A stark contrast was evident to me during a very expensive dinner I was at with many very smart people from all kinds of political backgrounds. The people who were trying to argue for Ron DeSantis being a good alternative to Trump were also the same people claiming to be experts on red wine, white wines, and their various vintages. I’m not a drinker at all, by any means. There is a running joke in my family that I enjoy only three kinds of beverages; the first is water. The second is milk. And the third is Mello Yello, my favorite soft drink. In many ways, I have never grown up to think of adult beverages as something I value. I still drink like a pre-teen, and I have no desire ever to change that. But at social occasions, I will sip on a beer or wine to experience life as its presented. I’ll do that to some extent with alcohol, but when it comes to other things, such as marijuana, in any shape or form, I have a lifelong policy against it, and I will never join in the behavior. I have never done that kind of thing privately or in a group setting, and never will. But I’ll try what they offer with beer and wine and listen to people tell me why one wine is better. Yet I don’t know the difference between vintage wine or new wine from Kroger that was plucked from grapes last week. It all tastes the same to me. And to that point, I’ve never been a small fork, big fork kind of person either. Which fork do you use for your salad, and which for your main meal? My sophistication on these kinds of things is to pull out my pocketknife, which I always have on, even when wearing a $1000 suit, and stick it into my food to eat as if I were at a campfire.
That’s when a very smart and highly educated guy who was trying to help me told me that I was drinking my red wine in the wrong glass as one of our waitresses wanted to pour me some from the most recently opened bottle. I put a wine glass in front of her to pour; she hesitated as this guy explained to me why. “You are supposed to use the wide-rimmed glass, not the narrow one; the red wine likes to breathe.” I then looked and noticed a difference, so I put the bigger glass in front of her and she poured away, and everyone at the table giggled at my expense, which I played up. I have no desire to know those kinds of things, and I think it’s funny that people think those kinds of things are important, and to them, it is. I prefer to think about really big things, and those kinds of topics seem small to me. But jokes caused by the circumstances are opportunities to find common ground, so we were all having the costly dinner dressed in our best attire, and we had a little fun at my lack of knowledge on these things. In my world, I am happy to offer other people some emotional leverage on me because it makes all the other discussions easier. My thoughts are rigid, so a social perspective concession helps make hard conversations more digestible. But because of the news of the hour, I noticed something about this event, which was paramount to the trouble with politics.
Even after all the trouble Trump is in, the RINOs and Never Trumpers are mystified as to why people still support him. The wine-drinking Democrats who locally can be found in my area at Cooper’s Hawk but generally are found at wine tastings at Martha’s Vineyard, Mackinac Island, and other highbrow places are mystified as to why Trump is leading in the polls and he actually gained in strength after the Alvin Bragg indictment. With the same skill that they put into worrying about what silverware to use during dinner or which glass the wine goes in, they are making decisions about politics that do not represent the beer-drinking public, the general people out there who actually vote. The same people who will drink a warm Bud Light out of the back of a pickup truck on a night at the local demolition derby. People do not want aristocrats who understand the difference in wines when the world is falling apart. People don’t want to be ruled by some dumb rules as to which fork to use during dinner. Most people will never have a chance to attend one $500-a-plate dinner in their lives and think about the difference between white wine and red wine. And they certainly don’t want to be ruled by people who do, and when you peel back the layers of the “hate Trump at all cost” movement, they haven’t yet figured out that people don’t like them because of their aristocratic wealth or access to the finer things in life. People want a government that works for them, which is what Trump has offered. And they’ll crawl through broken glass to get it.
It’s the beer drinkers who decide elections. And in a world where people work hard to be elite so that they can work their way into social respect because they know what fork to use or what glass the wines go in, they expect some kind of payoff, which has been ingrained in us from thousands of years of evolution. But that’s not what people want out of their elected representatives, and much of our political class has never figured it out, and realizing that destroys assumptions they have had about life their entire lives. It’s not that the finer things in life aren’t fine, or shouldn’t be enjoyed. I enjoy them when I get a chance to experience them, even if my idea of eating a finely cut steak is to punch it with my pocket knife and to stick it in my mouth like a skewer. The key to political victory is in the beer drinkers who are just as happy with a warm beer out of the back of a pickup truck as with a fine bottle of white wine. Or maybe not even drinking at all, and would prefer a glass of water to intoxication of any kind. The masses are not running for a path in life to aristocracy. And they don’t want to worship people who are so pretentious. There will always be people who will want to take those extra steps in life, but that is on them, not on a social respect that they expect will come with their knowledge of fine wines and cheese. Even though he is very rich and can afford the best things in life, Trump is just as happy with a bucket of chicken as he is with a great steak from an expensive restaurant. And that’s why no matter what the aristocrats of society throw at Trump, people will vote for him anyway because he has shown a disdain for those pretentious types, not a reverence. And that is ultimately why those who have spent much of their life thinking about such things, like James Comey and many others, hate Trump so much. Because Trump represents a rejection of everything they value as a civilization. And Trump is a reminder that that is what voters value as well, and that realization hurts their feelings and dictates their political persuasion as RINOs and Never Trumpers who will never understand until it’s too late for them.