Trump Food Service Stunt Leaves Bitter Taste

Former US President Donald Trump helped serve Thanksgiving lunch to a group of Texas National Guard soldiers earlier this week while he was there to endorse Republican Gov. Greg Abbott for reelection. But he seemed to think the event was all about him…

Trump Lunch TX - © 2023 Daily Mail

He told reporters, after his ‘kitchen ‘shift’ was done: “The food looked very good. I wanted to have some, but they didn’t have any for me. They had none left. That’s not good. That’s my kind of food too,” Trump ‘complained’. It may have just been an offhand, jocular comment. It did, reportedly, garner him ‘a few chuckles’ from the audience. But I have a bone to pick about how the media covered it.

Upstaged the bigger issue of the day

According to coverage of the event in the major media, the comment at the Soldiers’ luncheon upstaged the other issue of Trump’s day. In his endorsement speech for Abbott, he referred to refugees from Latin America as ‘the enemy’. That got a lot of folks riled up.

But it didn’t make the lede. And as an ‘old warhorse’ of a reporter who started in the biz in the mid 70s, I have to point a bony finger at today’s journalists. They seem to consider personality issues more important than substantive policy issues. That’s totally at odds with what I was taught in J-School.

But on the food angle…

Trump is well known to have a ‘thing’ about food. Almost as big a thing as his alleged clean-freak germophobia. The media went totally nuts when Trump made a state visit to India. Where they don’t eat beef.

Can you remember any of the political or diplomatic issues raised during the visit? Me either.

The problem with Trump…

… Is that even when he says something light or off the cuff – like the Texas quip – it’s framed by the media to sound intentional. Negative intent is assumed. But Trump has to take some of the responsibility for that. It’s his manner of speaking. Always short. Often combative- or accusatory-sounding.

I venture to suggest he’s always on the defensive, to some degree or another. I mean, he must realize he’s frequently criticised, rarely complimented. If it was me, I’d be downright desperate to earn a more-positive image. But Trump sees his strength as being in his ‘base’. And they give him a standing ovation whenever he utters something outrageous.

What’s going on?

His transgressions  – political, social, moral and ethical – have been legion. And he has been roundly and harshly criticised for them. But I have trouble getting my head around why his faux pas so often involve food?

Do today’s journalists consider food and eating habits things of little consequence? Maybe. After all, the reporters, columnists and talking heads at the major media outlets are all paid very well. Some make millions a year. They have never come face to face with food insecurity, or the hard decisions millions of lower-income folks face every day due to sky-high food prices. They’ll never experience what it’s like to live on a fixed income, or be dragged below the poverty line as costs continue to outpace wages.

If influential journalists spent as much time and effort reporting on the real issues surrounding food, we might all take a greater interest. And politicians – who are also notoriously well-heeled – might do something significant to combat hunger.

Boys and girls: Food is not something to be taken lightly.

~ Maggie J.