Fast food aficionado and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is at it again. Last night, after campaign stops in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Trump posted this photo to Twitter:
There’s a lot to unpack here.
This is, yes, a photograph of Donald Trump eating Kentucky Fried Chicken with a knife and fork on his luxurious private plane. Also before him is a side of mashed potatoes (and gravy), which look untouched. There is no sign of biscuits, but we will not rule out the possibility that they are there, out of frame.
GrubStreet pointed out that the knife Trump is holding appears to be a butter knife, which is far too dull to cut into a thick piece of fried chicken. This raises a number of serious questions: Is this just a staged photo-op? If so, why the knife and fork? Is Trump just going to eat the chicken with his hands, like a regular Joe, after the camera is off?
Some have put forth the theory that his hands cannot hold the large piece of chicken. Others have posited that the miniature salt and pepper shakers are present in order to make Trump’s hands appear larger. That, also, raises an important question. Is he putting salt and pepper on his fried chicken?
Trump declared last year that he’d be the “healthiest president ever.” But on the campaign trail, he’s been seen eating everything from burgers to taco bowls to the mother of all super-foods, pork chop on-a-stick from the Iowa State Fair. To celebrate his clinching of the Republican nomination, Trump posted an Instagram of himself, in apparently the same seat on his plane as in the KFC photo, eating a McDonald’s hamburger and french fries.
And yet, for all his fast food expertise, Trump once inexplicably called a McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish a “Fish Delight.”
Trump has previously attacked former Republican nominee John Kasich for his table manners. ”I have never seen a human being eat in such a disgusting fashion,” Trump said of Kasich. “Do you want that for your president? I don’t think so.”
Trump, meanwhile, is a master in the dark art of unwarranted knife-and-fork usage. In 2011, Trump and Sarah Palin ate pizza with the utensils at a pizzeria in Manhattan’s Times Square. Palin, who’s from Alaska, can perhaps be excused. But for Trump, who purports to be a genuine New Yorker, there is no such absolution.
Trump’s chicken debacle would be but a silly distraction in a sea of actual, racist, xenophobic transgressions he’s made so far this campaign, if not for the fact that it undermines his facade as, you know, a “regular guy.” One of the boys. A man who’s had to work for everything in his life, takes nothing for granted, and is just trying to get by in this stressful world. That’s one of the reasons many of his supporters defend him.
Despite his aristocratic food stylings, and evidence showing he grew much of his fortune at the expense of working people, Trump has cultivated an everyman persona that appeals to millions of Americans. One tweet won’t undo all that.
Unless, of course, he’s seen eating a banana with the peel on. That would be truly unforgivable.