Trump Blames Media For Poisonous Political Rhetoric. He Should Look In The Mirror.

In the wake of attempted bombing attacks on people he has criticized, the President is blaming the media for poisonous political rhetoric. He needs to look in the mirror.

Even as law enforcement continues to search for the person or persons responsible for sending explosive devices to prominent people on the left that were discovered yesterday and again this morning, President Trump turned his fire on the media, which he claims is responsible for negative rhetoric that may have motivated the bomber:

MOSINEE, Wis. — A day after a national call for unity in the wake of the bomb scares targeting several prominent Democrats, President Trump blamed the “Mainstream Media” and “Fake News” for the anger and division thriving in the United States.

“It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description,” Mr. Trump said in a Twitter post on Thursday morning. “Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!”

Mr. Trump did not mention in his tweet that CNN, which is one of his favorite news media punching bags, was among the targets of a pipe bomb.

The president’s somber plea on Wednesday — “We have to unify” — morphed into familiar attacks on the media and has echoes of his previous short-lived roles as consolein chief.

Mr. Trump has called for unity after mass shootings and other politically poisonous tragedies that have punctuated his time in office.

He does not seem to follow his own advice for long.

So it went on Wednesday evening, when Mr. Trump appeared to revert to partisanship as usual, just in a softer tone of voice. Here in Wisconsin, he embarked on his 38th campaign rally since assuming the presidency with a bit of rhetorical jujitsu, managing to weave jabs at the news media and Democrats into an opening call for Americans to “come together in peace and harmony.”

“We should not mob people in public spaces or destroy public property,” Mr. Trump said in a thinly veiled reference to his latest turn of phrase — “jobs not mobs” — and a castigation of how liberals reacted to Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s battle to be confirmed to the Supreme Court amid multiple accusations of sexual misconduct.

The president flicked at a suggestion popularized by liberals and some members of the news media who have suggested his nationalist views are akin to Adolf Hitler’s: “No one should carelessly compare political opponents to historical villains.”

Trump’s Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, picked up on Trump’s rhetoric this morning on Fox News Channel:

On Fox and Friends on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders spoke about President Trump’s rally last night and the many devices and suspicious packages mailed to prominent administration critics and foes this week. Sanders said that the media is partly to blame for the events.

Host Brian Kilmeade first noted that there were additional targets, including Robert de Niro and Joe Biden, noting both are critics of Trump, and co-host Steve Doocy brought up the President’s tweet from this morning in which he placed blame on “fake news.”

Sanders first replied to Kilmeade that the administration condemns “violence in all forms”, calling the situation a “despicable act”. She answered Doocy by agreeing with the President.

“Certainly the media has a role to play in this process,” she said. “When 90% of the coverage about this president is negative, despite the historic successes, when ideas are perpetuated and continued of negativity that is not helpful for the American discourse. And Certainly the president is calling on everyone to come together and if you have a problem with one another, let’s voice that but let’s do so peacefully and let’s do that at the ballot box.”

Co-host Ainsley Earhardt then brought up the shooting of Republicans at a softball game just over a year ago in a politically motivated attack by a man who hated Trump and the GOP, as well as the incidents of enraged citizens confronting administration officials with their families in restaurants.

“We saw what happened to Steve Scalise where he was shot. We saw what happened to you and your family in the restaurant. We have Maxine waters that is calling for people to get into the face of folks in the administration they don’t agree with. Hillary Clinton says we won’t be civil until Democrats are in power,” said Earhardt. “Not just saying it is Democrats but it is on both sides but is this a good reminder to us we all need to take a step back? We can disagree about politics, but is this pretty scary to you, we’re seeing more and more violence and threats?”

“Absolutely,” said Sanders. “As the president said yesterday, political violence has no place in our country, and it is certainly something that we won’t tolerate, we won’t stand we’ll continue to condemn it.”

