“Intolerance is the most socially acceptable form of egotism, for it permits us to assume superiority without personal boasting.” – Sydney J. Harris
In order to cover this appropriately, we need to first unpack Donald Trump’s most “divisive” statement, and the attacks that followed thereafter.
On the sixteenth of June, 2015, in announcing his candidacy for President of the United States, Donald Trump made a statement that echos through the political halls, and across the social grapevine of America to this day: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you [pointing to audience members]. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us [sic]. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” A full transcript of the speech can be read here.
This, of course, is a harsh statement that is sure to offend the sensibilities of people whose greatest social interest is occupying the moral high ground. It’s certainly a paragraph worthy of inquiry, if not scrutiny.
What the statement is not, however, is a blanket indictment against Mexican people, Mexican-Americans, Latinos, or Hispanics across the board. It is a deliberate attack on illegal immigrants from south of the United States border, implying that the Mexican government, true or not, is complicit in the flow of illegal immigrants; a paragraph that has, in the months that have since followed, aroused an honest look at the genuine effects of illegal immigration on the U.S economy and the nation’s social fabric. Indeed, an argument can be made that the effects have been catastrophic for every-day American citizens, irrespective of their nation of origin or their ethnic background. In fact, low-skilled minorities are those who are hit hardest by it.
Similarly, the Trump campaign has since been the sole voice for the victims who’ve suffered at the hands of illegal immigrants   . This says nothing of the countless American communities dealing with the devastating fallout of the drug trade from the southern border.
These are all real, tangible, and quantifiable issues that have confronted the United States and its citizenry—ethnicity aside—for decades. However, this is a subject that is deserving of its own essay. The above is simply laid-out to offer perspective on what came to be the most “bigoted” and “divisive” moment of this election cycle; a statement that ushered in a snowball effect of identity-politics and political buzzwords. One of the most prominent buzzwords being “intolerant”.
Enter Hillary Clinton.
As Donald Trump has been doing outreach to the African-American communities of inner cities, and trumpeting the case for charter schools as a solution to the African-American education issue, Hillary Clinton—facing a narrowing of margins in the polls—has become increasingly desperate. Amidst this moment of desperation, she has subtly lifted her mask, offering Americans brief insight into her long standing nature of maniacal, elitist, condescending, egotistical intolerance.
This is her intolerant final stand.
On the ninth of September, 2016, during a Barbra Streisand-hosted fundraiser for Clinton, Hillary remarked the following: “You know, just to be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables [crowd cheers]. They’re racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it … Now some of these folks, they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”
Where Trump’s statement was a direct attack on illegal immigrants that required Olympian level mental gymnastics in order misconstrue it into an attack on all Latinos, Hillary Clinton’s rhetorical cannon was aimed directly at American citizens. American citizens that, come November 8, will number upward of 30 million people (fifty percent of Trump’s probable turnout, and up to one quarter of all likely voters). That figure, at any rate, is actually a shallow representation of his total numerical support across the nation given voter eligibility and voter turnout.
Hillary Clinton, possible President of the United States, and a soi-disant champion of equality and human rights, referred to tens of millions of American citizens as irredeemably deplorable. Irrespective of whether a Trump supporter is actually any of the adjectives that Clinton threw around, they are now inherently smeared by them, and will be treated and viewed as such, regardless.
But exactly who among Trump’s voters is she specifically targeting? Perhaps husband and political surrogate Bill Clinton has the answer.
On the same day that Hillary would go on to ostracize millions of Americans, Bill was on the campaign trail in Pittsburgh. Speaking to a crowd of ardent Hillary supporters, he subtly derided Donald Trump’s campaign and supporters, by way of attack on his campaign slogan. “Make America Great Again … If you’re a white Southerner, you know exactly what it means, don’t you?”, Bill asked. The inference here being that Donald Trump’s supporters are southern, white, and racist.
This of course wasn’t delivered without a great sense of irony, given that Bill Clinton himself has used the phrase multiple times throughout his political career, including as recently as 2008 while campaigning for his wife the first time-round.
Unpacking Hillary’s comments further, it’s important to take note of the environment in which her remarks were made. She was speaking at a fundraising event, comprised primarily of exclusive, upper-class liberal donors, and the comments were received with much fanfare. It is perhaps a prototypical example of northern liberal indignation and elitism; a display of wealthy individuals who are insulated against the real world issues that afflict the common American; an arrogant, self-righteous condescension toward people that they do not understand, and do not care to understand.
It is, perhaps, a microcosm of one of the longer running narratives of the American landscape—the northern liberal intellectual vs. the southern blue-collar layman.
Which brings us to the crux of the issue: this isn’t about white supremacism, black vs. white, racism, equality, diversity, or any other go-to political narrative of the day: it is merely the age-old strategy of social divide and conquer, whereby ordinary Americans are pitted against one another, and those insulated against the fallout—the wealthy, the secure, and the political and corporate elite—reap the reward.
