The good folk over at Merriam-Webster define “deplorable” as: very bad in a way that causes shock, fear, or disgust: deserving to be deplored; deserving censure or contempt: wretched.
It’s a perfectly serviceable word and can really get the job done — when it’s applied accurately.
Unfortunately, and notoriously, Hillary Clinton misapplied it a few days ago.
I’m thinking, of course, of her appearance before a New York City “LGBT for Hillary” Gala, where she growled: “[T]o just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables … racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it.”
Mind you, if by “racist” she means to put on blast those who think persons ought to be denied basic human rights solely because of their skin color, their accent or their ethnic roots, I say, “Hear, hear!” That’s racism — and definitely “deplorable”. If, however, she’s denouncing those who object to special rights for some persons – refused to others — merely because of their racial identity? Oops, can’t stand with you on that one, Madame Secretary.
If by her selection of “sexist” she’s exposing and condemning those who disrespect women because they’re women, who want ladies to remain silent and unrepresented — I’ll be the first to stand with her. No denying, that kind of attitude is “deserving censure or contempt” (see above). But individuals who maintain there are meaningful differences between Joe and JoAnne, George and Georgianna, Frank and Francine? And that it’s okay for the culture in particular, undeniable contexts to honor those differences? No, not “sexist”, Ms. Clinton — I don’t care how shriekishly the Hillary-swooning, feminist myrmidons insist otherwise.
“Homophobic”? People who want “gay” men or women assaulted, spit on, kept out of the ballot booth, robbed of basic dignity? Sure, call ’em “homphobes” if it makes you feel better. Certainly, such are properly repudiated as bullies — downright “deplorable” bullies, in fact. Millions of Americans and folks around the planet, however, who are morally offended by homosexual sodomy? who consider it a mental, emotional, behavioral, and/or spiritual disorder? They’re not “homophobic” – rather, just folks who take seriously Biblical teaching, or other personal, religious convictions. Then again, they might simply be those who give way to common sense …
Xenophobic? Meaning rolling-eyed, slavering “nationalists” sneering at anyone who “ain’t ‘murican”? Meaning those who won’t acknowledge any of the United States’ past or current shortcomings? Point taken — xenophobia of that stripe isn’t sensible or admirable. But nursing a loyalty to one’s nation, swelling a bit with beneficial pride when the National Anthem sounds or Old Glory unfurls, when an American military man or woman passes by in uniform — that’s a healthy instinct; one we’d do well to cultivate a tad more in our schools, institutions and pop culture.
Roughly 50% of Trump’s supporters are “Islamophobic”, Hillary blared. If she’s scolding those — Trumpsters or otherwise — who despise individuals merely for practicing a non-violent brand of Islam, she’s onto something; it’s a “deplorable” way of evaluating people. But that’s rarely how the Left — and Hillary’s got a bad case of infectious Leftism, and getting worse — employs the term. They unreflectively plaster the “Islamophobia” slur on anyone who takes material issue with any part of the Koranic faith and has the crust to admit it. Such broad-brushing is neither fair nor accurate: Millions of followers of Mohammed girdling the globe routinely embrace doctrines and conduct which, putting it in the mildest possible terms, are problematic. (Exhibit A: the fifteenth anniversary of the 9/11 outrage against America, just commemorated. Exhibits B, C, D and E: Sharia Law, forced conversions, honor killings, worldwide jihad.)
I’ll give Hillary her props for expeditiously — if only partially — backing off the crass and politically-blockheaded accusation. One day following the barb, she sort-of apologized: “I regret saying ‘half’ — that was wrong.” Good for her — heartfelt mea culpas have never been a Hillary (or Bill) specialty; this is hardly that, but it’s a stab in the right direction.
Still, memo to Hillary Central: there ARE “deplorable” goings-on in contemporary America; most of them transpiring with the abettance of Liberal, progressive kookiness pushed by the likes of the Democrat presidential nominee:
— Fifty-nine-million unborn human beings murdered — torn apart, scalded, decapitated, take your pick — since abortion became legal nationwide in 1973. “Deplorable”, to be sure.
— Man/woman marriage, the cornerstone of every civilized — shoot, most every uncivilized — society for the past 5000 years, transmogrified into a revolting parody of the genuine article: males “marrying” males; women entering into “nuptials” with their sistern. Go ahead, slap a “deplorable” sticker on that monstrosity!
— Democrats slavishly toting water for teachers’ unions, obstructing every policy which might grease the skids for more private or charter schools, for expanded options to the imploding public/government school monopoly which would actually make a difference in the lives of kids; including those inner-city, minority youth the Left never stops bannering as its top priority. Yup, that unequivocally outta get dumped into Hillary’s “basket”.
— A welfare state atrophying whole segments of America’s population; a military taking back seat to nearly every syrupy, nanny state preference; unrelenting race-baiting, never-satisfied class warfare; I could go on and on, Lefty ad infinitum, because the “deplorables” from the former First Lady’s side never cease.
— Oh, mustn’t fail to mention, Hillary’s dazzling incompetence and cascading, end-over-end, the-rules-don’t-apply-to-me lawlessness: Benghazi lies; national-security-imperiling email malfeasance; the corrupt, favor-peddling Clinton Foundation; Sidney Blumenthal, Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin shenanigans. Undeniably, make it all “D” to the “Plorable”.
Hillary falls short on another score. No mere basket, there are entire baskets — plural — teeming with “deplorables”, groaning under them, overflowing with them — courtesy of her and her radical fellow-travelers, who’ve done their level-best to heap up piles of deplorableness.
She doesn’t mention those. I’d say that’s “deplorable”, as well.