Are You One Of the “Deplorables”?

deplorables

Indiana Governor Mike Pence hammered Hillary Clinton and Senator Tim Kaine for running an “insult-driven campaign” during the vice presidential debate Tuesday night and said that Clinton’s comment about Donald Trump supporters being “deplorables” is worse than anything that Trump has even said. (Of course in the debate, Pence denied that “the Donald” said any of the things to which Kaine alluded.)

For context, Clinton’s comment about “the basket of deplorables” - those with “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, [and] Islamophobic” views - was directed toward half of Trump supporters. That is a greater percentage than those who believe minorities currently have too much power according to a new poll, but a lesser percentage than those who believe President Obama is a Muslim - a quickly discredited conspiracy theory that nonetheless brought Donald Trump to national political prominence.

In response, Kaine said Trump has said some awful things, and he pointed out that Clinton apologized for her comment about “the basket of deplorables” and that Trump has not apologized for any of his. “Did Donald Trump apologize for calling women ‘slobs,’ ‘pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘disgusting’?” Kaine asked. “Did he apologize for saying African Americans are living in hell? Did he apologize for saying President Obama was not even a citizen of the United States? You will look in vain to see Donald Trump ever taking responsibility for anybody and apologizing.”

Tell me you are conservative.

Tell me you are Republican.

Tell me you are Christian.

Tell me any of these things, and I will not make too many assumptions about you.

Sure, I may assume that you go to church every Sunday, that you eat red meat, and that you obtain most of your news from Fox and Friends, but beyond that, I will withhold judgment on the kind of person you are until I learn more about you. In fact, as a white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant male who lives in a heavily conservative area in Pennsylvania, most of the people in my spheres of influence are of the right-leaning variety. And I can further attest that most of those people are fairly decent when you begin to know them.

But tell me unequivocally that you are voting for Donald Trump and instantly, I am going to make certain assumptions about you and your character that I would not make if you told me you supported any other GOP candidate.

And there ain’t any of those assumptions that are good.

Are you one of the “deplorables”?

I assume that you may be one of the “deplorables” if you want a despot (benevolent or otherwise), not a president.

The single trait that predicts the Trump supporter has nothing to do with race, income, or education is his or her proclivity towards authoritarianism.

Trump’s electoral strength – and his staying power – have been buoyed, above all else, by Americans with authoritarian inclinations. And because of the prevalence of authoritarians in the American electorate, among Democrats as well as Republicans, it is very possible that Trump’s fan base will continue to grow. Those who say a Trump presidency “can’t happen here” should check their conventional wisdom at the door. Donald Trump has confounded conventional expectations this election season because those expectations are based on an oversimplified caricature of the electorate in general and his supporters in particular. Conditions are ripe for an authoritarian leader to emerge. Trump is seizing the opportunity. And the institutions – from the Republican Party to the press – that are supposed to guard against what James Madison called “the infection of violent passions” among the people have either been cowed by Trump’s bluster or are asleep on the job.

Authoritarians obey. They rally to and lock-step follow strong leaders. And they respond aggressively to outsiders, especially when they feel threatened. From pledging to “make America great again” by building a wall on the border to promising to close mosques and ban Muslims from visiting the United States, Donald Trump is playing directly to authoritarian inclinations.

So spare me your lectures about market freedoms or any constitutional rights you claim to hold dear. You want a dictator in the style of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, which pretty much makes you anti-American.

I assume that you may be one of the “deplorables” if you have class, but all of it is low class.

I am sorry to say this and I have tried to revisit this one several times, but I do not know how to sugar-coat it.

It is not okay that Donald Trump mocked a disabled person. If Hillary Clinton had done that, it would be a deal-breaker for me. I would vote for a third-party candidate, or write in Mickey Mouse. I have standards. You apparently do not. Some people try to justify this by saying Trump did not really do it. Except he really did, and it was awful.

The disabled person, reporter Serge Kovaleski, suffers from arthrogryposis, a condition that limits the movement of joints and is particularly noticeable in Kovaleski’s right arm and hand. After referring to Kovaleski as “a nice reporter,” Trump launched into a seeming impression of him, pointedly flopping his right arm around with his hand held at an odd angle while saying (in imitation of Kovaleski): “Now, the poor guy, you’ve got to see this guy: ‘Uhh, I don’t know what I said. Uhh, I don’t remember,’ he’s going like ‘I don’t remember. Maybe that’s what I said’”

After Trump then became the center of a controversy for having callously mocked Kovaleski in public, Trump asserted that the whole thing was just a coincidence – he had no idea who Kovaleski was and thus could not have been aware of his physical condition. Trump’s claims to non-memory were widely considered to be disingenuous, as Kovaleski had covered Trump extensively while working for the Daily News from 1987 to 1993 and had interviewed and talked to the business magnate numerous times during that period.

It is not okay that Donald Trump mocked POW’s. No one even tries to defend Donald Trump mocking POWs, because he said it loud and clear: “I like people who weren’t captured.” It was that insult to John McCain that I thought would have killed his chances within the GOP ranks, since they claim to be pro-veteran. But I grossly overestimated their character. By the time we get around to the part about Trump lusting after his own daughter or justifying statutory rape, I have already given up on you as a decent person. You are deplorable.

