Monday, January 16, 2017

Deplorables are always "bad," Mr. Weiss - You sadly miss the point

The "basket of deplorables" comment will live on in infamy, as it probably should. It truly does reflect the completely aloof way that HRC and the Democrats waged a misguided Presidential campaign and irresponsibly turned the White House and the country over to potentially the most pathetic and risky person to ever occupy the Oval Office. However, the bigger mistake may be the misunderstanding that so many Trump voters - enthusiastic and reluctant alike - asign to the statement. This equally aloof and misguided view is nowhere better exemplified than in the sad piece of commentary published in the Wall Street Journal recently by a carpet salesman in Pittsburgh named Lou Weiss who strangely believes "The Deplorables Aren't So Bad, Once You Get to Know Us."

Actually, Mr. Weiss, the "deplorable" people in American society who are racist, prejudiced, mysoginistic, aggressive, violent, insulting, and threatening are, in fact, "so bad." That is the nature of the word deplorable. Deplorable words and behavior should always be exposed, criticized, and opposed in a civil society, and supporting any of those words or actions or attitudes is deplorable in itself. Sadly, after reading your piece of commentary, I don't believe that defense of bigoty is what you are arguing. Even sadder is that I don't believe you understand what you are trying to argue. Obvioulsy, Trump supporters who are not racist or hateful are also not deplorable, and HRC's mistake was not in the use of the word deplorable, but in foolishly assigning it to "half of his supporters."

That said, your subsequent criticism of progressive Democrats as an explanation of non-"deplorable" people at Big 10 games or frequenting Chick-fil-A or "working on your leaky faucet" is the worst form of elitism, as it manages to misunderstand both Trump supporters and Trump critics. Your claims contribute to stereotypes and bias based on jobs, socioeconomic status, and region, and your argument implies that values and morals are inherently part of a demographic when they may not be. By seeking to criticize bias and misundertanding, you sadly reflect it. Many supporters of HRC and critics of Donald Trump also support Michigan football, and watch American Sniper, and work in skilled labor like plumbing or nursing or mechanics. How sadly aloof you are to those realities. Truly, even many Trump supporters who work in the trades or are well-off attorneys in gated communities opposed the "deplorable" behavior so visible at Trump rallies by supporters and the candidate alike. And don't kid yourself - some of those people in the jobs you mention and frequenting the places you describe are potentially quite deplorable. Jobs do not equate to character or values or morals. And believing so is simply another example of prejudice.

Unless you are the type of person who went to the rallies and screamed hateful racist and mysoginistic threats, you should not identify with being "deplorable" or ask people to "get to know us." In attempting to educate the hipsters and Hamilton fans about how wrong they are about deplorables, you've only furthered the division, complicated the issues, and embarrassed yourself.

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