Monday, October 17, 2016

A Deplorable Situation

A few weeks ago, in a letter to the New York Times, the writer was critical of those who support Donald Trump based on their economic circumstances. He wrote, “Hard times is no excuse for ignorance.” In a similar vein, the theme of Thomas Frank’s book “What’s the Matter With Kansas” was that election after election working- and middleclass Kansans vote against their self-interests, supporting Republicans who promise them the moon but deliver only Earthly hardship.

Millions of voters are supporting a candidate who is not only unqualified but is more blatantly evil than any we’ve ever seen. In the GOP primaries, Trump's playground epithets alone should have made him the first to bite the dust: “Little Marco,” “Lying Ted,” “Low Energy Jeb,” etc. And now, as the Republican nominee, he treats to “Crooked Hillary,” who should be “locked up.” None of the other Republican hopefuls was a bargain. But Trump's overt racism, misogyny, xenophobia and insults are in a class by themselves. Why did so many primary voters select him over so many less virulent rivals?  

As we enter the final weeks of this outrageously long and long-winded campaign, the polls indicate that Trump will be defeated. But we must be concerned about the state of the electorate, now and after the elections are thankfully over. The attitudes that motivated millions to support him must be addressed; they will not disappear upon his defeat. If not for her too generalized phrase that “half of Trump’s supporters” were a “basket of deplorables,” Hillary Clinton hit the nail on the head as she was actually referring to the white supremacists, xenophobes and Nazis who have enthusiastically jumped onto Trump’s grotesque bandwagon. (To get a frightening glimpse of those groups, hundreds of which are scattered throughout the country, I recommend the material issued by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Check out the SPLC Website.) 

While there's no way to know how many of Trump's supporters belong in that “basket,” we can assume that most of his supporters are simply feeling disgruntled with “Washington” — for whatever reason — and are voting for Trump less out of conviction than out of anger — or that many of them just hate Hillary Clinton, thanks to the 30-year hatchet job by Republicans and right-wing media. And as we near the finish line, we're treated to the spectacle of a presidential candidate whipping up that anger, accusing the elections of being “rigged,” the media of being biased against him, and encouraging actual insurrection if Clinton wins.

It's vital that Donald Trump not only be defeated but trounced in every state, and — equally important — take his down-ballot candidates to defeat with him. Only with a Democratic turnover in Congress will it be possible to move the Clinton administration forward, with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in the forefront of that movement. That's the only path toward assuaging whatever grievances are motivating masses of  Trump's supporters, and it's the best weapon to crush the actual deplorables.

1 comment:

  1. Exactly, then Clinton can accomplish a lot of what the democratic platform aims to do. Thanks to Bernie, it's extremely progressive and should do a lot to help low income people of all races. Well said.