Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Deplorability: Segments of Trump Support

The worst part of this election season is learning that 44% of the country believes Trump is a good idea. It's astonishing to realize that we're a nation of people who'd support someone like that (though, admittedly, Sarah Palin was pretty obvious foreshadowing).

And don't imagine there'll be redemption, even if he's elected, and even if he's as bad as we fear (perhaps unreasonably). The crowds who supported the rise of figures like Hitler, Franco, and the rest, often remained in support even after these people showed their true colors and started persecuting huge swathes of the populace. The mobs weren't duped. They saw what the others saw, but they liked how it looked. There are people who like authoritarianism. It is, again, astonishing.

But before you sink into horror, notice that even the most prominent recent expression of frustration from non-Trump America - Hillary Clinton's much-condemned statement that half of Trump's supporters are deplorable - recognizes that half of them are not. Plenty are in it for the reality TV spectacle. Not without reason, they imagine that a sociopathic lunatic will be more entertaining than a Hillary Rodham Clinton. As we approach the Wall-E vision of the future, our faces constantly peering at screens, why would we not vote on the basis of entertainment value?

So that means we're 22% deplorable, max. Are you shocked? How many yahoos do we come across in the course of a day spouting conspiracy theories or other ignorance? We chuckle and move on. But we always knew they were there. And, really, even most of them are more ignorant than truly deplorable.

The real awful segment of Trump's support - the thugs who cold-cock protestors, want to send all their Muslim neighbors "back home", and who think Mexicans really are rapists (I'd love, by the way, to see statistics comparing sex crime frequency among Hispanic immigrants versus real estate developers) is probably more like 10% of the country. And 10% is edge case territory. 10% of us can be anything. It's fine.

We're not a nation of Yahoos. And the deplorables aren't taking over. 10% of us are scum, 22% are yahoos, and 44% are tired of the status quo....while the rest of us are duly horrified.

So let's definitely stand up to Donald Trump (please register to vote even if you're in a safely blue state; we need to reject him so thoroughly that a message is sent to the world and the Republican party swears "never again"). But bear in mind that this is still the country we thought it was. It's just that this time, the yahoo/scumbag/fed-up contingents have come together for a shot at running things for a while (odd coalitions like this are the very basis of how our country works).

If they do, there's no way they'll hold the middle for long. I'd bet literally anything that President Trump would get no more than four years (consider the buyer's remorse of all those capricious “send-a-message" Brexit voters)! His hardcore fans will stay with him, but the coalition will break up faster than an ice cube in a hot yoga class.

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