Editor’s Note: By all accounts, Farage loves to drink and Salvini is a foodie. Neither of them are faking it. Donald Trump also eats like that.
I hadn’t given any thought to the issue until recently.
It is one of those things like “trans” or gender fluidity. You grow up in a world where everyone agrees that men are men and women are women and there are mothers and fathers and it was common sense and a nonexistent issue until progressive activists started agitating the issue a decade ago.
Here in the South, we all love our food. There is nothing in our culture that is less controversial and more unifying than Southern cuisine. Evangelical Christianity and sportsball aren’t as unifying as grilling and chilling in the summer. Blacks and Whites both love their fried chicken and barbeque. It is so deeply woven into the fabric of everyday life that no one really notices that we enjoy and continue to develop our traditional foods. The Hispanics who live here also enjoy their traditional foods and so do the natives. Until recently, progressives used to celebrate food as the most successful example of integration.
Now, progressive activists have changed their minds. They don’t celebrate gumbo and local culture or talk to voters in plain English about issues they care about anymore like James Carville. They don’t believe in colorblindness or integration or free speech or civil liberties or law and order anymore. The libs don’t even believe in equality or live and let live anymore. Today, they have become self-righteous moral puritans who believe that eating a cheeseburger or a chicken sandwich is a moral catastrophe.
“Few everyday items have the ability to stir up feelings of patriotism than a country’s national food and drink. Political leaders are well aware of the potential food has to connect them favourably with the experiences of ordinary people.
The British prime minister Boris Johnson and most of his government ministers were all privately educated at one of the country’s most elite schools. Johnson also allegedly earned more money in a few hours than most people in the UK do in an entire year. Yet, despite this, he has managed to successfully construct an image of himself as ‘one of the people’ – and food has been an important feature of his public profile. …
Farage has often been photographed drinking in pubs as a way of showing how he is similar to ordinary people. Following a victory for England’s rugby team against New Zealand, for example, Farage posted a picture of himself on Instagram celebrating by drinking a pint of beer called England’s Glory. In this case, the exclusionary nationalist undertones typical of Farage’s radical right-wing politics were clearly visible. …
It’s not a coincidence that on the final day of his victorious 2019 election campaign, of the 11 photos and videos posted on Johnson’s official Instagram account, eight were related to food. One image showed Johnson in a roadside café enjoying a classic English breakfast of sausages, bacon and eggs, next to regular people who were preparing for another busy day at work. The caption said “Getting breakfast done!”, but the picture said: “I might be running the country, but really I’m just like you.” …
Orbán’s new-found affection for homely foodstuffs may be just another way to prove his authenticity, but it may also have been inspired by a phone conversation with one of his good friends: former Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini.
Barely a day goes by without Salvini – leader of the radical Right party Northern League – posting a picture of some fresh Italian produce. As Italy struggled to recover from the devastating impact of COVID-19, Salvini uploaded several images of himself on Instagram enjoying locally harvested strawberries, while reminding his followers that it has never been so important to buy and consume Italian goods. …”
Is barbeque a rightwing nationalist and populist cause?
Once again, I never really thought of it that way. Who has a problem with barbeque?
It has never occurred to me to be offended that working class people are buying meat in the grocery stores and cooking and preparing their own meals or that they are immoral and destroying the planet by doing so. I’m not obsessed with controlling thoughts and words either. The people who say I am an “authoritarian” are obsessed with controlling these things: what other people are allowed to say, what they are allowed to read, whether they are allowed to speak on the internet, what they are allowed to eat. They’re now saying that we have to go through a “global protein transition.”
“The image of Biden in the kitchen evoked fears about the administration’s totalitarian overreach, and suggested an inversion of gender roles—Biden, and all vegetarians, were not real American men. Boebert and others repeated talking points by Larry Kudlow, the Fox Business host and former Trump adviser, who argued the Green New Deal would be the end of grilling and traditional July 4 celebrations, stoking a panic about the end of the most masculine form of cooking and the most American of holidays with casual racism. …
Food ideology helps shape right populist discourse against liberal “cultural elites,” a white working-class authenticity, in opposition to a liberal search for cultural distinction. Although an enormous steak is expensive, it is given value as an ordinary man’s food in part through a simple or oversized presentation that makes it seem everyday and authentically American. It is also populist in contrast to liberal foods, such as sprouts, and liberal food ideologies.
This vision of traditional utopia is also maintained by the tradwives, the women in their 20s and 30s who celebrate “traditional femininity” and actively promote submission to men, homemaking, and having large families. Researcher Annie Kelly notes that this vision of nostalgic femininity is linked to white supremacy. Central to the women’s production of anti-feminist and white nationalist nostalgia are ideas of bodily and racial purity and fertility, such as home cooking as a performance of traditional lifestyles and gender roles.
For some a traditional utopia reflects an interest in wellness; a farm-to-table cuisine leading to a natural, healthy lifestyle, as well as a pure, fertile body and a slender figure. Often celebrating traditional Western foods or preparing labor-intensive meals that would be impossible for working women, tradwives link wellness to whiteness and anti-feminism. I grew up with this ideology, from a cookbook called Nourishing Traditions, which gave pickled beet and fermented cod recipes, and saw modernity and processed food as polluting to the body and mind—and challenged ‘politically correct’ nutrition.”
I actually love roasted brussels sprouts.
The idea that you are saving the planet by eating asparagus, brussels sprouts or a salad and that this makes you better than someone who eats a steak with it is absurd.