September 10, 2016
Hillary has said she regrets claiming that half of Trump’s supporters – who are Alt-Right (that’s 25% of the country, fam) – deserve to be put in a kind of deplorable basket.
But the damage is done.
“Basket of deplorables” is the symbolic end of the Clinton campaign.
The entire media has been forced to recognize draw parallels between the deplorable basket and Mitt Romney’s 47%. As you’re probably aware, in 2012, Romney said that 47% of the country didn’t pay any income tax and so would vote for Obama “no matter what.” It have been noted as the point at which it became clear he was definitely going to lose.
The comment was considered to be a gross insult to a large percentage of the American population – but that wasn’t the reason it sunk his campaign. You can easily say “the Democrats do such and such and they are so and so” and effectively be insulting the half of the country that typically votes Democrat and it doesn’t mean anything. Both parties do this to the other one every day.
The reason 47% sunk Mitt’s ship is that the insult to the people was coupled with a very specific and peculiar bit of language – he used an exact percentage, and this stuck in people’s minds. And it was repeated, embodying a very clear image of a man with low energy, low ambition and no personality.
That is to say, he memed himself into a corner.
Hillary just did the same thing, but worse.
She insulted 25% of the country as racist, misogynistic, etc. members of the Alt-Right, using the extremely peculiar term “basket of deplorables.” Both parts are very weird – “putting people in baskets” is a nonstandard, awkward idiom, and the word “deplorable” is nigh archaic, especially when used as a noun rather than an adjective.
The basket idiom I can’t really elaborate on, but let’s look at “deplorables.”
Merriam-Webster doesn’t even have it listed as having a noun form.
It is their number one trending word though – a lot of young people who haven’t read much don’t even know the word.
Though I’ve seen the word a lot in older novels and so on, in common usage it is most-associated with “deplorable living conditions.”
When I hear the word – and I’m sure I’m not the only one this is true for – I think of mean old lady teachers telling me I had “deplorable behavior” (yes, I was obviously one of those kids).
Referring to people she is against as a “basket of deplorables” epitomizes the hated image of Hillary Clinton as a angry, mean, controlling old woman whose only joy in life is wielding institutional power to force her will on others. Every male reader who had any spunk in him as a kid will remember these women in school. At 32-years-old, I can still remember several of them, as if I had attended their classes this morning.
And I still hate them. I’m sure they’re all dead now.
Hillary is a parody of herself, and now she has memed that parody, in the same way the Romney memed himself as a parody of an uptight, uninspiring and uninspiring douche-bag with his exact percentage of people who wouldn’t ever vote for him.
“Basket of deplorables” signals the end of the Clinton campaign.