FLASHBACK: Anthony Bourdain on Middle America
Waking up to news of Anthony Bourdain committing suicide, it reminded me of a quote of his. Back in my political consulting days, I had made this graphic after the celebrity chef spoke out about the political climate in 2014. It's a quote that always stuck with me.
https://t.co/lUzbUDe8E1— Socially DistantAF (@Socially DistantAF) 1528457740.0
That was the thing I always liked most about him. Sure, he was a hardcore lefty. Barbecue is probably the only issue on which we agreed. But Bourdain always seemed like one of the few celebrities where even though you disagreed, you could still have an honest conversation. Unlike a lot of his famous colleagues, you didn't get the sense he hated half of the country. Anthony Bourdain was also one of the first lefties to give his side a reality check after President Trump was elected.
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. Nothing nauseates me more than preaching to the converted. The self-congratulatory tone of the privileged left—just repeating and repeating and repeating the outrages of the opposition—this does not win hearts and minds. It doesn’t change anyone’s opinions. It only solidifies them, and makes things worse for all of us. We should be breaking bread with each other, and finding common ground whenever possible. I fear that is not at all what we’ve done.
Now, before anyone says it, yes. I know he has since said mean things about the president. Out of anger. Trump does that to people. If you think that negates everything else...
It's hard to fathom how anyone could get to the point to where they feel ending their life is the answer. Especially celebrities who you would think have every option available to them. Obviously it doesn't matter. Though it does make me worry for people, like some of you reading this, who are having similar thoughts but who do not have options someone like Bourdain or Kate Spade had.
I know the world seems more and more chaotic by the day. And that's just until you log on to Twitter. If you feel you're at the point, for the love of God, talk to someone. Anyone. Even if it's just the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.