In this regard, Hillary Clinton and northern liberal intellectuals don’t differ too much from their upper-class conservative counterparts in the contempt that they hold for the lower-class individuals that populate the nation and keep its wheels turning. Consider this excerpt from conservative commentator Kevin D. Williamson of the National Review: “The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible … The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin.”
It’s not hard for one to imagine that the same sentiment would be extrapolated to inner-city African American communities. It’s simply not, because it wouldn’t be politically expedient. It’d be racist. Similarly, it’s not hard to imagine Clinton’s invective being extrapolated to the U.S.’ Muslim community (homophobic, misogynistic, anti-atheist, Westernphobic). It’s simply not, because it wouldn’t be politically expedient. It’d be racist.
The media, too, have been quick to contrast her comments to Republican Mitt Romney’s 47 percent comments, which effectively pigeonholed half of the political electorate (Democrat voters) as being beholden to the welfare state.
The difference, however, is political expediency. While Clinton will cop a grilling for her comments, it’s unlikely to shift the polls much, because it is politically expedient to demonize white people, particularly blue-collar and southern whites who tend toward conservatism. It is socially acceptable, and a widely recited narrative.
This is why it’s a mistake to characterize her statements as a “gaffe”. This was not a slip; it was premeditated, scripted, and vetted. There is a method in the madness. In issuing a half-hearted apology the following day, and firing a more precise invective, Clinton allows liberals to reassure themselves of their moral standing, while continuing to fan the flames of identity-politics and social division.
“The worst I have been treated was by northern liberal elites. The absolute worst I have ever been treated … The worst things that have been done to me, the worst things that have been said about me, by northern liberal elites, not by the people of Savannah, Georgia.” – Clarence Thomas
Hillary Clinton’s elitist intolerance and condescension, for and toward anybody that doesn’t think like her, or is outside of her socioeconomic mold, is well documented. It is certainly not a new phenomenon among people of her ilk, or the progressive end of the political spectrum (read: ‘A Confession of Liberal Intolerance’).
Take for example former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s comments while stumping for Clinton: “It’s not done and you have to help. Hillary Clinton will always be there for you. And just remember, there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”. One has to wonder if this applies to the 64% of married women who support Donald Trump.
At any rate, Clinton’s speech is simply her latest foray into a show of desperate intolerance as she wades through the waters of a nation that is pushing against her, damaging her elitist, entitled ego.
In week’s prior, Hillary had given a fantastical speech on the the ‘Alt-Right’ that bordered on lunacy; in seeking to paint Trump’s “core supporters” as conspiracy theorists, Clinton herself entered the realm of the tinfoil, arguing in effect that the Alt-Right movement was a bogeyman-Frankenstein, crafted with the limbs and organs of all the world’s prior bogeymen, and it was coming to a neighbourhood near you in the form of the Donald Trump voter. She has essentially declared war on a frog meme. Seriously.
In the left’s conception of race, power is a prerequisite for racism. That is to say, that in order to be racist, you must first wield power—social, economic, or otherwise—else racism is ineffective and moot as it does no damage. This, ironically, makes Hillary’s speech and the narrative she has set most sad of all. The white people she has targeted seldom benefit from whatever remnant of truth there may be in “white privilege”. They are not the ones living in protected, secure enclaves; they are the ones who have seen a stagnation and reduction in wages, and who have seen their jobs vanish to imported labor and foreign markets; they are the ones seeing a rise in unemployment, in drug use, and in mortality rates; these whites are the whites who are unempowered, who have no voice, and are mocked and berated by the northern white liberals in the media, and in universities all across America; these whites have an economic, health and social trajectory more in line with African Americans than they do the crowd of whites that Hillary sought to deride them in front of. It’s a mistake to think, for one moment, that she wouldn’t do the same to struggling inner city African Americans if it were politically expedient to do so.
A public statement, recited to the howls of joyous elitist laughter, that served as a direct attack on at least one-quarter of the eligible voting electorate, is uncharted territory in modern American political history. It was a statement that channels Kevin D. Williamson of the National Review, and sends a resounding message to some 30 million hard-working, ordinary American citizens simply seeking a better tomorrow: “The truth is … you are irredeemably deplorable and your communities deserve to die”.
UPDATE: The Clinton campaign has reinvigorated its fear-campaign about Donald Trump, white nationalism, and the original bogeyman of the election, former-KKK leader David Duke. According to Clinton’s twitter account, Trump’s running-mate Mike Pence is disqualified from Vice Presidency because he would not label David Duke “deplorable”. See his comments here; more here.
David Duke, the epicenter of this vast right-wing, racist, white-nationalism that Trump enables and that is about to overrun the country, is currently attracting a monumental, terrifying… 3% in the polls for his Senate election campaign. Be very afraid. As previously argued, Hillary Clinton and the media are doing more to give national prominence to these irrelevant groups and figures than Donald Trump ever has.
Clinton’s paranoid delusions about the Alt-Right have also lead her to essentially declare war on a frog meme. Seriously.