‘Deplorable’: The Election was Over the Instant This Word Left Hillary’s Mouth

By David Goldman Published on September 12, 2016

The presidential election was over the moment the word “deplorable” made its run out of Hillary Clinton’s unguarded mouth. As the whole world now knows, Clinton told a Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender fundraiser Sept. 10, “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, 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. And unfortunately, there are people like that, and he has lifted them up.”

Hillary is road kill.

She apologized, to be sure, but no-one will believe her: she was chilling with her home audience and feeling the warmth, and she said exactly what she thinks. The “Clinton Cash” corruption scandals, the layers of lies about the email server, health problems, and all the other negatives that pile up against the former First Lady are small change compared to this apocalyptic moment of self-revelation.

You can’t win an American presidential election without the deplorables’ vote. Deplorables are America’s biggest minority. They might even be the American majority. They may or not be racist, homophobic and so forth, but they know they’re deplorable. Deplorable, and proud. They’re the median family whose real income has fallen deplorably by 5% in the past ten years, the 35% of adult males who deplorably have dropped out of the labor force, the 40% of student debtors who deplorably aren’t making payments on their loans, the aging state and local government workers whose pension funds are $4 trillion short. They lead deplorable lives and expect that their kids’ lives will be even more deplorable than theirs.

Americans are by and large forgiving people. They’ll forgive Bill for cavorting with Monica “I did not have sex with that woman” Lewinsky in the Oval Office and imposing himself on any number of unwilling females. They might even forgive Hillary for losing tens of thousands of compromising emails on an illegal private server and then repeatedly lying about it in a way that insults the deplorable intelligence of the average voter. But the one thing you can’t do is spit on them and tell them it’s raining. They’ll never forgive you for that. They’re hurting, and they rankle at candidates who rub their faces in it.

Mitt Romney’s campaign was unsalvageable after the famous 2012 “47% remark,” by which he simply meant that the 47% of American workers whose income falls below the threshold for federal taxes would be indifferent to his tax cut proposals. The trouble is that these workers pay a great deal of taxes — to Social Security, Medicare, and in most cases to local governments through sales taxes and assessments. After a covert video of his remarks at a private fundraiser made the rounds, Romney spent the rest of the campaign with the equivalent of an advertising blimp over his head emblazoned with the words: “I represent the economic elite.” Clinton has done the same thing with the cultural elite.

There are racists and homophobes in the Trump camp, to be sure. Everybody’s got to be somewhere. Trump is no Puritan, however, and really couldn’t care less what sort of sex people have, or who uses what bathroom (as he made clear), or who marries whom. He built a new country club in Palm Beach two decades ago because the old ones excluded blacks and Jews. He’s no racist. He’s an obnoxious, vulgar, salesman who plays politics like a reality show. I’ve made clear that I will vote for him, not because he was my choice in the Republican field (that was Sen. Cruz), but because I believe that rule of law is a precondition for a free society. If the Clintons get a free pass for influence-peddling on the multi-hundred-million-dollar scale and for covering up illegal use of private communications for government documents, the rule of law is a joke in the United States. Even if Trump were a worse president than Clinton — which is probably not the case — I would vote for him, on this ground alone.

That’s not why Trump crushed the Republican primaries. He won because Americans are tired of an economic elite that ignores them. Americans know the game is rigged against them. For generations Americans could make their way from the bottom to the top of the heap by starting businesses. In some periods more of them succeeded than others, but everyone knew someone who got rich more or less honestly. That came to a crashing end during the Obama Administration. There were fewer small firms with fewer workers in 2013 than there were in 2007.

The deplorables look at the American economy as a lottery. They aren’t sophisticated, but they’re sly: They know the game is rigged, because there aren’t any winners. The American economy is more corrupt and more cartelized then at any time in its history. Productivity growth was negative for the past two quarters, and five-year productivity growth is the lowest since the stagflation of the 1970s.

