavor up a burnt steak.

Image result for image of steak and ketchupThat said, the level of vitriol and posturing associated with this revelation about Trump’s eating habits lacks all sense of proportion. It’s alright to feign outrage in an obviously humorous way about such matters. A social media friend, for example, exclaimed that real men don’t eat their steaks well-done, a sentiment I generally concur with, but a lot of the reaction has not been intended as humorous. Check out these bitter invective-filled rants from A.V. Club and Jezebel for example.

The reason the President’s eating habits have the liberal culture enforcers in such a lather is because they reinforce their stereotype of Trump as an uncouth ruffian that wealth has failed to civilize. There is some truth to this characterization, and I say this as someone who is sympathetic to Trump. The problem for the liberal Trump haters, though, is that this reality cuts both ways.

I observed very early on in the campaign that the reason the Manhattan elite crowd has never liked Trump and has never accepted him as one of their own is because they view him as vulgar “new money.” While modern “old money” isn’t what it used to be with its acclaimed WASP sense of propriety and decorum, Trump still does not pass muster with the new more relaxed version. In many ways, Trump is indeed the personification of new money faux pas. The ostentatiousness. The glitz and glitter. The name emboldened on all his properties. Bragging about his net worth and business success. Etc

The overreaction to how Trump eats his steaks is an example of this dynamic at play. Ironically, much of it is coming from faux sophisticated posers who are likely struggling paycheck to paycheck like many Trump supporters but want it known that they hold all the approved opinions of the better off crowd they yearn to join. I’m sure, for example, those freelance writers at Jezebel or food editors at A.V. Club, unless they have another source of wealth, aren’t exactly bringing home big money.

Trump has long been known for his pedestrian culinary preferences anyway, conspicuously including a fondness for fast food. The feigned outrage over Trump’s choice of condiments among the faux sophisticate set just so happens to synergize with the currently raging “foodie” craze that is popular among much the same crowd. I don’t doubt that there are people who enjoy good quality food, but I’m convinced that a lot of foodie culture is, like the related and even more obnoxious beer snob culture, largely an affectation intended to signal social identity rather than a genuine interest in overpriced and small portioned food and undrinkable hoppy beers. Imagine the delight of a liberal foodie upon discovering this story. He gets to signal his culinary sophistication and dis Trump all in one fell swoop.

Trump’s status as an outsider among NYC elites has been a feature since he first became a public figure in the 80s. Spy Magazine, for example, notoriously carried on a vicious long-running campaign to ridicule Trump that was clearly motivated by personal animus and not just a desire to sell magazines. Despite moving from Queens to Manhattan, Trump’s failure to be accepted by the elite club seems to have put a chip on his shoulder which I have long sensed at least partially motivated his run for President to begin with. I definitely believe it influences his preference for wealth created by building and making things as opposed to the finance capital that is a disproportionate source of wealth among rich Manhattanites.

Much to the chagrin of Trump’s detractors, however, Trump’s obvious outsider status is the reason why plain folks in Flyover Country embraced him as one of their own instead of just another rich guy from New York City. This is really an amazing thing that deserves comment. Trump supporters are the same crowd that Pace targeted with a series of ads in the 80s and 90s threatening to hang the guy who bought picante sauce that was made in the despised “New York City.” Who can forget the call to “Get a rope?” These are the same people among whom “New York values” polled poorly enough to prompt Ted Cruz to play that card in the primary. Yet these same people embraced Trump with a fervor that they never had for McCain or Romney.

What so many liberal sophisticates continue to miss is that many of Trump’s behaviors that so appall them are what make him more relatable to his supporters. They love the Donnie from Queens who likes Kentucky Fried Chicken, puts ketchup on his steak and swills mass quantities of Diet Coke, much more than they would a Donald from Manhattan who wants to ban Big Gulps, and they don’t care what pompous food editors at pop culture websites think about it. While they may come from and inhabit very different worlds, they have the same enemies. The same people who look down their noses and tut-tut Donald Trump’s shenanigans are the same people who look down their noses at their “redneck” ways. Trump is their uncouth billionaire, and all the feigned outrage from the liberal media only reinforces this more.

Source: Steak and Ketchup

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Posted March 4, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in cultural divide

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