This moment may mark the end of her campaign
Back in the spring of 2009, Glenn Beck started the 9-12 movement to remind us of the unity we felt in this country on September 12, 2001. In the last few days, and spanning the 15th anniversary remembrance of the 9-11 attacks, Hillary Clinton has evinced the exact opposite feeling. Someone needs to learn how to keep their mouth shut—and it isn’t Donald Trump.
Speaking at a fundraiser on Friday, Hillary opined that ”…you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?”
While the left tries to walk that comment back, some on the right are making the comparison with Romney’s 2012 fundraising comment about the 47% of Americans paying no income tax and therefore t voting Democrat in order to keep it that way.
The statement by Hillary also recalls Barack Obama’s comment in 2008 to a sympathetic audience that people who opposed him were people who bitterly clung to their Bibles and religion. While the Obama camp sought to minimize the comment, it was later revealed that inside the campaign they continued to refer to opponents as the “bitter people.”
While all three comments share the similarity of being spoken to friendly audiences, the similarity really ends there.
Ignoring Obama’s comment for the moment, Romney was stating a fact. About 47% of the population at the time did not pay federal income tax. He may have been wrong in assuming that all those 47% would vote Democrat but his point, usually lost in the noise, was that the election was about influencing a narrow slice of voters in the middle. No insult intended, but Democrats are always ready to take insult.
Hillary Clinton’s comment was clearly an insult to anyone who disagrees with her, as was Barack Obama’s eight years earlier. These were opinions, deeply held.
Who are these “deplorables”? People who are racist, sexist, homophobic or xenophobic, according to Hillary—although she opined that only half of Trump supporters can be classified that way. In other words, those Trump supporters have failed the usual Marxist litmus tests of race, class and gender.
The next day she expressed regret for the comment, saying, "Last night I was 'grossly generalistic,' and that's never a good idea. I regret saying 'half' -- that was wrong."
Did she really mean to say “all”? Or maybe only 75%.
The point is that Hillary is demonizing the opposition. It’s a trend Barack Obama started in 2008. It’s a good part of the reason our politics and our country are so divided today.
The right has fallen into that trap as well.
The danger here is that when we demonize people, we start to see them as less than human. Seeing them as less than human makes it easier to oppose them, to silence their speech, to send them to the gulag, to starve them, to hack them apart with machetes, or to send them to the gas chambers.
The 20th century is replete with these kinds of actions.
Instead of dividing, the president of the United States should be the uniter-in-chief. The president is the president of all the people, not just the people who elected him.
If Hillary wants to be president, she’s getting off to a bad start in the uniting department. Hillary has her own basket of deplorable attitudes: elitist, socialist, globalist, and cronyist for starters.
On the other hand, Donald Trump has been impressive lately.
He has reached out to constituencies usually avoided by Republicans. Maybe the fact that he’s not a favorite of the Republican establishment is a good thing after all. He’s not running the traditional (failed) GOP game plan. He’s gone to Mexico. He’s gone to black church leaders.
His policies on trade—NAFTA and TPP—as well as on immigration aren’t anti-foreign as much as they are pro-American. What he seems to be saying is that we must look out for American interests; that we are looking for a good deal. A fair deal. That’s what trade negotiations are all about.
Hillary—and Barack before her—are globalists. They don’t seem to think much of American sovereignty. They want to treat illegal aliens like citizens—because in their minds, there really is no difference.
But there really is still one key difference: Hillary is running for president of the United States, not Secretary General of the UN. It will be American citizens who will elect her, if they do.
Insulting a good portion of the voting public doesn’t seem like a good strategy.