Hillary Clinton: The anti-Lincoln

How many of you are in the “basket of deplorables?”

By: Tom Jackson – Columnist for News Talk Florida

Stipulated, in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s infamous “basket of deplorables” remark Friday night: Some supporters of Donald Trump embrace some or all of the unpleasantness she laid out.

But at the risk of playing I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I, the crowd she was addressing — big-ticket donors in New York — is every bit (yes, every bit; if she can invent statistics, so can I) as steeped in similar, if more socially acceptable, bigotry. Toward unborn children. And religious traditionalists. And citizens who appreciate law and order.

More? OK. Folks who adore and want to preserve Western civilization. And small business owners. And patriots who think millionaire ballplayers should stand for the national anthem. And people who want to be free to examine all the evidence on climate science without being prosecuted for racketeering.

We could do this all day, of course. In fact, we do do it all day. The nature of most presidential campaigns is that they tend to be framed by the extremists in both camps, but it’s especially true this year, when both major parties’ nominees are so deeply flawed, they seem to attract only fringe characters.

So far, however, only Hillary Clinton has revealed herself willing to “other” her opponent’s supporters by attacking their humanity and dropping them in a basket. The message is plain: Trump’s camp is full of knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing troglodytes. Surely you don’t want to associate with them.

A 3

If you listened to the clip, you heard it working: the smug, superior, self-satisfied, approving laughter. Of course they’re coarse, illiterate, inconsiderate boobs. They probably have calloused hands and tan lines on their foreheads from the Red Man caps they wear working in the sun, and they smell of smoke from nightly cross burnings.

The next day, Clinton walked — or, in her current state, wobbled — it back a bit: She shouldn’t have said “half.”

Was there a wink in her clarification? Did she actually mean three-quarters? Never mind. Clinton said what she said, and meant it. Because this is this is what the left does, because it has trouble winning arguments on the merits. It denigrates. It belittles. It name-calls. It shames. It condescends. It bullies.

Yes, our friends who are quickest to haul out Jesus’ admonition about judging are relentless in its pursuit. Oh, they love diversity, as long as everything thinks exactly alike.

You want secure borders and enforcement of U.S. immigration laws? Xenophobe! You favor tight screening of visitors or refugees with roots in Middle East hot zones? Islamophobe! You worry what happens to society when judges redefine marriage one lawsuit at a time? Homophobe!

A 2

You point out the studies comparing the earnings of men and women that show, when experience, education, time at work (women typically work fewer hours) and job choices are taken into account, the wage gap vanishes? Misogynist! You wonder whether Hillary has the physical wherewithal to carry out presidential responsibilities? Sexist! Conspiracy freak!

You lament government-enabled family breakdowns that foster single-parent households that contribute to crime, gang associations, drug abuse and generational poverty? Racist!

What else? Who cares? The tag line to Hillary’s laundry list of horribles pitched to the gullibles was the all-encompassing “you name it.” So she didn’t just wax “grossly generalistic.” She covered Trump supporters with a universal tarp, then declared them “irredeemable.” Nice.

Even Abraham Lincoln thought former Confederates could be salvaged — “With malice toward none … let us … bind up the nation’s wounds,” he said — but with the nation she would lead officially at peace with itself, Hillary, from whom you couldn’t squeeze a thimble of magnanimity, writes off some substantial portion of America in a cheap political stunt.

As if we should expect different from the woman who declared last October of all her political opponents, she is proudest to have made enemies of Republicans.

Even Sally Kohn, the CNN analyst and incorrigible leftist, warned Hillary off. Clinton was ever-so-slightly right, she wrote for the Washington Post, but “a far wider percentage of Trump’s supporters fall into a gray area of more generalized resentment that is partly about identity but also about economic suffering. Clinton and liberals in general should be reaching out to these voters, not offending them.”

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Kohn went on to list the usual unwise government meddling wisely resisted by Republicans — a minimum wage hike and billions in new infrastructure spending top her list — but if even a radical such as Kohn understands Clinton’s terrible error, how could she have made it in the first place?

No, it’s not some hidden illness. It’s because it’s what, when they are among friends — and that’s exactly where Hillary thought she was Friday night — tearing apart less lofty Americans is what the left does. And Hillary Clinton is its woman of the moment.


Veteran journalist and center-right blogger Tom Jackson has worked for newspapers in Washington D.C., Sacramento, Calif., and Tampa, Fla., racking up state and national awards for writing, editing and design along the way. Tom also has been published in assorted sports magazines, and his work has been included in several annual “Best Sports Stories” collections. A University of Florida alumnus, St. Louis Cardinals fan and eager-if-haphazard golfer, Tom splits time between Tampa and Cashiers, N.C., with his wife, two children and a couple of yappy dogs.