Opinion: We Deserve Five Stars

Henri Robbins | Staff Writer

The presidency is pretty funny right now. And actually do I mean laugh-out-loud funny. Ha-ha funny. Now I’m not referencing the wall or anything. It’s not about the subsequent government shutdown. This won’t bash the now all-too-normal Twitter rants of the most powerful man in the United States. This is about the food.

For those who don’t know, our president recently hosted a dinner for the Clemson Tigers, but due to the “unforeseen” shutdown of the government, it wasn’t exactly up to snuff, especially when compared to previous White House dinners. It was, simply put, fast food. And a lot of it. Pictures making their way around the internet show hundreds of boxed McDonalds sandwiches, thousands of fries, and piles of salads in plastic containers, and it all looks as cheap as ever. The thing is, fast food isn’t the worst. It does its job when you’re suddenly hungry at midnight or when you want to go get something with friends that won’t take very long and doesn’t cost much, but that doesn’t mean it should be anywhere near (i.e. a 500-foot radius of) the White House. For anyone who’s attending a dinner at one of the most well-known and symbolic establishments in the U.S., which, up until this presidency, was known for its elegance and prestige, fast food is nothing but a disappointment. That’s not saying there’s too much wrong with fast food from time to time, but dining with the President should have a bit higher expectations than what a three A.M. case of the munchies would warrant.

Admittedly, most of us have come to expect nothing from the presidency at this point, but that doesn’t mean it should stay that way. Traditionally, the dinners at the White House have always been the best of the best — five-star chefs, impeccable meal choice, and beautiful presentation. The precedent was set by every other president, and this year it was simply dropped without a word. The team was told to simply forget it, and be happy that they were there at all, even if they didn’t get what had been essentially promised to them.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that they couldn’t have that expensive, five-star dinner. A few of the more prestigious restaurants in D.C. offered up their services to the football players to make up for the President’s “dinner”. They came together, where they saw that people had been cheated out of what they were promised, and they gave the players what they deserved, and that’s what it really comes down to — people helping each other. Even through all of the surprises, through all of the hardships, we’ve come together and helped each other.

Seeing the symbolic, impeccably elegant White House with a piles of five-dollar burgers where one would normally see a five-star meal, that really shows what the last few years have been like. A beautiful setting, built up and improved for decades, that’s been ruined by the new centerpiece. It shows how we need to come together and make change when those in power won’t. It shows how we need to be willing to help each other, regardless of who we support or what we think, because there’s a point where everyone has to admit — this is ridiculous.