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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

 

Deplorables unmasked

by Tom Sullivan


Trump supporter in Asheville, NC. Photo by Paul Choi.

Joan Walsh sums up media coverage of Clinton's awkward "basket of deplorables" comment: "One of the nation’s two major political parties is morphing into a white-nationalist party, but Clinton is the boor for talking about it." She writes at The Nation:

Journalists like Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jamelle Bouie, and Judd Legum have shown that Clinton was right. Two-thirds of Trump supporters believe President Obama isn’t an American (Trump’s first political crusade, you’ll recall.) Sixty percent have “unfavorable views” of Islam, while more than 40 percent believe blacks are “more violent” and “more criminal” than whites. My personal favorite data point: Twenty percent of Trump backers think Lincoln was wrong to sign the Emancipation Proclamation.
At the Washington Post, Dana Milbank thinks, if anything, Clinton may have low-balled the number of Trump's racist supporters:
Research by Washington Post pollsters and by University of California at Irvine political scientist Michael Tesler, among others, have found that Trump does best among Americans who express racial animus. Evidence indicates fear that white people are losing ground was the single greatest predictor of support for Trump — more, even, than economic anxiety.

Few people embrace the “racist” label, so let’s help them. If you are “very enthusiastic” about a candidate who has based his campaign on scapegoating immigrants, Latinos and African Americans, talked of banning Muslims from the country, hesitated to disown the Ku Klux Klan and employed anti-Semitic imagery — well, you might be a racist. But if you are holding your nose and supporting Trump only because you think him better than Clinton, that doesn’t put you in the basket.

The new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds the two groups roughly equal: Forty-six percent of Trump supporters say they are “very enthusiastic” about his candidacy. The rest were “somewhat” or not terribly enthusiastic.
Trump supporters "in the basket" may not wear white hoods to his rallies. But what's upsetting to them about Clinton's comments is being publicly unmasked. They prefer to "pass" as decent people in public and to see themselves that way. Even those few who keep pointed, white hoodies in their closets wear them to other rallies because they don't like being publicly identified as members of a racist gang with violent tendencies. It's who they are, but they're not beyond being somewhat ashamed of it in mixed company. They simply prefer unmixed company.

Speaking of violent tendencies, those came out at a Trump rally yesterday in Asheville, North Carolina (where apparently the taco trucks couldn't get near the venue for the media trucks). Some guy inside the rally, standing with his right fist clenched and ready, punched one protester and took swipes at several others (video). Outside (per Facebook comments and cell phone photos), a Trump supporter who looked to be in his seventies punched an old lady wearing an oxygen bottle, knocking her to the ground.

A friend who was outside the arena posted to Facebook:
The entire rally was a downright terrifying window into the vision of America Trump supporters have. Many responded "fuck yes" when asked "do you support racism", which really threw me off. It isn't just liberal media making it seem like these rallies are angry and hate fueled... It's true.
The Deplorables just dislike being publicly reminded of it, the way NC Republican legislators dislike being reminded that their HB2 bigotry towards transgender residents caused the NCAA to pull seven championships out of the state for this academic year. How dare those unmannerly carpetbaggers wave the bloody shirt!

The News & Observer's Andrew Carter received this response to the NCAA via the NCGOP's official email account: