In this crazy political year, it's become pretty common for opponents of conservative candidates to drop the "r-word." No, not that one...the other one.
The most recent person to drop the "r-word" was Hillary Clinton, with her "basket of deplorables" comment about supporters of Donald Trump. Just to refresh your memory, here's what she said:
"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."
Sure, some of Trump's supporters fall into those categories, but half? Seriously? What she did in this truly offensive quote was to make a vastly unfair generalization about people she is incapable of understanding. In my own personal experience, I've come to realize that many liberals have no idea what a conservative is or what a conservative wants. Much of the time, liberals tend to characterize conservatives as cold-hearted, greedy, unsympathetic, and closed-minded who fear gays, hate Muslims and women, and don't care about the poor.
This may sound like I'm applying a broad brush here, but to be honest, that simply is not the case. I have found it very difficult to find even a moderately liberal person who doesn't share this opinion of conservatives.
For my part, as a conservative, I do care about the poor and the marginalized, I don't hate anyone (except the San Francisco Giants and USC, and that's only "sports hate," which is temporary), and I value hard work and personal responsibility. Like most conservatives, I want to see the market kick in and take care of the major problems our society faces. I want to be able to give more to charity rather than to see my taxes go toward institutions that don't serve the poor and the disenfranchised as they should. I want to see less regulation of business so that the job market can include more people, which would thus take people off the public dole.
That does not make me a racist, nor does it make any conservative a racist.
I think the "racist" epithet is a very serious charge, and should be used sparingly because it's an attack on someone's character without any attempt to understand that person. I don't like Donald Trump, but I'm not going to call him Hitler, nor am I going to throw the "r-word" at him. If he really is the Second Coming of David Duke or Tom Metzger, then his actions and decisions will bear that out. The notion of building a wall is not inherently a racist statement, nor is the desire to take strong action against Islamic terrorism.
"Racist" is an easy term to throw around, and like all ad hominem attacks, it means that no explanation is required. I say you're a racist, so now you have to prove you're not. I don't like the way you address a certain population, so rather than actually engaging you in debate about it, I just slam you with the "racist" label and then scamper off to hide behind my self-righteous, snobby friends.
There are people out there who genuinely are racist, and I'm sure that some of them support Donald Trump. There are also people who believe that killing an unborn child is just a "choice," and many of them support Clinton. Clinton herself praised Margaret Sanger, someone who truly was racist and wanted to see people of color exterminated from the face of the earth. She said:
"I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision ... And when I think about what she did all those years ago in Brooklyn, taking on archetypes, taking on attitudes and accusations flowing from all directions, I am really in awe of her."
When called on it a while later, Clinton tried to walk her comments back to some point, but her hypocrisy is clear. I don't think this makes Clinton a racist, despite some on the right who tried to characterize her in that way. At the same time, we must consider that she surrounds herself with those who traffic in human body parts, does business with nations who torture gays and women, and who defended her sex-obsessed, pathetic excuse for a husband while at the same time reminding us that anyone who cries rape must be believed.
In the long run, therefore, I'd like to suggest that we all refrain from using the "r-word," and look more deeply at those who are running for office. Let's not go for the easy out of labeling others and instead, find substantive reasons for why we either support or don't support a candidate.
And if they are racist, hell with 'em!
Witty; cunning; crafty
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