These comments are absurd, irresponsible, and completely ignore the role that the President himself has played in poisoning political rhetoric in this country over the course of the past three years since he became a candidate for President. This is the same man who has referred to the press as the “enemy of the people” on many occasions. On other occasions, both he and members of his Administration have suggested that the media should be criminally charged for publishing leaked information even when that information isn’t classified. At a rally in Arizona last year, Trump upped his anti-media rhetoric by referring to members of the media as ”sick people” who “don’t like our country,” and who are “trying to take away our history and our heritage.” Recently, Trump admitted that when he said that when he refers to “Fake News” he means any news coverage that is critical of him or his Administration regardless of whether it’s true or not. Finally, the President has admitted that the purpose behind all of these attacks on the media is quite simple in that it is aimed at discrediting the media in the minds of his supporters so that they won’t believe any of the bad news that is reported about his or his Administration.

In addition to attacking the press, the President has also regularly attacked his political and cultural critics both on his Twitter account and in his campaign speeches and comments to reporters. Throughout the campaign and throughout his Presidency, this President has unleashed his rhetoric against Mexicans, Muslimsdisabled people, a Federal District Court Judge who happened to be Mexican-American and a Gold Star Family who happened to be Muslim.  In response to N.F.L. players who were peacefully kneeling to protest racially biased police violence, he responded by calling the largely African-American players “sons of bitches.” Trump has also repeatedly attacked by name each of the individuals who have so far been the target of the explosive devices whose origins we still aren’t clear about as well as other prominent Democrats such as Elizabeth Warren, Kristen Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders, and others. No doubt, law enforcement is checking in with these individuals and others to determine if they too may have been targets of a bomber or bombers who clearly seems to be working off a list that, at least in part, seems to come directly from the President himself.

Additionally, Trump has encouraged violence from his supporters, basked in their attacks on the media at his rallies, and encouraged his supporters to change slogans such as “Lock her up!” at his campaign rallies, a reference usually directed at his 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton. Just last week Trump praised Congressman Greg Gianforte of Montana for his attack last year on a reporter for The Guardian who was trying to ask him a question about health care. Gianforte was charged with assault and ultimately pled guilty to that charge, but that didn’t stop the crowd that gathered to hear from Trump last week in Montana from cheering wildly when Trump praised Gianforte for the attack. After the events in Charlottesville last year that led to the death of a young woman at the hands of a white supremacist, Trump blamed ‘both sides’ for the violence, referred to the participants in the rally as “very fine people,” and refused to directly condemn groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, which was present at the rally, or the broader so-called alt-right movement whose supporters made up the vast majority of the participants. Days later Trump repeated his ‘both sides’ argument in a press conference at Trump Tower in New York and then repeated it again a month later in the wake of a meeting purportedly intended to discuss race with Republican Senator Tim Scott, the only African-American Republican in the Senate. A year later, his comments about those events showed that he still didn’t understand why his initial response was so wrong.

It’s also worth noting that there have been plenty of examples of poisonous rhetoric and dangerous reactions on the other side of the aisle. Over the past several months, for example, political figures on the right have been the targets of what can only be described as angry, shouting mobs who have come after them in public spaces outside of government buildings. Late last week, for example, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell became the latest politician to be subjected to an angry crowd of protesters while trying to eat dinner in a public place. Back in July, McConnell was attacked by protesters at another Louisville restaurant where he was having lunch with staffers. Previously, McConnell and Chao had faced similar protests in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. In both of those incidents, the protesters appeared to be motivated by then-ongoing controversy over the Trump Administration’s policy of separating parents and children at the southern border, a policy that McConnell had already come out against. In addition to the incidents involving McConnell, protesters have also targeted Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsenformer Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. More recently Texas Senator Ted Cruz and his wife were subjected to protests at a high-end Italian restaurant in Washington during the fight over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was subjected to abusive and insulting protests at a political event in Florida. The most famous of these incidents, though, occurred last year when Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her family were effectively chased out of a restaurant in Winchester, Virginia and denied service due to the fact that the owner of the restaurant objected to the fact that she worked for the President.