And please. Don’t tell me that you did not know about any of this. You know. You just do not care. Hence, my statement that you have class – all of it low.

I assume that you may be one of the “deplorables” if integrity is not high on your list.

Yes, all politicians lie, but Donald Trump is obscene with his falsehoods. According to PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter™, seventy-one percent of everything he says is either mostly false, false, or pants on fire false. He says whatever he feels like to whatever crowd he is speaking to, and then will deny ever saying it. I am not okay with someone who lies to me constantly. If you are, I have to wonder: would you fudge the numbers? If you caught someone on your team doing something unethical, would you be okay with that?

I already know that integrity is not high on your list. Furthermore, you clearly have no trouble with someone who has a long history of fraudulent business practices. Having a bumper sticker on your truck for any other conservative would not be a problem for me – but Trump? That is another story altogether.

I assume that you may be one of the “deplorables” if you have no problem with racism.

Trump threw out all the dog whistles and fully embraced the alt-right movement. He led the campaign to de-legitimize Barack Obama’s presidency. He constantly complains that black Americans are violent and stated that Mexican immigrants bring “crime” and are “rapists.” He demanded that any judge who tries him must be white! He retweets from handles like “@WhiteGenocideTM” – which gives its location as “Jewmerica” – and goes to anti-Semitic websites for material to attack his opponents. Your embrace of this kind of hate makes me wonder what things you say about me and my family behind my back.

I assume that you may be one of the “deplorables” if you have an issue with women.

Donald Trump has brought a level of vulgarity that we have never before seen in national politics. From his attack on Megyn Kelly, to insulting Rosie O’Donnell twice in national debates, to bragging about his genitalia on television in front of millions, to his suggestion that Hillary and Carly Fiorina are too ugly to be president, Trump’s measure of tastelessness is unprecedented. Anyone who supports a man who does not think twice about calling women “pigs” or “dogs” is not someone with whom I want to deal.

I can say in all honesty that if it was the Democratic candidate who kept bragging about his sexual dominance and ranked all women he met by their looks, that person would not get my vote. Demanding that a man treat women with a basic level of respect is a pretty low bar. I have a problem with someone who cannot even meet that, along with that person’s supporters.

In a clip from a 1994 episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, host Robin Leach conducted a joint interview with Donald Trump and his second wife, Marla Maples. Their daughter, Tiffany, had just turned one year old at the time and Leach asked Trump what attributes the baby inherited from each parent.

“Well, I think that she’s got a lot of Marla. She’s a really beautiful baby – she’s got Marla’s legs.” Then making a gesture that indicated large breasts, he added, “We don’t know whether or not she’s got this part yet, but time will tell.”

He could have said anything! Anything! And yet, he went with legs and possibly boobs, which, to my mind, is not the correct answer. We know for sure from this instance that there is no female too small for Trump to reduce her to her body parts.

To Trump, every woman is just a pair of legs connected to a pair of breasts and there is a bunch of extra stuff in the middle, but it is not sexy and no one knows what it is for really. And you know, normally a candidate who views women this way would be doomed. But Trump is not a normal candidate and we know that. As several news outlets have reminded us over the past year, Trump has a tendency to make unnecessarily lewd comments about being attracted to his daughter Ivanka, dating back to her teen years. But this is the first time we have heard him making similar statements about his own baby.

And now we find out that Trump, the top of the GOP ticket, recently tweeted instructions at 3 a.m. to go watch a sex tape starring Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe who insulted him. And, of course there is no sex tape. He lied about that too.  (As it turns out, there was a sex tape that was uncovered, but it was a 2000 Playboy soft-core porn that starred Donald Trump!)  Your candidate.

And finally, I assume that you may be one of the “deplorables” if you do not believe in the Constitution.

For eight years I have listened to your rabid rantings on how President Obama does not follow the Constitution. Yet you support a man who said the United States government should shut down mosques, curb our First Amendment rights, and forego due process on people he does not like.  These protections are enshrined in our Bill of Rights, and you want to give them up. Trump also said he wants to end birthright citizenship, which is also in the Constitution. Maybe Mr. Khan should have made more copies of the Constitution for Trump’s supporters.

Are you one of the “deplorables”?

I respect people who hold convictions, even if they are different than mine, but Trump supporters do not really believe in anything. They are authoritarian-prone sheep who will justify anything Trump says or does. Unfortunately, once you decide to sell your soul, there is no limit to how low you will go. Jimmy Kimmel proved just how low recently.  He had someone ask Trump supporters on the street about the surprises found on a Trump fictitious tax return.  Trump supporters vigorously defended everything they thought he did – from writing off his wives as entertainment expenses, to buying Putin a tiger, to donating large sums of money to Jared Fogle, former Subway spokesperson who was found guilty of distribution and receipt of child pornography and of traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. Nothing they could come up with remotely bothered any of them.

So there you are.

If you are one of the “deplorables,” I will always be nice to you, but I will not respect you. How could I? Suffice it to say, if you tell me you are in the tank for Donald Trump, please say no more. I already know everything I need to know about you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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