I’m Deplorable

Friday night, Hillary Clinton said out loud what our progressive friends have long been thinking. It may cost her the election.

Half of Donald Trump’s supporters, claimed Hillary, were merely anxious about the future. The other half belonged in a “basket of deplorables.” What made them deplorable, said Hillary, was that they were “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it.”

Having been called all of these things, I can assure you that to be so defamed one need only express a common sense opinion on, say, affirmative action, gender differences, traditional marriage, immigration or terrorism — an opinion that the defamer may have held as recently as yesterday.

In my 2015 book, Scarlet Letters, I explored the desperate urge felt by Hillary and her fellow travelers to demonize their fellow citizens. My inspiration came after watching an HBO documentary called Fall to Grace and directed by Alexandra Pelosi — yes, Nancy’s daughter. Pelosi revealed, without intending to, how easily the failure to follow the shifting multicultural creed could become a “sin.”

The documentary tracks the career of former New Jersey governor, Jim McGreevey, the self-dubbed “gay-American” disgraced in a sex and security scandal. In one passing scene, McGreevey enters an Episcopal Church ostensibly more welcoming than the hidebound Catholic Church of his childhood. The message board on the church front reads, “Lord help us overcome the sins of racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia.”

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Had the message board been bigger, I argued, the good pastor might have added xenophobia, Islamophobia, and global warming denial. “Although there are many other ways an individual can go wrong,” I wrote, “these stand for the moment as the seven new deadly sins.” In her speech, Hillary cited five of the seven. By concluding with the phrase “you name it,” she encouraged her audience to conjure up some other new sin, “transphobia” perhaps.

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