There have also been similar incidents involving members of both political parties, some of which have been far more serious. Unquestionably at the top of that list was the shooting at a practice for the Republican baseball team prior to last year’s Congressional baseball game that resulted in injuries to several people, including Republican Congressman Steve Scalise who was unable to return to Congress for several months due to the multiple surgeries required by his injuries. The shooter in that case, who was killed by one of the Capitol Police officers assigned to provide security, appeared to be motivated by politics in selecting his target. Several months later, Senator Rand Paul was assaulted and seriously injured by his neighbor in an attack that appears to have been motivated by a personal dispute and by political disagreements. Last month, both Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and their families received death threats that were deemed serious and credible by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Just the other day, the campaign office of House Majority Leader, and potential future leader of the House GOP Caucus, Kevin McCarthy was vandalized in an apparent politically-based attack.

Obviously, some of these incidents are more serious than others, but they all point to the same poisoned political environment as their root cause, and the President would have us believe that the media is somehow responsible for this. Being chased out of a public place is a minor annoyance compared to being the target of a bombing attack, a sniper, or a physical assault. Additionally, I am not making the claim that this is a “both sides do it” situation. It clearly is not. If any one person is responsible for the poisonous political rhetoric that we find ourselves in today, then certainly the President of the United States bears a substantial amount of the blame for that. The fact that he and his supporters, who seem to be focusing on the idea that these attempted attacks are some kind of bizarre “false flag” operation engineered by Democrats to create sympathy in advance of the midterm elections ten days from now. are failing to acknowledge that fact says far more about them than it does about anyone else involved in the often overheated rhetoric that has become a part of our daily lives. More importantly, the idea that the media is somehow responsible for any of this is an absurdity that requires one to ignore the events that have occurred since Trump entered the race for President in June 2015 and the role that he and his supporters have played in ramping up political rhetoric in this country to the point where something like this would be likely to happen.

None of this is to say that the President is responsible for these attempted attacks, of course. Nor are Democratic politicians responsible for the idiotic and violent behavior directed toward Republicans noted above.  In the end, the only responsible party here is the person or persons involved in making these devices, selecting the targets, and delivering the devices. Since we have no publicly available clues regarding who that may be or what is motivating them and in some sense it is irresponsible for anyone, including the President, to be speculating about that before we have more information. That being said, since the President has chosen to focus on the media as the party responsible for these attempted attack, it is only fair to point out that if he really wants to find someone responsible for poisonous political rhetoric all he needs to do is look in the mirror.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Not the IT Dept. says:

    We’re building towards something really catastrophic in the next two years. Trump has absolutely no reason to change direction but rather every incentive to jam his foot down hard on the gas pedal to take us all over a cliff.

    When extremist political movements rose in 1920’s Germany, you can understand why: they’d lost an expensive war, they’d overthrown their monarchy, post-1918 economic crash and massive inflationary spiral. All of that equaled upheaval and shock that its people had never experienced. What’s our excuse?

    Tom: “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.”

    Ben: “A republic – if you can keep it.”

    There are very bad times ahead.

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  2. Facebones says:

    Trump has no incentive to change. He’s been railing against the press as enemies, drumming up fear of immigrants and refugees, and been an all out racist and misogynist for (god) three years since he announced his campaign.

    And he’s been rewarded for it at every turn. The Republican base is all too eager to lap up whatever he serves them. There is no check from congress, aside from the feeble hand-wringing of “concerned” senators like Flake and Collins who will show concern and then immediately vote for the President’s agenda.

    So why on earth change? Consequences are for other people, not Donald! He’s always been bailed out his entire life. First from bankruptcy by the Russians and Deutsche Bank, now by the rabid base. Even if the Democrats retake both houses, he’ll double down on Deep State- Traitor Dems – unfair illegitimate election – Enemy Press rhetoric.

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  3. steve says:

    2nd amendment remedies
    Obama is Hitler
    Liberal want to put conservatives in FEMA concentration camps
    Cops have the right to shoot unarmed people running away
    Ill pay your legal fees if you beat up that guy
    Liberals hate America
    Mexicans are rapists
    Liberals are a mob
    Etc, etc

    Not the pushback. It is his leadership in starting and perpetuating the hatred. His extolling those who push the hatred (Alex Jones as just one example). There are plenty of people on talk radio to do that. There are people from the left who also push the hatred in blogs. What is unique here is that the guy who has the bully pulpit is the one cheerleading (and leading) the hatred. Offhand, I can’t think of a similar case in our history, but maybe you can offer one.

