President Joe Biden has no plan whatsoever to reduce Americans’ consumption of red meat. But I have it on good authority that Republicans, including thought leaders such as Donald Trump Jr. and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, want Americans to start consuming large amounts of human flesh.

I’ll get to the GOP’s new pro-cannibalism stance in a moment. But first, let’s start with the widespread lie that Biden is trying to steal your meat.

It began, as all wrong things do, on the internet. A British newspaper falsely linked a University of Michigan study on the effects of reducing meat consumption to Biden, an American president who has never said a thing about reducing meat consumption.

Again, and this can’t be overstated, neither Biden nor his administration have discussed or even suggested a plan to reduce or limit the consumption of red meat. Nobody’s coming for your flank steaks. Your T-bones are 100% safe.

But because the Daily Mail connected the Michigan study to Biden’s climate plan, America’s right-wing media ecosystem erupted over the weekend in a perverse display of meat-rage. It was a veritable beef freak out. Baseless burger bollocks.

Fox News, the network where facts go to die, ran a graphic featuring a double cheeseburger under the titles “Up In Your Grill” and “Biden’s Climate Requirements.” The graphic’s burger-adjacent text included the lines: “CUT 90% OF RED MEAT FROM DIET”; “MAX 4 LBS PER YEAR”; and “ONE BURGER PER MONTH.”

An equally accurate graphic would read: “REINCARNATED RONALD REAGAN LOCATES AND BEFRIENDS BIG FOOT, PAIR EXPECTED TO DEFEAT COMMUNISM.”

But Fox News said it, so Republicans were honor-bound to be outraged by it and proceed as if critical thinking might turn them to stone.

Trump Jr., the son of an unpopular one-term president who fomented a violent insurrection in our nation’s Capitol, retweeted the graphic and sagely added: “I’m pretty sure I ate 4 pounds of red meat yesterday. That’s going to be a hard NO from me.”

Cool. Keep that up.

Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert tweet-lied: “Joe Biden’s climate plan includes cutting 90% of red meat from our diets by 2030. They want to limit us to about four pounds a year. Why doesn’t Joe stay out of my kitchen?”

It doesn’t include that. They don’t want to limit anything. And he isn’t in your kitchen, weirdo.

Boebert’s House colleague Marjorie Taylor Greene hopped on the imaginary meat wagon.

And to avoid being the last lemming off the Cliffs of Reality, Abbott retweeted the Fox News graphic and added “Not gonna happen in Texas!”, which is also the correct answer to the question: “Will the governor ever stop opportunistically leveraging lies to stoke right-wing outrage?”

To recap: A tabloid falsely linked a study to the Democratic president; Fox News regurgitated the lie; Fox News consumers swallowed the regurgitated lie like conspiratorial ipecac then vomited it up all over the internet; America became a measurably dumber place to live.

This cycle is, for all intents and purposes, the modern-day Republican Party’s entire approach to governing. Which brings me to cannibalism, and the Republicans who support it.

In 2017, there was a study published in the journal Scientific Reports titled: “Assessing the calorific significance of episodes of human cannibalism in the Palaeolithic.” The researcher created a “human nutritional template” that calculated the nutritional value of eating humans.

The study concluded: “The use of the human nutritional template presented here highlights that humans ... fall within the expected range of calories for an animal of our average body weight.” I’m going to use that one excerpt to incorrectly extrapolate that human meat is delicious AND nutritious and every bit as good as filet mignon.

Adopting the Republican alchemy that turns fetid garbage into very troubling facts, I now falsely claim that the $568 billion infrastructure plan introduced last week by Senate Republicans calls for all Americans to begin eating other human beings, preferably liberals.

As evidence of the GOP’s pro-cannibal platform, I cite the 2017 Scientific Reports study. That nonexistent connection is all the proof we need that Republicans such as Abbott and Boebert and Trump Jr. want the average American’s diet to be 90% human flesh, thanks to its robust caloric value.

In fact, I recall Trump Jr. bragging on Twitter that he eats four pounds of human flesh a day, or something to that effect.

I encourage all Democratic politicians and all liberal citizen-patriots to take to social media and loudly proclaim disgust at this outrageous Republican plan. It has to be true and very troubling, because I made it up using the exact steps Republicans followed to loudly proclaim that Biden wants to limit Americans to one burger a month.

It’s sloppily crafted, easily disproved nonsense intended to gaslight our fellow Americans. Or, as Fox News pundits and congressional Republicans alike call it, governing.


Rex Huppke is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

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