In an interview with Reason.com’s Alexander Bisley, famous chef/world traveller, Anthony Bourdain, offered several scathing criticisms for progressives:
“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.”
Bourdain went on to condemn those who castigate comedians for being offensive or challenging, adding that he would never organize boycotts or campaigns to harm someone’s livelihood because their work offends him.
“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.
I’ve spent a lot of time in gun-country, God-fearing America. 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.”
According to Bourdain, “preaching to the converted” is a terrible practice that “does not win hearts and minds.”
Animal Rights Activists
When Bisley brought up the topic of dog meat, Bourdain made his contempt toward aggressive animal rights activists clear:
“The way in which people dismiss whole centuries-old cultures–often older than their own and usually non-white–with just utter contempt aggravates me. People who suggest I shouldn’t go to a country like China, look at or film it, because some people eat dog there, I find that racist, frankly. Understand people first: their economic, living situation. I’ve spent time in the not-so-Democratic Republic of the Congo. The forests there are denuded of any living thing. It’s not because they particularly like to eat bush meat, it’s because they’re incredibly hungry, and seeking to survive.”
The globe-trotting chef noted that many people in developing nations don’t have the “luxury to think beyond their immediate needs,” and although he’s against animal cruelty, he believes activists would do well to develop “a little more empathy for human beings to balance out this overweening concern for puppies…[it] would be a more moral and effective strategy.”
Bourdain, who’s an ardent liberal, was able to shine some light on several critically flawed aspects of liberal thinking. Such intellectual honesty from progressives at large would be welcome.
Since Donald Trump won the presidential election, some on the Left have begun to examine and dissect their own culture of identity politics and elitism. Unfortunately, those individuals are the exception to the rule.