Deplorable? Then and Now
Never underestimate the gullibility of the American people. I can think of little else to possibly explain the persistent embrace of Donald Trump in light of all he is and all he’s done; a man demonstrably vengeful, narcissistic, deceitful, petty, predatory, disloyal, and authoritarian. True, he is entertaining in a crude mean-spirited way. He makes politics fun for those long left out of politics.
But it is these supporters, his fans, his fawning undiscerning voters, not Donald Trump himself, who pose the real threat to our country and our future. For without these supporters, these voters, Mr. Trump would be a brash bully without power, left to bellow on fringe media, and no real threat to anyone. But that is not the current reality.
When Hillary Clinton ran against Trump for president in 2016 she unwisely and unjustifiably referred to his supporters as ‘Deplorables’.
That was unkind and unfair. Trump was an unknown quantity then with no track record. The public had no clear reason or proven basis on which to judge his fitness to be president. A lot of people decided to give him a chance and voted for him; not at all a deplorable thing to do in a democracy. That’s not the case now.
Now we have a track record. Donald Trump has left a blazing trail of lies, actions, decisions, boasts, claims, threats, stated intentions, and potential crimes to make any thinking person of character seriously doubt the man’s fitness to be president again.
The World Ahead 2024 issue of the Economist put it succinctly: “Victory (for Trump) would confirm his most destructive instincts about power…And because America will have voted him in while knowing the worst, its moral authority would decline. The election will be decided by tens of thousands of voters in just a handful of states. In 2024 the fate of the world will depend on their ballots.”
To support him now, with what we know about the man, would be, well…deplorable.
The presidential election looming before us is not a race between two titans of towering intellect, energy, and flawless judgement. But when it comes to commitment to our constitutional ideals, personal values, and basic decency, the character divide is enormous. Time will tell.
J. C. Newburn lives in Rockport