Columnist Brilliantly Explains Why Hillary Was Right About The 'Basket of Deplorables' (VIDEO)

Columnist Brilliantly Explains Why Hillary Was Right About The ‘Basket of Deplorables’ (VIDEO)

Her Assertion Is Backed By Stats, Assuming You Consider Racism ‘Deplorable’

It’s safe to say Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment now resides in the “Controversial Fundraiser Remark Hall of Fame”. Much like Barack Obama’s “Cling to guns or religion” or Mitt Romney’s “47%“, her opinions about the rampant racism among Trump supporters have provided fodder for the GOP nominee as well as the mainstream political media. More often than not, it’s been referred to as “a gaffe” with the potential to doom her candidacy. The fact that the remarks were made behind closed doors (while raising money, no less) makes for extremely poor optics. And on the surface, it may strike the average voter as unseemly or inappropriate commentary about the American people:

“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, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

But Was She Wrong?

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank examined polling on issues of diversity and comes to a conclusion that matched the initial reaction of the majority of Americans repulsed by the Trump candidacy: She’s not wrong. He writes:

If anything, when it comes to Trump’s racist support, she might have low-balled the number.

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Unlike much of what comes out of Trump’s mouth, Milbank had the research to back it up:


But this isn’t a matter of gratuitous name-calling. This election has proved that there is much more racism in America than many believed. It came out of hiding in opposition to the first African-American president, and it has been welcomed into the open by Trump.

The American National Election Studies, the long-running, extensive poll of American voters, asked voters in 2012 a basic test of prejudice: to rank black and white people on a scale from hardworking to lazy and from intelligent to unintelligent. The researchers found that 62 percent of white people gave black people a lower score in at least one of the attributes. This was a jump in prejudicial attitudes from 2008, when 45 percent of white people expressed negative stereotypes.

This question is a good indicator of how one votes: Republican Mitt Romney won 61 percent of those who expressed negative stereotypes. And, when the question was asked during the 2008 primaries, those with negative racial stereotypes consistently favored Republican candidates — any of them — over any Democratic candidate in hypothetical matchups.

How Do Trump-Backers Compare To Typical Republicans?

Even among Republicans, Trump supporters exhibit more overt signs of racism than those who backed the other GOP candidates. A Public Policy Polling report during the GOP Primaries found that those backing the eventual ideas held “deplorable” opinions well outside the mainstream:

Our new poll finds that Trump is benefiting from a GOP electorate that thinks Barack Obama is a Muslim and was born in another country, and that immigrant children should be deported. 66% of Trump’s supporters believe that Obama is a Muslim to just 12% that grant he’s a Christian. 61% think Obama was not born in the United States to only 21% who accept that he was. And 63% want to amend the Constitution to eliminate birthright citizenship, to only 20% who want to keep things the way they are.

Trump’s beliefs represent the consensus among the GOP electorate. 51% overall want to eliminate birthright citizenship. 54% think President Obama is a Muslim. And only 29% grant that President Obama was born in the United States. That’s less than the 40% who think Canadian born Ted Cruz was born in the United States.


Does backing Trump automatically make one “deplorable”? Hardly. Milbank explains the breakdown between the half who belong “in the basket” quite articulately:

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.

It’s too early to speculate as to whether or not the “basket of deplorables” will negatively impact Clinton’s campaign. Many who have engaged with Trump supporters have similar feelings. This man, after all, is the darling of the white nationalist movement. It’s statistically correct to say that a majority of Trump supporters exhibit racist, sexist, xenophobic and Islamaphobic tendencies.

It’s up to the voters to decide if those qualities are deplorable.

Watch Dana Milbank Discuss The Racism Among Trump Supporters Here:

Featured Photo screen captured from CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) on 

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Ed Hanratty is a Reverb Press contributor and freelance political journalist. A lifelong New Jerseyan, he prides himself on having just enough Garden State sarcasm and skepticism to keep his bleeding heart in check. Keep up with Ed’s work and random ramblings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the links below…but not Snapchat — that’s where he’s decided to draw the social media line. (For Now)