Saturday, September 10, 2016

Basket of Deplorables

Former Longaberger headquarters in Newark, Ohio. Via Columbus Dispatch.
Clinton was pretty much right, let's just go ahead and assert it. She made her rhetorical mistake, I think, in starting with the wrong basket; she should have begun with the Trump voters she feels for, about whom she was almost a little too nice, sounding like David Brooks:
people who feel that the 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, and they’re 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 heroin, feel like they’re in a dead end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.
Of course we know from the Jonathan Rothwell study that the people she's alluding to here aren't really Trump voters at all, but nonvoters; the major sector of Trump voters are fairly well off, small business owners in living in relatively poor districts, financially secure. Nobody in those districts has lost a job to outsourcing, nobody in those districts is threatened by immigrants or members of racial minorities—they're the whitest districts in the country, and they didn't have factory jobs to lose, but never mind that. It's a convenient way of saying, "If you support Trump it doesn't mean you're necessarily a bad person or a racist, though you probably are making a mistake when you vote for him."

And then she could have gone on to that other basket: "But we don't have to understand and empathize with all of them!"
You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The 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 their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric.
"Half" is not such an egregious number, either. A Reuters-Ipsos poll in June found all Trump voters scored far higher than others on certain stereotype views of African Americans, for instance: maybe 32% thought black people were less intelligent than whites (compared to an overall average of 22.5%), and 40% that they were lazier (26.8% overall); but a good 45% of Trump supporters thought black people were "rude", and nearly 50% thought they were "violent" and "criminal". By those measures Trump supporters are patently more racist than supporters of Clinton, Rubio, or Cruz (none of whom showed up as anything like free of racism either, by the way—just markedly less than Trump).

And then as the genial Charles Gaba noted, if you took her completely literally, her "half" of the Trump following would add up only to about 10% of the US population as a whole (yes, it's quite possible that that many people could provide the winning margin in a presidential election), so it's not a slur on the entire nation. We should be so lucky as to have a deplorable population of just 10%.

But in any case when she put the "grossly generalistic" lines first, she effectively buried the "nice" lines, and never got any credit for them, and we got another "scandal". Oh well.

She has, of course, expressed regret, and put it fairly neatly:
"Last night I was ‘grossly generalistic,’ and that's never a good idea. I regret saying ‘half’ -- that was wrong," Clinton said in a Saturday afternoon statement.
Like maybe it should have been "two thirds".

Cross-posted at The Rectification of Names (where you can also find an Irving Berlin song parody, "Trump's Putting All his Oicks in One Basket").

15 comments:

Ken_L said...

It wouldn't have mattered how she put it, the freak-out from the right would have been the same. It's a calculated offensive move by Hillary, albeit with some risk, but she had to do something to seize the initiative and change the dynamics of the campaign. After Lauer's pathetic performance last week, it's clear the media would have been content to keep recycling the right's noise about her emails all the way to 8 November and beyond, if she didn't find a circuit-breaker.

And I'd prefer a robust media debate about the extent of bigotry amongst the Trumpkins to chapter the infinity of Judicial Watch's Clinton Email Woes Continue soap opera.

Feud Turgidson said...

This isn't going to hurt with any voters. It's just going to work as material for the legion of horrible media "clowns [reeking of] death hilarious .... howling in a barbarous tongue ... a horde from a hell more horrible yet than the brimstone land of Christian reckoning, screeching and yammering and clothed in smoke like those vaporous beings in regions beyond right knowing where the eye wanders and the lip jerks and drools.”

IOW MoDo. her acolytes and here imitator tots.

Jim Snyder said...

re "calculated risk", I sure hope it works.

Victor said...

A basket?

It's more like an army of knuckle-dragging "MORANS!!!!!", playing 'follow-the-Authoritarian-leader!'

In it's own weird way, Lauer's amateur-hour interviews might have woken the MSM up - at least the basket of ones who aren't themselves, "deplorable s."

And Hillary's quote might help to focus the ones in the MSM who are at least somewhat thoughtful, to realize that if we hand over the country to the Fascistic leader of an army of marching "deplorable" "MORANS!!!!", it might actually affect them and their family and friends.

Feud Turgidson said...

So far it's the best original contribution to his deplorable basket case of a presidential election campaigning year.

Blackstone said...

I like the term deplorable state, not crazed about basket, except perhaps basket cases. I concur with all comments which preceded mine

Ten Bears said...

Barely-literate bare-footed rubes sprawled drooling Pavlovianly across a "couch" the backseat out of a nineteen and seventy-one Chevy Suburban stone to the bone on the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and Kelly/Carlson crotch-shots on Fox blindly following a charismatic "leader" to suicide.

Dragging the test of is with them.

Ten Bears said...

Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and Kelly/Carlson crotch-shots on Fox Kool-Aid ... Dragging the rest of us with them.

Maybe not so stupid "smart" phone.

Bore repeating, none-the-less.

John Taylor said...

You could call the other half the Delusional.

KenRight said...

Most of the Elite crowd which are her beloved, as as provincial as the prototype small towner-and with devastatingly distorting results to the organic nation's culture the prototype small towner is the foundation thereof.

Feud Turgidson said...

Oh, blow it out your topmost right one, KenReich.

Aunt Snow said...

Ken is deplorable.

Leslie said...

Clinton has hammered yet another nail into the coffin of her Presidential campaign^^ Looking forward to Mr. Trump being sworn into office in January. Oh yeah: and I'm not a racist or a klan member. I'm not mentally retarded (I have a couple of psychology degrees) and I'm not a born-again-Christian. We are the Silent Majority and we're happy to be taking the country back. The Left and their hate is crashing to the ground.

Tom Hilton said...

I'm not a racist or a klan member....We are the Silent Majority and we're happy to be taking the country back.

Gotta love a self-refuting comment like this. "I'm not a racist, I just use coded racial language."

trnc said...

Holy shit, KenR - the next time you vomit up a thesaurus, have the decency to clean up after yourself. Also, the word "as" is not a wildcard that can mean any word you want it to.