An Apology from Whom?


The New York Times has culled the following video montage from film of several Trump rallies. I have linked to it here in response to this weekend’s “controversy.”

In case you missed it, Hillary Clinton has apologized for describing a large portion of Trump supporters as “deplorables.” But if the behavior and attitudes exhibited in this video cannot be denounced as “deplorable,” then the word had lost all meaning. So the gist of the complaint against Clinton seems to be that she used a noun when she should have used an adjective. She slipped into categorization, rather than remaining descriptive.

This contrived controversy demonstrates again how the two sides are very clearly being held to very different standards. It means that the one guy in the video has a point: if you incite supporters to shout “Fuck political correctness!,” then almost no one will hold you responsible for anything that you or they say or do, but if you use a word such as “deplorables,” you an elitist who is unfit to hold high office.

Mitt Romney got tagged as an elitist because he blithely stereotyped almost half of the U.S. population as “takers,” dismissing them with a sweeping and demeaning characterization. In contrast, Clinton attempted to describe ugly behavior in terms much more polite than the behavior deserves, and she opened herself to the dubious charge that she was doing what Romney had done.

Her apology should have been accompanied by a link to some two-hour online compilation comparable to this several-minutes-long compilation put together by the Times. Surely, there is much more material available online than might possibly be used in even an efficiently edited two-hour video. And then one could ask, fairly, from whom an apology is due.



5 thoughts on “An Apology from Whom?

  1. Three researchers are travelling to Glasgow on a train, an astronmer, a physicist, and a mathematician. They pass a lonely hill with a sheep chewing grass on the top. “Aha” says the astronmer “all sheep in Scotland have black wool”. The physicist responds “Don’t be silly” and goes on “some sheep have black wool”. The mathematician rolls his eyes to the heavens and says “one sheep in Scotland has black wool – on one side”.

    Clinton just did not have the evidence to support her claim. The other side attacked her because they know it would hurt – her own supporters believe her to be better than that. She apologised because she is better than that.

    Elitism is not a bad thing if it deploys superious intellectual tools to help everyone. It is a terrible thing when used to give a superior value judgement to an eqivalent action.

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