Something a few people noted about the last presidential campaign, something different from all previous campaigns. Well actually there were a few things that have never happened before. Chief of which was someone who had never held any public office of any kind got elected. But what I'm referring to was the insult Hillary leveled, […]
Something a few people noted about the last presidential campaign, something different from all previous campaigns.
Well actually there were a few things that have never happened before. Chief of which was someone who had never held any public office of any kind got elected. But what I'm referring to was the insult Hillary leveled, not at her opponent but at his supporters.
Remember, 'basket of deplorables'?
Obama came within spitting distance of it with his remark about the bitter people who 'cling to their guns and religion,' which was a significant gaffe but was sympathetic, if clueless and patronizing.
Politicians are supposed to win over the electorate, not insult them. Of course every politician realizes there are portions of the population you're never going to convince, and other portions you may convince eventually but not this time.
But when you straight up insult them, you've written off the possibility of ever bringing them over and are campaigning with a brute force strategy. Win by sheer numbers and keep hold forever.
What I want to talk about though, is something more specific than 'deplorable.' I mean 'racist.'
I've lately seen many bland assertions that 'Of course, definitely' Trump supporters are racists who earnestly desire the ethnic cleansing of America.
What universe are they living in where between a quarter and a half of their countrymen are genocidal madmen?
Seriously, can you walk down the street you live on and point out the houses where the people live who would take their hunting rifles and shotguns and help load box cars full of their fellow citizens to be 'resettled in the east'?
This is not a trivial insult. Careers and reputations have been ruined by the mere accusation based on a chance remark, a past association, or nothing at all.
So let's get this out of the way. There is no evidence Trump is a racist and a great many reasons to believe he is not. Starting with his past association with leaders of the civil rights movement, his efforts to desegregate a snooty country club, and his friendship with prominent African-Americans such as Mike Tyson and Jennifer Hudson.
Nor is he a homophobe and his hotels are said to be very LGBT friendly places to work. Not to mention you can't get away with that in show business.
He is a serial fabricator and an adulterer, not even his most fervent supporters deny that.
He is on if not friendly, then businesslike terms with the mob. Nobody who builds anything taller than two stories in New York can avoid that.
He has a reputation for stiffing subcontractors. It's a common enough practice among big businessmen, to hold back the money you owe a smaller business so you can get a few months extra interest out of it. And it's rotten for the little guys.
But he's not a racist!
The logic behind that charge seems to be, 'All racists are jerks, therefore all jerks are racists.'
If you took freshman logic in college you know why that doesn't follow. 'All cats are animals, therefore all animals are cats.'
And that's why people are scared, and increasingly angry. Because most people in this country are not racists. At least not the cross burning KKK kind. There are other less hateful manifestations.
People are scared of being accused of being something hateful. An accusation where the presumption of innocence does not exist and they must grovel and humiliate themselves to try to prove they aren't.
For comparison, imagine being accused of being homosexual 50 years or so ago.
Understand why they're scared?