Friday, September 7, 2018

Hilary was right!

On September 9, 2016 at a campaign fundraising event in the US presidential election Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton famously described half the Republican Trump supporters as the "basket of deplorables". Reportedly her only regret was having said "half the Trump supporters".  Clinton had previously attacked Trump by suggesting he was "taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party".  It was a prophetic accusation. Regrettably for Clinton however the day after her speech, some political analysts compared the statement to Mitt Romney's 47% gaff in 2012.

As I listened this morning to President Donald J. Trump speak in North Dakota it was obvious to me to his self-professed talent and success is nothing but theatre; and that his attraction to his unthinking, unreasoning crowd is that they simply credit him with what they want to hear, not the truth.  It's the same crowd of supporters who roared and applauded at his inauguration when he stated that his was the largest crowd - EVER! - at a presidential inauguration. It is a further small compliment to Trump that others in his campaign - specifically Mike Pence and Kellyanne Conway - greedily employed their own distorted rhetoric to respond negatively to Clinton's purported "disdain for millions of Americans".

As much as I despise these political maneuvers I am not about to condemn Americans generally. For one thing I never allow myself to forget that Trump did not win a popular majority, just a freak upset through the notoriously impaired Electoral College. More compelling for me is the firmly held belief that most Americans are prepared to acknowledge the disparity and misadventure of the past; and, that most Americans have the desire and capacity for mental acuity. Equally persuasive is my acceptance of the sad realization that many people - whether American or not - haven't the ability to rise above what for them is the elemental preference for revenge and punishment.  I don't for example downplay the palpable concerns of the unemployed, the poor, the uneducated; nor however do I believe they blame China, Canada, Mexicans, Muslims, women and gays for their problems. The problem as I see it is the larger - even international - theme of unfairness, prejudice and superiority.  While Bernie Sanders' hope for universal health care and education obviously has its financial limitations, this is not grounds for demonizing others based upon colour, ethnicity, religion or sexual inclination. Apparently in the limited scope of politics, those issues are nonetheless alive and well.  Yet many are quickly coming to the view that the problem isn't that simple; rather that the division between the rich and the poor (something Trump can hardly be said to discredit or change except rhetorically or through lies) is the real problem.  If you find that conclusion offensive, then you won't object to making America great again.

Meanwhile the tolerance of the "basket of deplorables" is no less vigorous.  If Trump is said to lead by example, he is unwittingly doing himself and his supporters a great disservice.  Though many well-intentioned Americans may have been temporarily fooled by Trump's made-for-media performances (and there is no denying he is marketable entertainment), the utter lack of substance and the mutilation and deterioration of the costumes is beginning to show. Sadly for Trump and his gang of buffoons, their merciless decline is about to become the main event.  The twisted and rapacious groundlings make no qualification for the past.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed, but it would be too early to atart rejoicing. Trump has an innate ability for rebounding. At least Obama speech this morning was a very welcome breath of fresh air with his rebuttal of Trump so-called "truths". Loved your illustrations.