What's in a Basket of Deplorables?
There are few nicknames proffered in contempt that have rallied Republicans more to a cause than the appropriately capitalized “Deplorables.” Hardened Republicans, and even those who practice mainstream conservatism, adopted this pejorative reference in 2016 from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Sloganeering in four syllables, she inordinately sized up Trump supporters as racist, sexist, xenophobic, and Islamophobic. Her imperious use of the term, coming late in the campaign, was pure hubris and may well have secured the election of her opponent. The taunt prevailed, however, and is now a placeholder for anyone beyond progressive salvation and who are set apart from the Democrat body politic as insurrectionists.
Being a Deplorable is to partake in a movement somewhat reticent but which has spawned a cottage industry of online social organizations hosting thousands of members, motorcycle clubs, comedy tours, dating sites, clothing lines, and the like. One can even find safe cyberspace for Democrat spouses -- political widows if you will -- whose marriages are going to pieces over Trumpism. The name has drawn an ideological battle line and opened an offensive not unlike a conservative buycott steamrolling over a woke boycott.
Deplorables have been implacable in their support for Donald Trump, whether inside or outside the Oval Office. Some may have taken exception to his social media rants or shuddered when he lowered himself to slights and slurs, but they stand behind a miscellany of his positions on immigration, border control, sanctuary city policies, government largesse and overreach, climate alarmism, and support for the military, public safety, and police.
Conscripts to the Deplorables side are not ostentatious nor confrontational, are easily hidden among their political adversaries, and more widely scattered to every nook and cranny of the country. They have not raised their voices or taken to the street in great numbers since January 6, the aftermath of which has brought about an underhanded Democrat campaign to use the felonious hijinks of a few to bully all Trump voters into acquiescence and inaction. They further championed this strategy by creating ramparts of cement and barbwire around the People’s House as a reminder to anyone who would dare give expression to reactionary politics.
Who the Deplorables are and what they stand for can be summed up in one small but real world example.
There’s a friendly saloon behind enemy lines in densely Democrat northeast New Jersey with a sprinkling of Irish brogues, hand-painted Gaelic scenes on the walls, and a slew of loyal patrons hoisting pints. Every Wednesday afternoon brings the visit of a small group of mostly retired men. Their ages range from 40 to 75 years. They sit privately, chip in a few sawbucks for beverages, pop antacids, enjoy some high carb appetizers, and make it home in time for dinner with their loved ones.
The group started as a trio of neighborhood friends with mainstream conservative beliefs and has grown to more than a baker’s dozen. A few are still working but most are in semi- or full-retirement, and hail from an eclectic array of professions. This small league includes a funeral director, medical doctor, boat captain, high school shop teacher, four retired cops, a jumbo jet airline pilot, a former Marine special operator who deployed to Somalia and was later wounded in Afghanistan, two lawyers, former president of a private security company, a television producer with three Emmys over his fireplace, and a few stage workers from a company that builds performance platforms for celebrity concerts.
In utter dereliction to wokeness, they dubbed themselves Jersey Deplorables.
During their weekly get-togethers, they puzzle over the sorry state of current political affairs and wag their heads at the relentless displays of Orwellian doublethink, the endless dog whistles, and hypocritical straw arguments from a Democrat party and media acolytes so openly arrogant towards and intolerant of originalist and conservative beliefs that it begs no attempt on their part to conceal it. All sense and understanding of the electorate seems to have abandoned those who now uncompromisingly grasp the reins of power with fragile majorities.
For the Jersey Deplorables, to honor flag and country is sacrosanct, but there is an uneasiness that their contract with the Republic is being recast in ways that gnaw at the guarantees of liberty and justice for all. In plain sight, those freedoms are bending from the hard political winds, putting disparate pressure on conservative opinions and personalities while turning a blind eye to Obama-era abuses of power, federal election hijinks, and First Family machinations with foreign regimes.
They strongly believe in the power of the vote, one legitimate vote for every qualified citizen, that is. Those rights have been repeatedly threatened through legislative provocations by the 116th and 117th House Democrats whose strongarm tactics have waylaid the practice of bipartisanship and abused parliamentary courtesies. They bemoan a political landscape where a simple half-dozen majority can tilt the scales against free and fair elections, play paddy fingers with the First and Second Amendments, reimagine public safety as a parody of itself, and create new states where once there was none.
Almost everyone among this small group is a legally registered gun owner and grew up in a region of New Jersey where more than half the statewide homicides and shootings occur within a few miles' radius by hoodlums firing weapons trafficked across state lines. A state where serial shooters are kept on the street because of bail reform laws. A place where law-abiding citizens, by comparison to the outlaws, must first navigate a serpentine of some of the most restrictive gun diktats in the country.
Contrary to the top definition in the Urban Dictionary, which paints a Deplorable as “a Trump supporter,” meaning “an idiot, specifically one who denies [science], ignores [facts], and otherwise [absent] from intelligence,” the Jersey caucus often takes on the appearance and tenor of a literary circle. They pass around books, sometimes the dog-eared tomes of contemporary conservative authors, but more often published works that offer meaning and context to the Founders and Federalists, the early struggles for independence and the war between the states. They consume military and political biographies and can wax about the battlefield gambits of armies and navies that turned the tide of world wars to America’s advantage. They share a concern that the warts-and-all lessons of America in its adolescence will not survive its contemporary cleansing in Ivy League settings, and that the present-day epidemic of censorship, book burning, and statue toppling is creating an historical myopia that will not prevent the next generation from repeating its mistakes.
The Jersey Deplorables are not inciteful, nor will they retreat from the hyperbole of congressional Democrats who persist in instigating street militias to violence against them. They are a metaphor for the conservative majority, a negligible but representative cohort among tens of millions of likeminded Americans anxious to flex their voting muscle in the upcoming battle for the ideological fate of the country.
The crusade to browbeat, marginalize, and obscure the writ large population of Deplorables will bring a political reckoning to the doorstep of the Democrat Party in the House elections of 2022. Senate Republicans must stand in unanimity behind them and hold the line against infringements to our freedoms. This cause is reminiscent of a wartime Republican president who once put a youthful America to the sword over slavery and to see if the nation so conceived and so dedicated could long endure.
Image: Twinsof Sedona
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