I’d like a hamburger with a side-order of Donald Trump and Tito Ortiz
WASHINGTON. Since 1995, TK Burgers in Huntington Beach, California, has provided charbroiled goodness to free-spirited Southlanders. But the progressive, anything-goes, let-your-freak-flag-fly, and permissive Golden State is anything but tolerant these days.
No mask to hide behind
When a man stepped up to the counter and placed his order for a burger and fries, he was denied. You see, he wasn’t wearing a mask in accordance with California’s draconian COVID-19 edicts and store policy. It was a gutsy move on the part of the TK Burgers employee, considering the customer in question was former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion and mixed martial arts fighter, Tito Ortiz.
And Ortiz just happens to be Huntington Beach’s mayor pro tem.
Ortiz left the burger joint, positioned himself before the establishment, pulled out his cellphone, and recorded a short video for uploading to social media:
“First time all year that I’ve actually been forced to wear a mask, but I’m not wearing a mask. TK Burger, you lose my business. You lose H.B.’s [Huntington Beach’s] business.”
As expected, the TK Burgers franchise saw a decline in customers. A fact that engendered hard feelings toward Ortiz among local business leaders suffering financially under California’s harsh lockdowns. The Huntington Beach city council even threatened to strip Ortiz of his mayor pro tem title… an elective position.
As the Los Angeles Times reported:
“Huntington Beach – a largely conservative city that’s gained national attention as a hotbed of rebellion against COVID-19 restrictions, including mask-wearing – is experiencing its own skirmish in the larger GOP battle over the future of the party post-Donald Trump. To many, the 46-year-old Ortiz is a local version of Trump, a larger-than-life celebrity who speaks through social media, shares right-wing conspiracy theories, and has garnered a legion of fiercely loyal fans.”
The real resistance
From the halls of power on Capitol Hill to a beachside California burger joint, an in-your-face, militant resistance movement is rising across the nation. Its targets are the unremarkable men and women who issue totalitarian mandates to a once-free people. Those who demand we wear a talisman of submission, a facemask.
What frightens the media, Democrats and old-line Republicans is the transformation that continues within the GOP. Whether expressed through the rise of Donald Trump on the national level, or Tito Ortiz at the local. Millions of Americans reject the tired, do-nothing Republican politicians of the past. Rejecting the ivy league suits for a hard-hitting, unconventional New York City real estate developer, or a mixed martial arts champion.
And this new Republican isn’t swayed by fake news. And so, the mainstream media has developed a codeword for the alternative information sources these new Republicans seek: “conspiracy theories.” This from the same media continues to promote the theory that Trump was an intelligence asset of Russia.
Not my president
Of last November’s election, Ortiz said at a Stop the Steal rally,
“We’ve got to be on the right side of history, the good side of history. This is good versus evil. I don’t want a communist country.”
The fear is that a new Republican Party is rising. And it’s made of those forgotten Americans brought into the GOP by Donald Trump. These recent Trump inductees aren’t cowed by the mainstream media any more than they are by the party’s pinstriped elites. The ones who hold their nose while talking to average Americans, considering them the uncouth “mob.”
As Trump said during his speech before the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida:
“Now more than ever is the time for tough, strong and energetic Republican leaders who have spines of steel. We cannot have leaders who show more passion for condemning their fellow Americans than they ever show for standing up to Democrats, the media and the radicals who want to turn America into a socialist country.”
“…condemning their fellow Americans…”
It’s clear Trump was speaking of those Americans who stormed the US Capitol last Jan. 6th. The men and women who refused to accept the voter fraud that installed former Vice President Joe Biden in the White House. Americans like Huntington Beach’s Mayor Pro Tem Tito Ortiz.
You can taste the fear
Right-Wing Watch, the watchdog organization created by liberal T.V. producer Norman Lear, notes:
“While Trump’s history with the UFC dates back nearly two decades, his continued attachment to the violent sport is due to an acute awareness that a significant portion of the UFC’s fan base leans conservative. The company is also partial to Trump, and UFC President Dana White, a Trump fan, spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2016 and 2020, as well as at several Trump rallies… the MMA fighter [Ortiz] is an extension of Trump’s political ideology and a personification of the modern GOP – a racially-fueled, conspiracy-theory-driven party filled with poisonous masculinity, toxic militarism, and patriotic propaganda. Ortiz happens to meet all the aforementioned requirements in spades.”
And there you have it. Masculinity and patriotism threaten to turn the GOP from a collection of weak, non-confrontational lemmings into a functioning opposition party. The throwaway racism charge is rich considering Ortiz is a Hispanic American.
According to VOX,
“It came as a surprise to some Democrats that Trump was able to eat into Biden’s margins among Latinos in certain corners of the country… Biden underperformed dramatically in 2020 compared with Clinton in 2016.”
Republicans need to man up
In other words, toxic Republican emasculation is a decided turnoff. Not unlike an unappetizing, small and fat-laden beef patty hidden under an avalanche of masking condiments. A Republican Party without the influence of men like Donald Trump and Tito Ortiz is just an unappetizing glob of grease.
And like the Huntington Beach burger shack condemned by Ortiz, will end up losing customers.
Top Image: Tito Ortiz takes to social media. Los Angeles CBS affiliate KCAL screen capture.