"I think we know what we're up against. We do, don't we? Donald Trump has pledged to appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn marriage equality, and if you have read about the ones he says he's likely to support, he's not kidding. In fact, if you look at his running mate, his running mate signed a law that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT Americans. And there's so much more than I find deplorable in his campaign: the way that he cozies up to white supremacists, makes racist attacks, calls women pigs, mocks people with disabilities -- you can't make this up. He wants to round up and deport 16 million people, calls our military a disaster. And every day he says something else which I find so personally offensive, but also dangerous. You know, the idea of our country is so rooted in continuing progress that we make together. Our campaign slogan is not just words. We really do believe that we are stronger together. We really do believe that showing respect and appreciation for one another lifts us all up."From these three complex paragraphs taken from Hillary Clinton's speech, the underlined phrase triggered the pro-Trump right wing talking heads to attack her. But many in the mainstream media have attacked Clinton for saying what she said. What is that all about?
"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, Islamaphobic -- 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 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks -- they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America."
"But the other basket -- and I know this 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 are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they're 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 heroin, feel like they're in a dead-end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well."
- Hillary Clinton, September 9, 2016
The word "deplorable" has three meanings, though which is the first definition is not consistent across dictionaries: "causing or being a subject for censure, reproach, or disapproval" or "very bad in a way that causes shock, fear, or disgust" or "lamentable, causing or being a subject for grief or regret."
The anecdotal photographic evidence from the media is overwhelming, such as....
Are we now saying racism is not deplorable?
Are we now saying that sexist behavior is not deplorable?
Are we now saying that homophobia is not deplorable.
Are we now saying that xenophobic hatred is not deplorable?
Are we now saying that Islamaphobia is not deplorable?
Are not Americans who hold these views deplorable in that they are a proper subject for censure, reproach, or disapproval?
Is it not lamentable, meaning regrettable and unfortunate that there are still Americans who hold these hate-based views?
Factually it is more than fair to say that half of Trump supporters are in the "Basket of Deplorables", that Trump knows it and is playing to their hate and ignorance. We're talking about this guy:
Let's be clear about the numbers. Most polls indicate that Trump has support from 40%± of registered voters.
Recent data indicates there are 147,000,000± registered voters in the United States.
That means that Trump supporters total 58,800,000±.
It is fair to say that 29,400,000± are in that "Basket of Deplorables." That's 12%± of the 245,000,000± Americans age 18 and older.
Does any reasonably aware American not believe that far more than 12% of the American adult population is racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and/or Islamaphobic?
Extensive studies1 indicate that over half of trump supporters hold racist views. Only a journalist who lives in a protected bubble would deny that half of Trump's supporters are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and/or Islamaphobic.
What from Clinton's speech the press ought to be repeating over and over again are these words about the Deplorables:
[Trump] has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people -- now 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric.But instead they give Trump a pass probably because she has refused to cater to them. In not catering to them, Clinton has said silently that the hundreds of Matt Lauer's in the mainstream press are fundamentally incompetent and ignorant, and in their own way deplorable. She is saying that most of the mainstream media hire entertainers, not fact nerds.
Maybe it's hard to keep in mind that NBC made Donald Trump a viable candidate with a profitable TV show based upon Trump discrediting and humiliating participants. Why would any kind, caring person trust the television networks?
Yes! Racists, sexists, homophobics, xenophobics, and Islamaphobics are in the American Basket of Deplorables that make up at least half of Donald Trump's supporters.
1Slate magazine offered this research: "When pollsters and researchers want to measure racial bias, they don’t ask if respondents are “racist”; the stigma of being a racist is strong enough that most people won’t answer honestly, to say nothing of the fact that racial prejudice exists on a continuum. A binary answer doesn’t capture the complexity of bias and bigotry. Instead, they ask proxy questions that try to capture attitudes associated with racism. One such question—asked in multiple surveys by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling firm—is whether respondents believe President Obama was born in the United States and whether they believe he’s a Muslim. These questions begin to scratch the surface of racial bias. And what are the results? In one survey, two-thirds of Republicans with a favorable opinion of Donald Trump said that Obama is a Muslim, and 59 percent said he wasn’t born in the United States.
"There’s other data too. In June, Reuters measured the racial attitudes of Clinton, Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich supporters. A significant number of supporters for each candidate voiced negative attitudes about black Americans. But Trump backers stood out in their animus. Nearly 50 percent said blacks were “more violent” than whites; almost as many said that blacks were “more criminal than whites.” More than 40 percent said that blacks were “more rude” than whites, and more than 30 percent said that blacks were “lazier” than whites.
"Perhaps the best data on questions of race and Trump comes from political scientist Jason McDaniel of San Francisco State University and Sean McElwee, a research associate at Demos, a left-leaning think tank. Using the 2016 pilot of the American National Election Study, conducted in January, they drill down on racial attitudes among Trump supporters. Given what we already know, their results shouldn’t come as a shock. More than 40 percent of all Republicans and more than 60 percent of Trump supporters say that Barack Obama is a Muslim. Compared with those who backed other candidates in the GOP primary, Trump supporters have cooler feelings toward blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, and LGBTQ Americans, and warmer feelings toward whites. By sizable margins, according to McElwee’s analysis of ANES, Trump supporters are more likely than non-Trump supporters to believe that blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims are lazier and more violent than whites. More than 60 percent of Trump supporters believe black people are more violent than whites; nearly 50 percent of non-Trump Republicans say this. More than 70 percent of Trump supporters believe Muslim people are more violent than whites; roughly 60 percent of non-Trump Republicans say this. These are deplorable views, and they represent the consensus opinion not just of Trump supporters but of all Republicans in the survey. If the study is at all reflective of the population at large on this score, we’re going to need a bigger basket."
Salon offered statistical resources for its article Anatomy of a Trump voter: How racism propelled Trump to the Republican nomination
In an earlier Salon article, during the primaries, from detailed data we are told: "On just about every measure, support for Trump increased along with the measured racial animus. As the chart below shows, increased levels of racial stereotyping among white respondents — as measured by belief that black people, Muslims and Hispanics are “lazy” or “violent” — strongly increases support for Trump, even after controlling for other factors. The opposite is true, however, when it comes to support for Marco Rubio. Among white respondents, support for Rubio decreases with belief in racial stereotypes."