In defense of the 'deplorables'

"To just be grossly generalistic [sic] 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."

— Hillary Rodham Clinton


Donald Trump has been accused of name-calling, but unlike Hillary Clinton, his efforts have not stigmatized at one shot 20 percent of the American population — including the present writer. While I am no Trump supporter, I am one of the Ms. Clinton's so-called "deplorables" under her liberal definitions of racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic.

She has told us (before deletion of it from her website) that to avoid being "sexist" we must presume the truth of any accusation of sexual assault. She has applauded federal guidelines seeking to deprive those accused of the right of cross examination in college proceedings.


She has endorsed the goals and rhetoric of the "Black Lives Matter" movement. Those who think that complaints about police abuses are inevitable when police are given the mission-impossible of the drug war are cast into the outer darkness, and no effort is made to create incentives for youth employment, nor a Civilian Conservation Corps. The drug war, with its 1.5 million annual drug abuse arrests, is to be continued for four years while Ms. Clinton "studies" medical marijuana. It is the police, not her type of politician, who are to be blamed for the plight of minority youth, and anyone who says otherwise is a presumed racist.

Those who contend that recent trade agreements (other than the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which she first negotiated and then renounced) are less than a great success story are "xenophobes." Economists, who have pointed out through the years that high-wage countries are disadvantaged by free trade unless they improve workforce skills, are skunks at the garden party. Anyone holding such views about improvement of education might be critical of Ms. Clinton's friends in the teachers' unions, who with her support maintain a regime in which 90 percent of college graduates are excluded from the teaching force and in which the charter schools she once supported and now opposes are being subjected to slow strangulation. Those remembering the reaction against uncontrolled immigration that gave us the Know Nothing Party in the 1850s and a revived Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s in her view are alarmists; the nation's absorptive capacity is unlimited, even when governmental benefits withheld from prior generations are offered to new illegal immigrants with Ms. Clinton's support.

As for Islamophobia, it is hard to see how anyone could be more Islamophobic than Ms. Clinton. She, lest we forget, favored our marches into two Muslim countries, the crusades taking us to Baghdad and Tripoli being conducted without U.N. approval and the latter without congressional authority. Two new forms of warfare have been deployed on her watch against the Muslim world with only the skimpiest attempt at their international regulation: cyber warfare initiated against Iran and drone warfare, initiated against targets in Pakistan and Yemen. No significant effort was made by her to restrain Israel's Netanyahu government, which includes some Islamophobes properly so-called.

And of course anyone not applauding the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision or the Obama' administration's recent transgender bathroom guidelines is homophobic, especially lawyers like the present writer who condemn those who "care not who makes the laws, nor how, so long as the laws are to their liking."

Though I shall vote for the Libertarian ticket of former governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, the shoes Ms. Clinton has fashioned for Trump supporters fit me like a glove. In this season of major-party name-calling, I am grateful for only one thing: I have not yet been described as a "failed cabaret singer."

George W. Liebmann is the volunteer executive director of the Calvert Institute for Policy Research (