September 12, 2016

The Basket of Deplorables

You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables.’ Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that, and he has lifted them up.

- Hillary Clinton
One could indeed place half of Trump's supporters into such a category. And yes, doing so would be an example of the sort of gross overgeneralization that many of us might recognize as bigotry.

Even if one's intent in making such a statement was laudable (and I believe it probably was after viewing the remarks in their entirety), it seems risky for a presidential candidate to express what sounds like contempt for a large segment of the voting public. It certainly didn't help Mitt Romney when he made his notorious 47% remarks.

But more than that, I would hope that a competent leader would be prepared to deal with bigotry without engaging in it. I know this is not always easy, but it seems important for someone seeking to be the president of such a divided nation. And while I realize this may be asking too much in our era of outrage, I think that an effective leader would recognize the high price we pay for driving bigotry underground. One might even say that the sentiment expressed in this portion of Clinton's statement is an important part of why there are so many "deplorables" in the Trump basket.
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