Sometimes a hamburger is just a hamburger. Other times, a hamburger is a way to signal your support for the Republican Party and its fast-food loving president to strangers on the internet.
Last week, it was reported that fast food burger chain In-N-Out gave $25,000 to the California Republican Party. California Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman tweeted out a call to boycott the burger chain, which he has since walked back. In response, Students for Trump founder Ryan Fournier and other Republicans rallied online, urging people to “spread the word and get some food from there.”
Then the right-wing internet did its thing and produced a meme that is cringe-worthy, even for them.
This meme, detailing a “Republican Style” order at In-N-Out has been circulating among pro-Trump Facebook groups. It depicts “a yuge ‘wall’ of meat, with an extra large order of Partiot [sic] Fries smothered in a red wave of delicious ketchup.” It also suggests accompanying the burger with a “cold cup of liberal tears, downed by an entire 24-pack of American-made plastic straws.”
That last reference about straws is a nod to the groups of conservative posters who filled their drinks with handfuls of plastic straws in response to cities banning plastic straws for environmental protection reasons. One of those bold straw flaunters was former Pussycat Dolls member turned conservative pundit Kaya Jones, who also pounded some In-N-Out and posted about it with the caption, “Hope you have a triggered Tuesday.”
— Kaya Jones (@KayaJones) September 4, 2018
Harim Uziel, a California man who has built an online brand called “The Hardcore American Patriot” that is almost exclusively centered on his support for President Trump, posted a photo of himself at a Los Angeles In-N-Out on August 31.
“Daz right my patriots, got mine … now let me get my grub on, America first baby!” Uziel writes in the caption accompanying the post, urging others to post photos of themselves with In-N-Out food. The comment section, as a result, is filled with photos of hamburgers and one photo of someone feeding In-N-Out to a dog.
Brenden Dilley is a QAnon truther who once claimed he “pissed off a Trump” family member when he publicly doubted the authenticity of the theory. He’s also pounding down some In-N-Out in a photo he tweeted with a frequently seen QAnon hashtag.
Texas-based conspiracy theorist Alex Jones also took time away from getting banned from just about every social media platform to make a trip to In-N-Out, declaring that his visit “is like, super politically incorrect.”
“Here we are in America, in Austin, coming to a restaurant where they’ve committed a thought-crime just like I’ve done, just like Trump’s done,” Jones said.
Jones agreed to stop filming in the restaurant after a worker asks him to stop. He tells him, “This is In-N-Out burger. Dude, this is some good burgers.” When the worker leaves, Jones tells the camera, “As you can see, the corporate system doesn’t want us communicating and talking.”
Antonio Sabato Jr., an actor, model and California Republican congressional candidate running on his Trump sycophancy, tweeted that he was headed to In-N-Out with the hashtag “#maga”:
— Antonio Sabáto Jr ?? (@AntonioSabatoJr) August 30, 2018
Religious Right pastor Franklin Graham also posed for a photo at an In-N-Out that was posted by a pro-Trump Twitter user:
— Randall Wright (@CmrData) September 2, 2018
Dan Bongino at the National Rifle Association’s media arm, declared that In-N-Out was the new Chick-fil-A, which has been widely criticized for donating to anti-LGBTQ organizations.
As Eater details earlier this year, conservatives have a well-established pastime of trying to “own the libs” by consuming food.