Anthony Bourdain recently shared a meal with Barack Obama in Vietnam, as a part of his traveling documentary show “Parts Unknown,” which airs on CNN. Back in May, he met Obama in a local diner in Hanoi, where they sat down for a traditional local dish called Bun Cha.
Obama was in the country working to strengthen relations between America and our former adversary. While there, they contacted CNN to set up the meeting for Anthony’s show. It was a huge success, with a wildly positive response from the local people who really felt honored to see President Obama sit down among them like a regular person and enjoy their signature dish.
Bourdain commented the following week that he would also enjoy dining with Donald Trump as well, but for different reasons. “I’d like to see him struggle with chopsticks and eat a well done f—ing steak,” Bourdain was quoted as saying.
This was back in May. While Donald was already acting insane back then, his summer of mounting stupidity and increasing hate, misogyny, and bigotry have soured Bourdain to the idea. He recently revisited the topic of dining with Donald in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle:
Absolutely f—ing not,” the globe-trotting foodie told TheWrap when asked if he would care for a private dining session with The Donald. “I’ve been a New Yorker most of my life, [and] for better or worse Mr. Trump is a New Yorker,” Bourdain said. “We know him well here. We’ve watched how he does business and we’ve watched him say things and then we’ve seen whether or not he did those things, we have seen how he treats the people he does business with. I would give the same answer that I would have given 10 years ago, when he was just as loathsome,” he added.
“Look, when you travel as much as I do, I think the ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes and to empathize with people with whom you are very different, that comes along with that. I am, in fact, even in Europe seeing a lot of sort of white nationalism and alt-right. A lot of anti-immigrant sentiment, a lot of fear and undirected anger but I’ve never seen in my lifetime the kind of national conversation that we’re actually having in the open now. It would have been unthinkable at any point in my life. Eight years ago, if a candidate for a major party was endorsed by the America Nazi Party and the Aryan Nation it’s something [major figures] would feel obliged to denounce. Now, that apparently isn’t reason enough to say anything.
This sort of thing always happens with people who travel outside of the country and don’t just take in the mindless consumerism of tourism. Anthony has spent a huge portion of his life going to other nations, talking to, spending time with, and sharing meals with the most common of people. During his travels, he’s also heard a great deal of opinion about the USA and lately, the troubling thoughts people around the world have of Donald Trump and the rise of new American Nazism.
I mean, there is a sense of utter disbelief, everywhere I go, at Mr. Trump. That is for sure. I mean, I’m talking among our allies, England, France Germany, Italy. It’s the worst thing you can find. It’s one thing to be despised or held in contempt or feared, but to be ridiculed or pitied is a terrible thing.
We spent 8 long years trying to come back from the pit of contempt that the world held America in, after 8 years of George W. Bush and all the problems he caused both militarily and financially around the world.
After all that work, Republicans are at it again trying to ruin our global reputation by peddling the absolute worst humanity has to offer. They already did enough damage simply nominating the orange goon. Even if Trump doesn’t win, and he’s very unlikely to do so now, we will have to deal with the fallout of him for years to come.
Featured image via Travel Channel