It’s no secret that Hollywood celebrities and their ideological counterparts in the mainstream media despise President Donald Trump. In the run-up to the 2016 election, that contempt spilled over to his supporters. The “basket of deplorables” as Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton labeled them, were painted with the same rabid gun-toting, religious zealot, racist brush. In the elitist view, stereotypes are fine if they are used to defame people one doesn’t like.
It’s a new election cycle, and the disdain is back. One of the latest iterations came via Jimmy Kimmel. On a show last week, he referenced the country’s coronavirus shutdown. “People are getting restless,” he said. “Especially the people who aren’t too bright.”
Cutting to images of various “stay-at-home” protests across the country, Kimmel said: “I get that people need to go back to work, I do. But the point of ‘stay at home’ is to get a lid on this, so we can get back to work. And then stay at work. I’m starting to think that these characters who support Trump might be suicidal. They seem to fight hardest for the things that will kill them.
“They want freedom to gather in large groups during an epidemic,” he continued. “They want guns. They want pollution. I figured it out: They want to die and they’re taking us down with them.”
From a few protests around the country and people hitting newly opened beaches in Florida to Trump supporters are nihilists bent on self-destruction and want to destroy the country. You can bet the Bel Air and Manhattan crowd loved his monologue, as it played to prejudices about those from flyover states. But here’s the thing: You can’t win voters or converts when you decry half the country as morons.
And that’s roughly the percentage who voted for Trump. In the three and a half years since, the left hasn’t made any effort to find out why voters were attracted to the president and his platform, other than attributing their choice to knee-jerk racism, lack of education, religious fervor or other “deplorable” reasons.
It’s not lost on conservatives that the left, whether in the halls of Congress or in television studios, are exasperated with gun owners’ citing the Second Amendment to support their right to own firearms, while themselves insisting that abortion is protected under that same Constitution.
Trump supporters — and that term encompasses a spectrum of conservative Americans — haven’t forgotten the “deplorables” label. Nor the Mueller probe, nor the impeachment trial.
And now, out of work Americans hear that they are “not that bright,” and “they want to die and they’re taking us down with them”? Writing off half the country as buffoons with a death wish does nothing to help our nation to heal, whether it’s from pandemic anxiety or political division.
Unfortunately, it will likely not end with Kimmel, especially as states reopen and the economy, especially consumer confidence, start to pick up again. Those who can point to any positives under Trump’s watch are targets for belittling and bullying by the left.
It will be interesting to see who is laughing in November.
FROM AN EDITORIAL IN THE BOSTON HERALD