Corporations are making money by gaming the regulatory system rather than deploying new technologies. Close to half of the increase in corporate profits during the past decade can be attributed to regulatory rent-seeking by large corporations, according to a June 2016 study by Boston University economist Jim Bessen. Bessen concluded that “investments in conventional capital assets and R&D account for a substantial part of the rise in valuations and profits especially during the 1990s. However, since 2000, political activity and regulation account for a surprisingly large share of the increase.”

That’s why Trump won the nomination. Ted Cruz, an evangelical Christian, solicited the religious vote (what Hillary Clinton thinks of as “homophobes”), but the evangelicals by and large voted for Trump. They want an outsider with a big broom to come in and sweep away the Establishment, because the Establishment has given them deplorably few crumbs from the table these past eight years. As “Publius” wrote Sept. 5 in Claremont Review, “A Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.”

There are any number of things I would like Donald Trump to do as president. I have no idea what he will do when elected. Deplorably, we’re going to find out.

 

Originally published in The Asia Times. Reprinted with permission.

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  • Hmmm…

    I understood she was right on script with the remark, speaking part of her speech. She is recorded making the statement in a private interview as well. Her response to the furor was that she shouldn’t have said 50%. She just rued the math. She is to this date yet to apologize. Frankly, some may consider she was speaking to a room of deplorables. Trump got repeal of the Johnson Amendment in the Republican platform for evangelicals. He is real with them, I think. Billionaire yes, but has a down-to-earth soul. I think he will do what his policy speeches say he will do for starters. He’s going to find out the facts of life in the real world with its particular factors once there. He will have to really listen to the good people he’s putting and will put around him. Hillary’s pretty much a basket case herself. Wonder if she orchestrated the fainting and medical situation to change the subject. It didn’t work.

    • 6thinclass

      Your last paragraph! What a thought – I hadn’t gone there yet. It has potential. But I don’t think so.

      I am a deplorable: “But the one thing you can’t do is spit on them and tell them it’s raining. They’ll never forgive you for that.” Or urinate on their feet & say it’s raining.

  • SophieA

    Imagine waking up last Saturday morning only to realize sadly that India’s extinct caste system resurrected here based on one’s difficult and almost impossible choice for President of the United States. Instead of collective outrage for this mean spirited and wholly fallacious attack, HRC and her minions regretted that only “half” we’re so condemned when clearly they maintain anyone casting a vote for Trump/Pence qualifies for the “deplorable/untouchable” caste. So HRC, if elected, would be the president of the higher castes? What is next? Trials, concentration camps, or prisons for “deplorables?” So much for the Democratic Party as advocate for the common man.

  • Char B

    Good article, especially the point about the Clintons’ influence-peddling on the multi-million dollar scale. Trump thinks of himself as the ultimate winner. I sure hope he’s right about that.

  • Jennifer Hartline

    Only if Hillary isn’t forced to drop out. I don’t believe she’ll ever drop out voluntarily. I think she feels being POTUS is owed to her, and she’s GOING to make history because that’s her destiny. But if serious health issues demand a new candidate, then we’re sunk. Trump will lose. God help us!

  • bfast

    I actually still fear Trump more than I fear Clinton.

    However, If you have an alternative thought about LGBT “rights”, you are a deplorable in the Clinton econom. If you, like I, think that having your 13 year old daughter showering with naked 13 year old boys is somehow, um, wrong, then you are a deplorable by Clinton’s definition.

    I agree with this article. I think that Clinton lost the election with this line. I hope that history records that it was this statement that cost her the election — not her health, not her e-mails, and certainly not the amazing attributes of Mr. Trump.

  • Charles Burge

    I think this analysis is extremely optimistic. You’re forgetting that the mainstream news media will do everything they can to help Hillary get elected.

    • Hmmm…

      Maybe he’s remembering the many past times everything they can do was not enough. There’s more push this time on the other side as well, like one particular overturn a couple of decades ago. Stronger candidate then, but one much maligned as well.

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