Without a doubt, the biggest “story” on Saturday centered around comments Hillary Clinton made concerning “half of Trump’s supporters,” referring to them as a “basket of deplorable.” The “outrage” that soon ensued from practically everyone on the right was ridiculous.
However, as with most fake outrage (because that’s what this is) concerning something Clinton has said or done, there’s always more to the story than what Donald Trump, his cult-like minions and the conservative media is telling you.
First, here’s the controversial comment in its full context:
“I know there are only 60 days left to make our case — and don’t get complacent, don’t see the latest outrageous, offensive, inappropriate comment and think well he’s done this time. We are living in a volatile political environment.
“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. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric. Now some of those folks, they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.
“But the other basket, the other basket, and I know because I see friends from all over America here. I see friends from Florida and Georgia and South Carolina and Texas, as well as you know New York and California. But that other basket of people who are people who feel that government has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they are just desperate for change. It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroine, feel like they’re in a dead-end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.”
The only actual issue with that comment is that instead of saying “half” she should have said “many” or “quite a few.” Then again, she admittedly was speaking in “grossly generalistic” terms. As people, we all do it. I’m often guilty of throwing out random percentages when I’m telling a story that are often just pulled out of thin air to make a point. I’ll say something like, “About 70 percent of the people I know (fill in the blank).” Now, I don’t literally mean “70 percent” (because I clearly didn’t survey people I know), it’s just a “gross generalization” estimate to emphasize a point.
Even when I write I’ll catch myself having to change “most” to “many” or “quite a few” because that slight change can alter the context of something I say.
And, to be fair, Clinton came out and quickly apologized — something Trump never does. In fact, usually he just doubles down on whatever vile or offensive thing he’s said.
But even going beyond that, the context of her statement also talked about how the “other basket” (aka the other half) of his supporters are great Americans who are just frustrated, afraid and feel like their government has let them down.
Of course, that’s not the part of her statement you’re seeing mentioned by the media and definitely not by Trump, his sheepish followers or the Republican party.
Not only that — but she’s not wrong. In fact, I personally think “half” is drastically underselling it.
There’s no way to say exactly what percentage of Trump’s supporters are “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic or Islamophobic,” but I would say well over half of them fall into one or more of those categories.
And I must point out the sheer irony of people who constantly complain about how much they’re sick and tired of being politically correct — crying and whining because Clinton said something that wasn’t PC.
Yes, Hillary Clinton should have definitely worded her point differently, but she wasn’t wrong. Furthermore, the entire other part of what she said spoke about the “half” of Trump supporters who aren’t racists, bigots, homophobic, xenophobic or Islamophobic. She talked about how they’re ordinary, hard-working Americans who aren’t really supporting him because they like him, they’re just “desperate for change.” Unfortunately, history tells us that when people feel hopeless and desperate they’ll sometimes turn to anything different — even a parasite like Trump — to seek out that change.
It all goes back to what I say about context. In this day and age of “let’s take a fraction of an entire statement and fabricate a news story about it” (and both the left and right are guilty of doing this) too many in the media and on social media completely ignore context to push the “outrage” — because that’s what sells best.
All that being said, the fact that Donald Trump, the GOP, his supporters and the conservative media are acting as if Hillary Clinton is awful for saying this, is absurd. While I’ll be the first admit that she should have worded her statement differently, these people are supporting Donald J. Trump — one of the most vile, offensive and vulgar presidential candidates in modern political history.
So, forgive me if I can’t help but laugh at people who’ve supported one of the most deplorable presidential candidates in most of our lifetimes acting “outraged” and “offended” because they got a little taste of their own medicine.