Friday night, Hillary Clinton said out loud what our progressive friends have long been thinking. It may cost her the election.
Half of Donald Trump’s supporters, claimed Hillary, were merely anxious about the future. The other half belonged in a "basket of deplorables." What made them deplorable, said Hillary, was that they were "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it."
Having been called all of these things, I can assure you that to be so defamed one need only express a common sense opinion on, say, affirmative action, gender differences, traditional marriage, immigration or terrorism -- an opinion that the defamer may have held as recently as yesterday.
In my 2015 book, Scarlet Letters, I explored the desperate urge felt by Hillary and her fellow travelers to demonize their fellow citizens. My inspiration came in watching an HBO documentary called Fall to Grace and directed by Alexandra Pelosi -- yes, Nancy’s daughter. Pelosi revealed, without intending to, how easily the failure to follow the shifting multicultural creed could become a “sin.”
The documentary tracks the career of former New Jersey governor, Jim McGreevey, the self-dubbed “gay-American” disgraced in a sex and security scandal. In one passing scene, McGreevey enters an Episcopal Church ostensibly more welcoming than the hidebound Catholic Church of his childhood. The message board on the church front reads, “Lord help us overcome the sins of racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia.”
Had the message board been bigger, I argued, the good pastor might have added xenophobia, Islamophobia, and global warming denial. “Although there are many other ways an individual can go wrong,” I wrote, “these stand for the moment as the seven new deadly sins.” In her speech Hillary cited five of the seven. By concluding with the phrase “you name it,” she encouraged her audience to conjure up some other new sin, “transphobia” perhaps.
The rubric “multicultural” does not really capture the spirit of Hillary’s mutant progressive faith. It is too benign a term. In truth, the faithful have less interest in celebrating the many colors of their rainbow than they do in condemning those who resist the celebration. For the record, the audience at this LGBT gala laughed when Hillary trashed her fellow citizens.
That resistance, as Hillary seems to believe, is born out of hatred -- hatred of blacks, of gays, of immigrants, of Muslims, of women. “Hate” is the umbrella sin for all dissenters. For all of their postmodern prattle about relativism and multiculturalism, progressives like Hillary have proved quicker to judge and harsher in their judgments -- “basket of deplorables,” oh my!-- than the most spiteful Puritan divine.
“Throughout the western world,” author Mark Steyn has observed, ‘tolerance’ has become remarkably ‘intolerant,’ and ‘diversity’ demands ruthless conformity.” As Hillary made much too obvious, progressive multiculturalism may well be the most judgmental, vengeful, unforgiving quasi-religious sect abroad in the western world today, Islam included.
Black author Shelby Steele coined the phrase “zone of decency” to describe the sacred preserve in which progressives imagine themselves clustering. To distinguish themselves from lesser mortals, argued Steele, they are quick to “decertify” those who do not embrace the values du jour. As Steele argued, progressives need “only the display of social justice to win moral authority.”
Throughout her career, Hillary has shifted her positions to avoid decertification by the left’s Red Guard. In 2003, for instance, she told a radio audience she was “adamantly against illegal immigrants.” When she ran for president in 2008, she considered marriage "a sacred bond between a man and a woman,” the same position that cost the “homophobic” Carrie Prejean the Miss USA title months later.
Then, too, the Clintons have committed their fair share of arguably real sins. Any number of witnesses have heard Hillary using anti-Semitic slurs. In 2008, Bill Clinton joked to Ted Kennedy about Barack Obama, "A few years ago, this guy would be getting us coffee." In the 2016 campaign, Hillary has used retired general Wesley Clark as a surrogate despite his call to put Muslims suspected of disloyalty in internment camps. And for at least forty years now, Bill has been preying on vulnerable women, occasionally violently, and Hillary has been enabling him.
Yet by the simple act of displaying her rainbow flag and decertifying at least a quarter of all Americans as racist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, and even sexist, Hillary is allowed to pose as a social justice warrior.
In Scarlet Letters, I highlight those individuals who have resisted the left’s cultural pogroms, among them Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, a Trump supporter. Robertson understood the nature of the religious war being waged. The struggle was not between left and right in any political sense. It was a struggle between the politically correct and the “biblically correct.” The “hate” that Hillary and her peers assign to those who oppose them is, Robertson believes, a hatred towards God.
I would not go so far as to call Trump “biblically correct,” but almost alone among the Republican candidates he has shown the will to resist. On June 10, 2015, just as my book was coming out, I wrote an article titled, “If Only GOP Candidates Would Say This.” In my opening sentence I contended, “The Republican nominee for president will be that candidate who best learns that there is no future in apologizing.”
“The only way to beat [the left],” I wrote, “is to stand your ground, to not apologize for yourself or for your political allies, even those less verbally adroit. An apology is never enough.” Progressives, I added, “want you to grovel, and then they want you gone.”
I did not even mention Donald Trump in the article. I did not know he was running. But love him or not, he stands his ground. That is why he might very well be the next president of the United States.