An American acquaintance of mine recently remarked that she was completely baffled as to why non-americans should take so much interest in (and get so worked up about) the upcoming US Presidential Elections. I explained to her that this was largely because our own dead political parties are, for all intents and purposes, so identical in policies and so bland in personality that it really makes no difference whom you vote for – that is, after all, how oligarchies work right? Heaven forbid New Zealand should have an effective Libertarian party, that can appeal to voters with crazy ideas like the right to be free from government interference! And also, I think for the reason that, for millions of people around the globe, obtaining the office of President of the United States is an aspiration so impossible that you may as well have tied it to a million kilometre pole attached to a SpaceX Rocket that had been fired into that enormous black hole that lies at the heart of the Milkyway Galaxy, which goes some way to explaining a lot of people’s general fascination with the US election cycle. Anyway, whatever the criticisms of the American system at least the yanks seem to get a genuine choice, although I freely concede that this particular election cycle seems far more batshit crazy than usual – and that’s saying something!
In the past breweries have largely stayed away from producing ‘political’ beers, but ever since the rise of Donald Trump, several high profile craft breweries have decided to release labels explicitly voicing criticism of the billionaire. Ever since Chicago-based 5 Rabbit Brewery renamed a Summer Ale they’d been producing for one of Trump’s bars to ‘Chingu Tu Pelo’ or ‘Fuck your Hair’ in protest over Trumps infelicitous remarks about Mexicans, a number of high profile figures in the craft beer have decided to nail their colours to the mast, so to speak. 5 Rabbit were joined in solidarity by fellow Chicago brewers, Spiteful Brewing who have also produced a beer titled ‘Dumb Donald’ with a label that depicts the billionaire as a missing-link ape type specimen. That sentiment has been echoed by Philadelphia’s Dock Street Brewing who have announced plans to produce a series of brews under the title of ‘Friends don’t let Friends Vote Drumpf’ in reference to comedian John Oliver’s deeply unfunny and unsuccessful attempt to mock the Trump family's original German name, which was anglicised before the first world war.
Weirdly, this outside interest in the US election has manifested itself in the NZ craft beer community in the form of #DumptheTrump and #Trumphatesbeer. Andrew Childs from Behemoth Brewing Co has been the most prominent of Nz’s Anti-Trumpist craft beer warriors with his Behemoth ‘Dump the Trump’ American Style IPA. This was followed by the Brothers Beer craft beer pub in Auckland who recently posted a photo of their ‘Trump hates beer’ sign that briefly started the particularly asinine #trumphatesbeer to trend on Twitter. Apparently none of the morons who used this hashtag had bothered to check out the annual Wine and Beer Festival held at the Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles which draws sizable crowds and hosts over 30 of America’s finest craft brewers including Ballast Point, Mission Brewery, Sierra Nevada and The Boston Beer co. My point is, the hashtag was both dumb and untrue and if the craft beer community wants to start producing commentary on issues of politics and social justice then they should, in my view, at least try to be witty and factual, rather than boring and weak minded.
As an ardent defender of free speech I completely defend Behemoth Brewing Company’s right to produce a label like ‘Dump the Trump’. But in the marketplace of free ideas that also means that the sentiments behind such statements are open to fair criticism. In an article on Stuff.co.nz Behemoth’s maestro, Andrew Childs said:
“I’m just a complete and utter American politics geek, I take the day off to watch it. I’m a big fan of Obama and at first I thought using Bernie Sanders would be amazing, but on the other side of the coin Donald Trump would be the worst thing that has happened to the history of the Western world.”
Now, I’m assuming that Andrew is engaging in some hyperbole here: ‘Worst’ thing in the ‘history’ of the Western civilisation? What? You mean, ‘worse’ than the millions of men slaughtered in WW1? ‘Worse’ than the Great Depression or the Spanish Inquisition? Jesus Christ, Trump talks about controlling illegal immigration, scrapping the Trans Pacific Partnership (which everyone knows is a corporatist swindle of epic proportions) and restricting the excesses of globalism, and otherwise perfectly nice people lose their collective marbles. Oh, and I know there’ll be people saying, ‘sheesh dude! it’s just a bit of a laugh! Settle down!’ But if that’s the case where are all of the irreverent anti-Clinton labels?
Just to be clear I’m not a particularly big fan of Donald Trump. Setting aside the fact that he sports a hairstyle so bizarre that it looks like he’s downloaded it from Neptune and that his speeches almost uniformly consist of him bellowing at everyone as though he were a 7-foot-tall, kick boxing, model shagging (sadly true), king-cocked stallion, means that it’s really difficult to listen to him for more than 120 seconds without feeling the urge to hurl yourself head first from the nearest clock tower in an attempt to smash your own brains out on the pavement, but I can still understand why perfectly good and decent people are angry enough to consider voting for him as a protest against the Elites who have rigged the game to enrich themselves at the expense of the rest of us. Many of Mr Trump's supporters are blue-collar types, and beer is a traditionally blue-collar beverage, which also gives the #DumptheTrump signalling more than a whiff of middle-class snobbery - which I for one can't fucking stand. Besides, despite Trump’s many foibles nothing he’s said or done comes close to the sheer awfulness of Hitlery Rotten Clinton: a politician so ghastly that she can’t go a week without fresh allegations of corruption, racketeering, cronyism, lying under oath and on and on and on. This despicable entity is directly responsible for destroying Libya and Syria (which she joked about) and is without a doubt the most corrupt individual ever to run for the presidency (And don’t even get me started on Vince Foster!). Hillary Clinton. Is. The. Fucking. Devil. But for some reason this loathsome skinbag gets a pass for her crimes seemingly to the point that if she were to end an interview by activating a previously concealed, back mounted, Copter-pack and hovering in the sky while indiscriminately firing a hand gun into crowds of poor people, we’d still have a legion of utter twats signalling their ‘virtue’ on social media with their poorly photographed glasses of Dump The Trump IP-bloody-A.
I’ve got nothing against Andrew Childs or his Behemoth Beers (which are, for the most part, very good) but some people need to get a fucking clue.
Besides, Hillary Clinton is so inept she can't even poor a beer properly:
And you'd rather she was in charge of the Nuclear Arsenal?