Thursday, September 01, 2022

Prescient


Hillary Clinton would prove both prescient and a little generous in comments she made at a fund-raiser in 2016. In a little-reported (then or since) portion, Hillary Clinton would state in a fund-raiser

But the other basket, the other basket, and I know because I see friends from all over America here. I see friends from Florida and Georgia and South Carolina and Texas, as well as you know New York and California. But that other basket of people who are people who feel that government has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they are just desperate for change. It doesn't really even matter where it comes from. They don't buy everything he says but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won't wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroine, feel like they're in a dead-end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.

That part was ignored because it was less interesting and would have made Clinton look good, which was forbidden. Instead, we repeatedly were reminded that the former Senator (referred to as "Secretary," not unlike the individual answering phones at the office) stated

You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? [Laughter/applause]. The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric. Now some of those folks, they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.

Worse, but standard for coverage of her campaign, we usually (and still) heard only "you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables." There was little repetition even of her explanation because the news media would have been uncomfortable addressing the charges of racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, or Islamophobia. It

Six years on, The New York Times has reported

In the year and a half since a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, threats of political violence and actual attacks have become a steady reality of American life, affecting school board officials, election workers, flight attendants, librarians and even members of Congress, often with few headlines and little reaction from politicians....

Even the federal judge who authorized the warrant to search for classified material at Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s beachfront home and club, became a target. On pro-Trump message boards, several threats were issued against him and his family, with one person writing, “I see a rope around his neck.”

On Sunday, a US Senator lusted for violence, threatening"If they try to prosecute President Trump for mishandling classified information after Hillary Clinton set up a server in her basement, there literally will be riots in the street. I worry about our country."

Two days later:

 

A poll conducted in June of 2021 and in June of 2022 found

While 33 percent of Republicans said in June 2021 that Jan. 6 was an insurrection, that number is now just 13 percent.

While 62 percent of Republicans called it a “riot” back then, that’s down to 45 percent.

While 47 percent said it was a “legitimate protest,” that’s now up to 61 percent.

This is a slice of what most Republicans believe was legitimate protest and not an insurrection:



The sort of thing President Biden has referred to as "semi-fascism" didn't materialize overnight. It has been building for many years- perhaps even decades- and especially since the Great Escalator Ride of 2015.  

Much later in that campaign, Clinton's reference to half of Trump's supporters as being deplorable was a serious, unforced error. However, when 61 percent perceive an insurrection- however they themselves view it- as "legitimate protest," it is clear that the former Senator's comments were accurate, or at least ahead of their time.



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