Donald Trump has a lot of supporters. Some of them, like the Daily Stormer (a Neo-Nazi rag), white nationalists, and the KKK have been there from the beginning. Others, like the angry hateful losers in the alt-right, are just now catching on.
One thing I’ve silently been wishing for is that someone outside of the media calls these hateful bigots out for what they are on the national stage.
Well, my wishes have been answered: Hillary Clinton took a shot at Trump’s supporters while speaking on Friday, calling them “deplorable” bigots.
And, predictably, the right-wing is up in arms. Because the only thing right-wingers hate more than minorities is being called out for being a racist.
“Basket of Deplorables”
While attempting to explain the support for Trump, Clinton told an audience of donors on Friday that half of Trump’s supporters are “the basket of deplorables,” referring to their xenophobia, racism, and white supremacist thinking:
“To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, 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.”
Clinton would go on to note that some of Trump’s fans were “irredeemable” and “not America.”
Predictably, Trump’s campaign responded with the finesse and intelligence that we’ve come to expect from the Muskovian candidate.
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) September 10, 2016
If they are indeed “millions of Americans” then they needed to be insulted. To tolerate intolerance is cowardice, and I’m glad she’s finally thrown being politically correct to the wind and called Trump’s supporters out for what they are.
Clinton would go on to acknowledge the other half of Trump supporters, saying:
“That other basket of people are people who feel that government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures. They are just desperate for change. Doesn’t really even matter where it comes from.”
“They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they’re in a dead end. Those are people who we have to understand and empathize with as well.”
And yet, despite feeling that the government let them down, they continually vote for the party that wants to destroy functioning government. I mean, there comes a point when you have to wake up and realize you cut your own nose off unless you lack self-awareness completely.
Still, my initial impression was, “really? It’s only half?” After all, Trump’s supporters believe some crazy racist stuff: for instance, Trump’s fans are more likely to describe African-Americans as “criminal,” “unintelligent”, “lazy,” and “violent” according to a poll by Reuters/Ipsos.
One poll isn’t enough, so consider this: he often retweets from racist fans — in fact, he caused a scandal by retweeting from a neo-Nazi. Nearly 43% of his fans believe that there’s discrimination against whites, and for deeper insight into the people behind him, consider these videos (be warned; the language gets rather rough):[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1oUIg0qknw&w=630&h=381] [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=955qKlRlKHY&w=630&h=381] [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ups4FeSuHvY&w=630&h=381]
And that’s not all of the videos I could find, either. Trump and his supporters are racists, with varying degree of fascism or authoritarian nationalism coloring their perspective.
So good on Clinton for throwing political correctness to the wind and calling Trump’s supporters out for what they are. And if they can’t handle it, well . . . bullies tend to be extremely thin-skinned, don’t they?
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images