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Let them eat Big Macs – why Trump gets America

More than snobby Washington ever will

January 15, 2019

2:39 PM

15 January 2019

2:39 PM


JESSICA (Harvard ’09, JP Morgan ’10 to ’12, Obama White House Staffer ’13 to ’16) is returning to her Georgetown apartment after her morning Tibetan throat singing class. There is a yoga mat under her arm. She shares the apartment, and a lovingly open relationship with ZAK (Columbia ’10, Senior Green Urban Planning Correspondent at Vox.com, Fellow of the Aspen Institute for Ideas ’14 to ’17), who is blogging at their Hygge-influenced open-plan kitchen. JESSICA looks visibly disturbed.


Honey, what is it, is everything OK?


It’s… It’s…


Don’t worry about the Whole Foods delivery. It came just after you left. The chia seeds, flax seeds, pea protein, dried goji berries, resistant potato starch, turmeric powder, and collagen hydrolysate were all in there. They even remembered the coconut oil this time!


No it’s not that.


What is it?


It’s Trump… Did you see what he did this time?


The Big Macs?

JESSICA begins to ‘literally shake’. Her yoga mat falls to the floor and unfurls.


Not just the Big Macs… He put packets of Hot Mustard sauce in the Eleanor Roosevelt silver servewear… Zak, I – I don’t think…

ZAK pushes back on his chair and slowly runs both hands through his hair. He gets up and hugs JESSICA.


It’s going to be fine baby. Just remember your breathing exercises, OK? Alternate nostril breathing, just like you were doing this morning, OK?

JESSICA begins to weep.


I think I need to some send some tweets now.


The Trump presidency is the great bowling ball that has smashed the snobberies and shibboleths of liberals worldwide. Like a maimed group of skittles, their assumptions about the world, about politics and about human nature itself have collapsed. All that survives is a near carnal sense of rage.

Free as he is from honesty, decency, manners, moral scruples and any sense of good taste, Trump is able to move through our postmodern media landscape with the brutal straightforwardness and eye for a winning image of an older kind of strongman politician.

As the clearly delighted Clemson team filed into the White House State Dining Room for their McNuggets, so too did the baffled, outraged tweets flood into news feeds. Freezing these images in mind, that of ringmaster Trump looming over the tastefully plattered Big Macs and that of the lonely, angry septum pierced libs tweeting from Portland, holds the key to understanding what may one day be called the Late American Republic and its cold civil war.

The fast food tableau, with its innate virality, also serves as a reminder that Trump should not be underestimated going into 2020. Too often analysis of this presidency is an analysis of the morality of the President. Too often Trump’s telepathic understanding of what his followers want is written off or simply forgotten. Describing yesterday’s feast as ‘all American stuff’ is exactly what they crave to hear.

The only surprise left with these stunts are that anybody else is still surprised.

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