Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

If it walks, talks, and eats like an American, it might win another American election.

McDonalds caused a stir earlier this week when, via Twitter, it (inadvertently?) dumped on President Donald Trump.

The company immediately claimed it had been hacked. Is that true? I don’t know, probably? Maybe not. Regardless, it’s not the kind of attention a multibillion-dollar hamburger corporation wants to draw to itself. And to make matters worse, President Trump actually likes McDonald’s!

 

A post shared by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on

He once even cut a McDonald’s ad with your favorite fast-food nightmare, the Grimace, in the early aughts.

After this Twitter snafu, a fresh batch of people now either love or hate McDonald’s. Everyone went to their respective mattresses. Some people straight-up sneered at McDonald’s and Trump voters altogether. And that was very revealing.

Here’s why: If we’re being honest, Trump’s eating habits play into his appeal. McDonald’s slings burgers to everyone; red, blue, or indifferent. For better or worse, it’s an American institution. As are Pizza Hut and KFC. And at some level I’d bet the president is aware of this.

He may be a born-into-wealth billionaire who wants to give a tax cut to the wealthy, a guy who railed against Goldman Sachs on the trail and then stocked his cabinet with its executives, but – and it’s worth something – he talks like an average American and eats like one, too.

And when he goes out there and says he wants to save American jobs, people believe him at his word.

He’s in an increasingly public spat with conservatives in the party he now leads about the ideological underpinnings of public entitlements. He’ll vent his spleen on Twitter, make stuff up, and force Republican legislators to publicly undercut him. But he’s got some cache with voters because he’s unscripted, and he can relate.

So when he says he wants to make the GOP the party of the American worker, the left shouldn’t laugh and it shouldn’t sneer. Because whatever it is that Trump sold in November 2016, it worked enough to get him elected. Unless they work to effectively counter it – maybe start here –  it might work the next time Trump is on the ballot.