Hillary Clinton’s “deplorable” warning comes true, says salon writer
Hillary Clinton’s 2016 warning of the “deplorable” emerging in the Republican Party when Donald Trump ran against her for president was not fair; she underestimated their impact, a Salon commentator wrote in a scathing essay published Wednesday.
“In many ways, Clinton was too nice,” Chauncey DeVega wrote. “On the contrary, she underestimated how many Americans were in fact deplorable engaged and enthusiastic humans.”
The political essayist isn’t the first to reverse Clinton’s speech lately. The Washington Post recently noted that some called the former senator’s words “premonitory.” The Baltimore Sun said last year, “Ms. Clinton was right.
But DeVega’s point of view deserves a look through his alarming lens on Clinton’s clairvoyance.
In a 2016 campaign speech, Clinton mentioned the millions of racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic followers empowered by Trump. She grouped them into a “basket of deplorable” and was condemned by many, including some Democrats, for these comments.
“This reaction to Clinton’s truth helped [legitimize] Trumpism and American neofascism (operating under the guise of “populism”) as something reasonable and understandable, rather than a manifestation of racial resentment, “DeVega wrote.
FBI data reported by Brookings in 2019 indicated that Trump’s election caused the second-highest increase in hate crimes, just behind the 9/11 attacks. Hatred also fed on Trump’s threat of crackdown on those protesting the police death of George Floyd. It has also fueled the rise in anti-Asian American sentiment due to its “Chinese virus” rhetoric by referring to COVID-19.
DeVega asserted that if Clinton had won the presidency, America “would not necessarily drown in a fascist tide that has threatened our democracy and our future.”
Then the writer took an even more disturbing turn.
“Things are now so serious that it is no longer a question of whether American democracy will succumb to a nightmarish reign of total fascism, but rather when it will happen, ”he wrote. “If the American neofascist movement continues to gain momentum, Joe Biden will be relegated to the role of speed bump or asterisk in American history.”
Read the full commentary at the Salon.