    Steve

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  4. Mister Bluster says:

    @Donna Simmons:..A Normal Republican Politician would meekly bow down and apologize.

    Please provide examples of these mythical creatures.

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  5. John430 says:

    To be “fair and balanced” just go to https://www.newsbusters.org/ to see a summary of news articles and TV commentators that hate Trump. Rosie O’Donnell actually calling for a military coup. If that doesn’t meet the level of advocating violent overthrow of the government, then I don’t know what does.

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  6. SenyorDave says:

    @John430: Rosie O’Donnell? RU effin kidding us? You must be a troll. Trump is the most powerful person on the planet and you are using Rosie O’Donnell as some type of comparison.

    I didn’t agree with GWB on policy issue, but he didn’t pull 1% of the nonsense TRump does in terms of acting unpresidential. Years from now when a president acts unpresidential hopefully the adjective used will be trumplike.

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  7. James Pearce says:

    @John430:

    Rosie O’Donnell actually calling for a military coup.

    Of all the things to be worried about….

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  8. Kathy says:

    The republican party should stop supporting Trump whenever he claims that negative coverage is fake.

    Take for instance CNN reports that Trump’s infuriated that eh comes across in reports about the Khashoggi murder as being on the side of the Saudis. Well, if he didn’t provide cover for every Saudi excuse, deception, and misdirection in the matter, he wouldn’t come across like that, would he?

    He’s dropped the ball on this latest opportunity to provide leadership. there’s no excuse fo the rest of the party to follow his example.

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  9. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..there’s no excuse fo the rest of the party to follow his example.

    They are all quaking in their boots that Rosie O’Donnell and her Bitch Brigade will overrun the White House, capture Pud and lead him around on a leash like a dog.

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  10. Eric Florack says:

    I don’t remember this kind of rhetoric going on when Steve scalise got shot by a was shot buy a Democrat. I don’t remember this kind of rhetoric going on when Susan Collins was getting death threats just recently.

    Double standard much?

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  11. dazedandconfused says:

    @Donna Simmons:
    Let us not forget our Messiah revealed Ted Cruz’s dad killed Kennedy. I suppose we mush call Ted a Democrat for that.

  12. Michael Reynolds says:

    Nazis hated Jews. Jews hate Nazis. The two are not morally equivalent.

    The pre-existing conditions here are racism and misogyny. The left did not create or support either, we oppose both. And that, along with anti-abortion (in many ways an iteration of misogyny) is the core of the problem.

    It’s Trumpies marching under swastika flags and Confederate battle flags, not us. It’s Trumpies using Jim Crow style voter suppression, not us. It’s Trumpies who are stocking up on guns and ammo, not us. It’s Trumpies blithely excusing literally thousands of demonstrable lies. It’s Trumpies turning a blind eye to things ten times as egregiously illegal or stupid that would have had Republicans screaming for Obama’s head.

    It’s Trumpies chanting ‘lock her up’ in Nuremberg-style rallies despite a dozen Republican investigations having turned up zero evidence of a crime by Hillary.

    Did we invent a conspiracy theory involving pizza and sex slaves? Um. . . no.

    Our extremists? They’re shunned and frankly despised by every Democratic leader of importance. Republican extremists are the heart and soul of the party, led by a ranting, pathological liar, racist, woman-hater and traitor to the United States.

    Republicans have absolutely zero basis for a claim of moral equivalency.

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  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Republicans have absolutely zero basis for a claim of moral equivalency.

    And yet they will claim to be the true victims and call for 2nd Amendment solutions.

    It’s Trumpies who are stocking up on guns and ammo, not us.

    I don’t need any more than the 5 guns I own but there is never enough ammunition.

  14. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Our extremists? They’re shunned and frankly despised by every Democratic leader of importance.

    She’s not an extremist, but Hillary Clinton said that half of Trump’s supporters are deplorable.

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  15. John430 says:

    @SenyorDave: No trolling. Anyone, most of all a celebrity, advocating a military coup ought to be investigated. Remember Kathy Griff-whatshername?

