One-dimensional East Coast liberals who neither recognize nor tolerate any perspective but their own triggered the chain reaction of popular anger that landed President-elect Donald Trump in the White House, according to celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.
“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 up swell of rage and contempt and desire to pull down the temple that we’re seeing now,” Bourdain told Reason.
Bourdain, who hosts CNN’s Parts Unknown, said there are many similarities between East Coast and heartland dwellers.
“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,” he said.
In an Eater interview in December, Bourdain made similar remarks.
“I think to mock constantly, as so much of the left has done — to demonize, to ridicule, to treat with abject contempt people who live in a very different America than they live in — is both ugly and counterproductive,” he said.
“There are a lot of people who are pissed off, they’re tired of being talked to like that. There are a lot of people in this world who, when an Applebee’s moves to their town, it’s a big deal — and I don’t mean that in a dismissive way. Where somebody coming to take your guns away is a big concern,” the celebrity chef said.
Bourdain denounced “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,” he told Reason.
So does liberal censorship of free speech, Bourdain said.
“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,” he added.
Bourdain cited HBO host Bill Maher as an example of what’s wrong with the left, calling him “insufferably smug. Really the worst of the smug, self-congratulatory left.”
“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,” he said.
Bourdain said liberals fail to recognize that traditions run deep in America’s heartland.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in Trump country. I have a lot of sympathy, and I believe understanding, for cultures and for places where gun culture goes so deep — that first cold morning when Daddy takes a young boy out hunting with him, lets him use a rifle, shows him how to use it — I know how emotional and how deep that goes,” he told Eater.
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