Gaffe Track: Dios Mío, What Is Donald Trump Doing Now

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

The candidate: Donald J. Trump

The gaffe: I mean.

The defense: I’d probably eat that, if maybe I were really hungry, probably drunk, and willing to waste $13.50 on mediocre Mexican food.

Why it matters (or doesn’t): So Trump has a problem with Hispanic voters—something like eight in 10 of them have an unfavorable view of him. Trump decides to work on that issue by ordering an Americanized faux-Mexican meal to mark an Americanized faux-Mexican holiday. Amigo, let me give you a tip: They don’t dislike you because they think you eat burgers. They dislike you because you’ve run on xenophobic rhetoric, suggesting that many Hispanics are rapists and criminals. At least he left out the “the” this time.

The lesson: No Hispanic voter is going to be eloted just because some moronga who’s been flautaing his dislike for Mexicans digs into a taco bowl. Unless this is part of some master flan, it’s a queso political malpractice. Save the hard shells for your hairdo.