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  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    She understated the truth. Trump voters are far more racist than Hillary voters. Or do you not find that deplorable?

    The truth is the truth. Reality is reality. And a truth you don’t happen to like is not thereby a lie.

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  17. Michael Reynolds says:

    @John430:
    Show us your evidence that Rosie O’Donnell called for a military coup. I’m genuinely curious. But it has to be a real news source, not Infowars or its clones which filled the first page of Google when I posed the question.

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  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Pearce: She was wrong about that. They may not all be racist and misogynistic but each and every one of them thinks a racist misogynist in the White House is just peachy. That makes them all deplorable. Except for the stupid ones who still have no idea what they voted for.

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  19. Kathy says:

    One very big thing trump ought to realize, and surely his supporters as well, is that even when he does something right, he spoils it by going about it the wrong way.

    Take NAFTA. trump called it the worst trade deal ever. He managed to do some upgrades and a few changes, leaving much of the trade agreement exactly as it was. Now he claims this New NAFTA is the greatest trade deal ever.

    If all NAFTA needed to be “the greatest trade deal ever” were a few tweaks and some upgrades, then how it could possibly have been the worst trade deal ever? Doesn’t it follow logically that it was a good trade agreement to begin with, but which needed some tweaks?

    Don’t forget that in order to do this he made a very big deal about walking out on the deal, attacked a major ally and a friendly country, created a lot of uncertainty in financial and trade markets, not to mention a lot of ill-will towards America.

    So, really, is this the best he can do? Do you think if he had approached Canada and Mexico and explained hwy upgrades and changes were necessary, they’d have stubbornly refused until compelled to negotiate by threats and tariffs?

    That is, maybe, how you pressure a hostile country, and that only if they start a fight first. It may be how you pressure an enemy. It’s not how you treat your friends and allies.

    To trumpet this as a success, one that “the media” doesn’t kiss his ass for, is just plain chutzpah.

  20. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Double standard much?

    Name one Democrat who led chants of “Lock Him Up” about Scalise? One Democrat who applauded Gianforte assaulting a journalist?
    Look…you are on old racist fool. STFU and go away.

    On Floracks Blog today he is saying this was all a false flag operation.
    While you are there, reading his drivel, you should do a search of the “N” word.
    http://bitsblog.theconservativereader.com/

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  21. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    She understated the truth.

    No, she gave Trump the presidency.

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    That makes them all deplorable.

    But they’re not deplorable. They’re your neighbors.

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  22. Kylopod says:

    @James Pearce:

    But they’re not deplorable. They’re your neighbors.

    Why do you think that’s mutually exclusive?

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  23. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kylopod:
    It’s the whole key to Pearce. He’s playing to an audience of family and friends. That’s why the bland lack of commitment and lack of any actual position aside from ‘everyone’s doing it wrong.’

  24. the Q says:

    Mr. Reynolds, beautifully stated: Nazis hated Jews. Jews hate Nazis. The two are not morally equivalent. The pre-existing conditions here are racism and misogyny. The left did not create or support either, we oppose both. And that, along with anti-abortion (in many ways an iteration of misogyny) is the core of the problem.

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  25. James Pearce says:

    Why do you think that’s mutually exclusive?

    Sometimes I ride the train and look at all the faces. Is this person deplorable? What about that person?

    I have a feeling they’re all deplorable, but maybe I’m just not a people person.

    @Michael Reynolds:

    He’s playing to an audience of family and friends.

    My family hates me and I don’t have any friends. That’s the key to Pearce, dude.

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  26. gVOR08 says:

    If McConnell, Cruz, Huckabee Sanders, et al wish to be respected in public places they could, perhaps, try behaving respectably.

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  27. Matt says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I had forgotten that she even exists…

  28. Kylopod says:

    @James Pearce:

    Sometimes I ride the train and look at all the faces. Is this person deplorable? What about that person?

    I have a feeling they’re all deplorable, but maybe I’m just not a people person.

    Earlier this year, when accused of sounding like a “moderately intelligent Trump supporter,” you asked rhetorically, “Have you ever met a Trump supporter that was ‘moderately intelligent?'”

