The media has inundated me with statements on the “Alt Right”. Just as I was getting used to the fact that “alt-rt” isn’t a computer function, I have to learn the term “basket of deplorables”. Which is more accurate?
I have heard the term alt right a bit in passing, but in the last couple of weeks it has been one of those terms I assume I don’t like. What terms don’t I like? “Meme”, “BFF”, “Peep”. In Sixth Grade I recall getting a list of new words included in Webster’s dictionary. There were seven of them. Today, there are seven per day; mostly related to computers or some use thereof. In fact, as I said, Alt Right sounds like something I was told to use to do something on my old government issued computer (a “286 machine”) in 1986. “Alt Right” is not a computer function. It’s just a new name for people that have been around forever. They used to be called “wackos” and sometimes “nut jobs”.
Now, we have a new possibly more sophisticated and socially acceptable term; “basket of deplorables”. Hillary Clinton used that to describe the Alt Right Trump fanboys/girls. I like this in that it sounds like something your Great Aunt who has a college degree in home education would use in polite company. The thing is though, the “deplorables” are the same as the “Alt Right”. What is scarier is that I know exactly who they are
I posted something on my Facebook page a couple of months ago. It was some silly joke about Donald Trump. I post silly jokes about other candidates including Hillary Clinton there as I am an equal opportunity comedian. You should understand that my Facebook page is mostly old high school and college friends with a few odd additions from my more contemporary life. I posted this joke about Trump and a fellow I have not laid eyes on in 35 years whom I went to high school and college with, exploded calling me every name in the book, telling me he is ashamed of me and I needed to wake up. I merely unfriended and blocked him. My Facebook page is no place for such idiocy.
The surprising thing is that this fellow has been to college and now works overseas for a large corporation. His job in my old home town was abolished and his only choice was to find a new job or move to Eastern Europe. I would have thought that his education and relative cosmopolitan life would have smoothed over any bitterness and hate developed in growing up in rural Alabama. It did not. He is “alt right” and deplorable. Moreover he is sad. A middle aged man who is so filled with hate that he calls someone he hasn’t seen in 35 years names I wouldn’t call anyone because of three lines of humor on Facebook. He is but one example of “alt right”/deplorable.
About a year ago, on a Sunday night, I was bored, hungry and in need of a couple of beers. I walked up to a nearby Irish Pub and sat down at the bar. It was 6:30 or so. A young man sat down beside me. The staff seemed to know him and it turned out he worked in the kitchen. A female server who was evidently interested in him came over and started chatting with him. I was totally disinterested until she mentioned his opinions on Hitler and the killing of Jews in Germany. This young lady said, “until you told me, I had no idea that the Jews would have died anyway and Hitler just killed them for humane reasons”. Once I came out of my shock, I said “that’s the biggest bunch of bulls@@@ I’ve ever heard.” The girl went back to work and he quickly left. Episodes like this simply aren’t uncommon.
After President Obama started the “surge” of troops in Iraq, 4 soldiers were killed in battle. They were the first troops ordered into battle by President Obama who had died. Once again, I was in bar (see a pattern here?) talking to a guy I knew who was a friend of a friend. One of my acquaintances coworkers (they are both engineers) came in. He said “I love it that we can really blame these deaths on Obama for once”. Not being one to tolerate anyone using the death of a soldier for political purposes, I went off like a rocket on this fellow until he left. Yep he was alt -right, deplorable or whatever.
The thing is we all know them. Some of us have relatives that are deplorables. My point is, don’t get caught up in the verbiage. As Justice Potter Stewart said in a pornography case before the Supreme Court he couldn’t necessarily define pornography, but he knew it when he saw it. Call them what you will. We know them when we see them. They are there and dangerous. May God protect us.