Celebrity chef and self-described “privileged Eastern liberal” Anthony Bourdain slammed his fellow leftist elites this week, arguing that their disdain for working-class Americans helped create “the upswell of rage and contempt” that propelled Donald Trump to the presidency.
“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,” Bourdain said in an interview with Reason magazine.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in gun-country, God-fearing America,” Bourdain continued. “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.”
A professional chef turned author turned television personality, Bourdain has spent the last decade-plus traveling throughout the United States and the world as the host of his own culinary and cultural TV shows, first at the Food Network and more recently, at CNN.
Bourdain, who is a New York City native and an outspoken critic of the president-elect, said he thinks “the rise of authoritarianism” is a “global trend and one that should be of concern to everyone.” Still, he argued, the belittling or dismissive attitudes of his peers toward Trump’s supporters is counterproductive.
“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,” Bourdain said. “It doesn’t change anyone’s opinions. It only solidifies them and makes things worse for all of us.”
He added, “We should be breaking bread with each other and finding common ground whenever possible.”