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/orrin-hatch-announces-retirement-opening-the-door-for-mitt-romney/#comment-2266992

    So let me get this straight: describing some Trump supporters as "deplorable" is wrong because "They're you're neighbors," but describing all Trump supporters as idiots is accurate?

    The irony is that you sound more out-of-touch than any of the Dems you’re criticizing. Most of us, I suspect, deal on a regular basis with people with “deplorable” views–neighbors, family members, even friends. It’s not easy, and some of us have lost friendships over it. You can choose to fall back on a lazy cynicism that says the political divide is all just one big overheated rivalry, like Red Sox vs. Yankees. The problem with thinking in those terms is that real people’s lives are being affected. Children really are being separated from their parents, Puerto Rico really is still without power, people really are being thrown in jail for smoking a joint, and it really is still legal in many states to fire someone for being gay.

    Trump isn’t responsible for all this, and some of it was going on long before he appeared on the political scene. But he fed into a particularly nasty part of our political culture that seems to revel in being a dick. When he mocked women, Mexicans, disabled people, war veterans who had lost a child, it wasn’t something incidental to his candidacy, it was absolutely central to what many–if not most–of his supporters loved about him. They loved that he wasn’t “PC”–and by that they didn’t mean he disagreed with a few left-wing professors, they meant he proudly and unapologetically expressed views which mainstream society considers appalling but which millions of Americans continue to cling to in private.

    In saying this, I’m not being judgmental against people who hold views like this. I’m not saying they’re all bad people. People are complicated creatures, and can be deplorable in one way, and wonderful in another. The racist grandma who rails against brown people at Thanksgiving dinner might be a kind, loving soul in her regular life. But that doesn’t change the fact that when she goes into the voting booth, she is contributing to evil in the world.

    This is not a new conundrum. Virtually every major atrocity in history was supported, to one degree or another, by regular, ordinary folks who may have seemed like decent people.

    I agree that Hillary’s “deplorable” remark was, from a strictly political angle, an unforced error. But it was also a perfect example of Michael Kinsley’s famous definition of a gaffe as when a politician tells the truth. At one of the debates she noted that her mistake was that she should have restricted her attacks to Trump himself, and not attacked his voters. Again, politically this may have been an accurate observation, but morally she had it exactly backwards. The real sin, the real rot in our culture, comes from the people who hold these views, who bask in hate and fear of the “other.” If Trump hadn’t come along to tap into these feelings, someone else easily could have, and for all we know would have been more effective at accomplishing the deplorable things these voters crave.

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  29. Barry says:

    @James Pearce: “She’s not an extremist, but Hillary Clinton said that half of Trump’s supporters are deplorable.”

    Oh, that makes it OK, then.

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  30. Pylon says:

    It struck me that when Trump was rightly criticized for not even mentioning the names of the people who were sent bombs (especially two ex-presidents and and HRC) he might have been actually been in a tough spot optically. Because guess what happens if, at the rally, he says “So someone sent a bomb to Barack Obama/Hilary Clinton”. The crowd would absolutely cheer that.

  31. James Pearce says:

    @Kylopod:

    So let me get this straight: describing some Trump supporters as “deplorable” is wrong because “They’re you’re neighbors,” but describing all Trump supporters as idiots is accurate?

    If you believe that Trump is going to “Make America Great Again,” then you are indeed an idiot. I stand by that. That’s an actual argument.

    Hillary’s “deplorables” comment was caricature.

    The real sin, the real rot in our culture, comes from the people who hold these views, who bask in hate and fear of the “other.”

    I dunno. I think a little “fear of the other” and/or prejudice is normal and the real rot comes from attempts to preserve untenable double-standards.

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  32. KM says:

    @Kylopod:

    I’m not saying they’re all bad people.

    This is a key part of all this. No one is the villain of their own story. These are people who want to act like a dick but not be called one because they feel the stigma of the term is worse then the action that prompted the label. At what point does the label apply? How many times do you have to steal before you are a thief? Technically, only once counts but most people would insist you’d need to do it habitually and even then they’d put a financial or material limit on it (person who takes pens =/= not a thief, person who takes from wallets needs to go to jail!!)

