J. Stewart Cook
I can just picture Donald Trump skipping down “ANY STREET,” USA, with a basket of “deplorables” in his hand. And, obviously, so can Hillary Clinton! But, seriously, where did Hillary (or rather, who in her political camp) ever got the idea that attacking Donald Trump’s supporters by referring to them as “deplorables” would gain her political points. Was this some sort of “reverse psychology?” Illumination, she thought. They will “see the light” and have some sort of an “epiphany,” an experience of sudden and striking realization that they could not see before! They will join my side, said Hillary! Yes, divide and conquer! In Hillary’s mind, attacking Donald’s supporters could only cause divisiveness. What better? Well, in fact, we all know that when attacked one will “double up,” not divide.
So, who are Donald Trump’s supporters? Without hesitation, one can simply say, they are Republicans, as opposed to Democrats. But really, are they the “Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it,” as Hillary cites. Thank goodness the Democratic Party has none of these outstanding individuals!
It would seem that Donald Trump has captured a portion of the American “working-class,” along with the “middle-class.” They have joined “Camp Donald.” It has been a long time since the “hard working class” has made itself heard in the world of American politics. The working-class values “emphasize external standards, such as obedience and a strong respect for authority as well as little tolerance for deviance. This is opposed to middle-class individuals who emphasize internal standards, self-direction, curiosity and a tolerance for non-conformity. Nonetheless, these two groupings of people are those that Hillary has pointed to as the “deplorables.” Needless to say, a BIG mistake.
When looking closely at this election, one may wonder if there are shades of the 1980 election where the term Reagan Democrat was coined to describe moderate Democrats who are more conservative than liberal on certain issues like national security and immigration. Coincidently, or not, two outstanding issues of this election relate to national security and immigration. Has Donald courted these voters? But of more concern, do these Reagan Democrats form part of the “basket of deplorables” Hillary references?
As of this day, we have yet to know the full impact of Hillary’s famous, or should I say infamous, term “basket of deplorables.” What we do know is that Hillary has expressed “regret” for having stated the aforementioned term. In the same vein, Hillary further commented, “I was ‘grossly generalistic,’ and that’s never a good idea.” I can only but hear Donald reversing that phrase to state…”she was ‘generally gross’ and that’s never a good idea!” It is all simply deplorable!
J. Stewart Cook has been involved in Canadian politics since he was a teen. He was actively involved during Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s era during the latter years of the Cold War, serving as an advisor to three different Members of Parliament and Press Secretary to Stewart McInnes, a Federal Cabinet Minister from Nova Scotia. Mr. Cook left active politics in 1988 and entered the Canadian Federal government as a civil servant in the field of Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP). He retired from the government in 2011 as Director of ATIP for one of the Federal Departments. He currently lives in Ottawa.