Thursday, January 07, 2021

Thank Goodness, No Deplorables


One of these has been proven wrong and one was right. Can you guess which one is which?

In her column in The Washington Post on November 4, 2016, Kathleen Parker wrote

If Trump wins, he’ll be held more or less in check by the House and Senate because that’s the way our system of government is set up. Not even Republicans are eager to follow Trump’s lead....

The same, alas, can be said about both Clinton and Trump. Whatever they’ve projected or promised won’t be reflected in the reality of the presidency. It never is. Whatever they may wish to be, the president is only one-third of the equation — granted, with an armed force.

On a happier note, either way — cue Gloria Gaynor — oh, yes, we will survive.

Eight weeks earlier, another woman had commented

I know there are only 60 days left to make our case — and don’t get complacent, don’t see the latest outrageous, offensive, inappropriate comment and think well he’s done this time. We are living in a volatile political environment. You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?

Virtually no one stood up to agree with Hillary Clinton. Either folks didn't agree with her or, well, it's Hillary and you know those emails. Right?

Clinton wasn't completely accurate- she did make up the word "generalistic." However, after the events of January 6 in the nation's capital, this appears particularly prescient:

.... there’s so much more than I find deplorable in his campaign: the way that he cozies up to white supremacist, makes racist attacks, calls women pigs, mocks people with disabilities — you can’t make this up. He wants to round up and deport 16 million people, calls our military a disaster. And every day he says something else which I find so personally offensive, but also dangerous.

In the four years since, many people had found offensive Donald Trump, his actions and his words- but particularly his words, because that's where we are.  The culture of outrage focuses nowadays far less on behavior than on the spoken word, sometimes even from 15-year-old private citizens.

The multitudes of protesters- all were protesters, a significant minority something much worse- gathered at the US Capitol yesterday aren't all deplorable.  A few do not suffer from the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, or Islamaphobic attitudes toward which Clinton pointed.

But many of them do, and they were present at the Capitol to protest a free and fair election and to support someone openly racist, sexist, xenophobic, and Islamaphobic. (He deserves a pass on the homophobic, for all we know.)  And make no mistake about it: most of these folks are not stupid. When they tell pollsters that the election wasn't fairly held, they do not necessarily believe the election was rigged. Their response is a proxy for their support (and love) for Donald Trump and firm conviction that too many people dangerously erred and harmed their country by not giving him another chance to make America great again.

A side, but analogous, note: when a pollster once asked me whether I approved or disapproved of President Barack Obama, I asked her if there were a follow-up question in which I could indicate my reasoning. She said there was not, and thus I noted approval of an insufficiently bold President because disapproval inevitably would be cited as opposition to a Democrat routinely denounced as a dictatorial liberal.

Deplorable acts are committed by deplorable people. After many years as a reality show host (successfully) building a radically false image of himself, Donald J. Trump now has spent five years telling us who and what he is.  And so a tremendous number of people protested in Washington to overturn a democratic election in which voters decided to turn the guy out of office.

Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic or whatever, they consciously made a decision. "Deplorable" seems pretty mild now and the many wise men (and women) who reviled the candidate who warned us over four years ago about her opponent should concede error. Perhaps they would, too, but you know, it was Hillary.

 


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