    How many times do you need to do deplorable things before you become deplorable? How many times do you do it angrily, nastily, with malice in your heart towards someone before you stop being a good person?

    Bad people do good things all the damn time. Serial killers have been known to be active in their community; Ted Bundy worked at a suicide hotline and most likely saved some lives – does that make up for the ones he took? Good people do bad things all the damn time and blame others so they can pretend they are still good; if you get pulled over for speeding, do you accept the blame for your actions or do you curse the cop that caught you? Do you get mad that you were held accountable for being bad or do you think you’re a good person that had a cop ruin their day?

    Trump and Co can’t STAND people pointing out that they are behaving badly and thus merit socially negative labels. They don’t want people treating like pariahs for what they do. They want to cling to the internal classification of good people while it’s becoming blatantly obvious to everyone else they’re not. Personally, I don’t care how you view yourself and have no interest in soothing hurt egos – if you’re acting like a dick, you’re a dick at the moment. If that moment becomes repetitious and continuous day, week or year, guess what? To paraphrase the Trumpkins, f^ck your feelings, you’re a dick!

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  33. Kylopod says:

    @James Pearce:

    If you believe that Trump is going to “Make America Great Again,” then you are indeed an idiot.

    And you’re accusing others of caricature? What about people who voted for Trump because they wanted tax cuts, deregulation, and a conservative SCOTUS? There are a lot of things I’d call such people, but “idiot” isn’t among them.

    I’m not saying there aren’t a lot of dumb Trump supporters. Of course there are. The problem is that your statement was universal: you implied the idea of an even moderately intelligent Trump supporter was laughable–all the while attacking Dems for suggesting that some Trump supporters are deplorable.

    I almost get the impression you made this remark just to bolster your anti-Trump cred, because you knew you were being held in suspicion of being a closet Trumpie. You overcompensated and ended up expressing a view that borders on incoherence.

    I think a little “fear of the other” and/or prejudice is normal

    I never said otherwise. I don’t have any doubt that, at some level, I am racist, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic. The difference is that I don’t consider these positive traits. I don’t try to justify them. I see them as flaws in myself. I entirely reject myths such as the idea of rampant crime by immigrants or the genetic superiority of whites, and I am open to revising my own views in light of learning new evidence–as I have when it comes to transgender issues. I don’t just stubbornly cling to my old beliefs and go around insisting “I’m not PC” as if that’s justification.

    The word “deplorable” isn’t about someone’s personal vices, it’s about their value system. For example, there was a recent poll asking people about their reactions to Census projections that white non-Hispanics will be a minority in the US by 2040. Fully 50% of Republicans in the survey said this would have “mostly negative” consequences.

    Think about that for a second. Literally half of all Republicans openly admit to believing racial diversity is a bad thing. That’s not even counting the number of Republicans who privately hold this belief but won’t admit it to a pollster. This isn’t a matter of “prejudice,” it’s a matter of fundamental beliefs about right and wrong. It’s just one piece of evidence–and I can offer plenty more–that many if not most Republicans have a seriously twisted perception of right and wrong when it comes to race. And you really think it’s a caricature to suggest half of Trump supporters hold deplorable views?

  34. James Pearce says:

    @Kylopod:

    I almost get the impression you made this remark just to bolster your anti-Trump cred, because you knew you were being held in suspicion of being a closet Trumpie.

    People who think I’m a Trumpie are wrong. Is that really my problem? I’m concerned wholly with “how I wanna be” and not concerned at all with “how I wanna be seen.” People can be wrong about me, especially people on the internet.

    Literally half of all Republicans openly admit to believing racial diversity is a bad thing.

    How I am to know that N amount of Republicans think don’t think “racial diversity” actually means left-wing intersectionalism?

    Most people aren’t into “racial diversity.” They want to be around people like them. White people moving into black neighborhoods are gentrifiers. Brown people moving into white neighborhoods are invaders.

    If “racial diversity” is a good and desirable thing, it’s only as a method to get to “racial equality.”