At a Manhattan fundraiser Friday night, Hillary Clinton told a roomful of Democrat donors that millions of American citizens – the ones who support Donald Trump for president – were so disgusting that they barely deserved her contempt.
“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables,” she said to cheers. “Right? 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 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric. Now some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”
Hillary was apparently suffering from pneumonia at the time, though we didn’t find that out until she fainted on the sidewalk two days later. Perhaps it was due to her fevered state that she made such an obvious political blunder. It certainly didn’t take her long to walk it back; the next day, she expressed “regret.” Not for the comment itself, but just for her estimate of how many Trump supporters should be confined to that basket of deplorables. Not much of an apology, but that’s okay. When you think about where she’s coming from, it wasn’t much of an insult.
To Democrats like Hillary, “racism” means you don’t believe in the outrageous Black Lives Matter agenda. “Sexism” is when you can’t find abortion anywhere in the Bill of Rights. You’re “homophobic” when you reject the idea that boys and girls are frequently born into the wrong bodies. “Xenophobic” means you believe in enforcing American immigration law, and “Islamophobic” means you stubbornly insist that the Islamic State actually might have something to do with Islam.
When you realize all that, no apology is necessary. If this is what things are like in the basket of deplorables, we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. And if the road to redemption is through abandoning those beliefs, then Hillary was right on the money – we are indeed irredeemable.
We do, however, take issue with the idea that we “are not America.” Ultimately, the prospect of cherry-picking which opinions are and are not “America” is pretty silly, but if you want to play that game, let’s do it. The American flag is on the line. Winning basket gets to keep it.
First question: Which of these baskets – Trump supporters or Hillary supporters – is more likely to burn the prize?
Do we really need to ask another?