The True Deplorables

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” Hillary Clinton’s comment in a speech to donors during the 2016 presidential election was one of the leading causes of her downfall from projected commander in chief to a mere footnote in American history.

She was wrong in characterizing all Trump supporters as “racist, sexist, [and] homophobic,” however she was correct in stating that there is a basket of deplorables amongst Trump supporters. And they have never been more prevalent than they are today. The deplorables Clinton described are the people who openly mock and attack those who serve in the military and their families.

Since former Republican presidential candidate and prisoner of war John McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer, supporters of and people linked to President Trump have disrespected and minimized a man who was tortured for five and a half years as a soldier.

Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney appeared on a Fox Business program, and in an attempt to explain why he believes torture is acceptable decided to blatantly attack McCain by calling him “Songbird John” without any reason to do so.

Earlier this week in response to McCain’s public opposition to Trump’s CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel, White House Special Assistant Kelly Sadler was quoted as saying, “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway,” in response to his public opposition to her nomination.

This is by no means a conservative viewpoint as Senator Lindsey Graham rightly publicly denounced the heinous words of Sadler, but the lack of any calls for punishment or repercussions are disturbing.

The blatant disrespect shown to those who have made sacrifices for this nation is nothing new for this administration, however. During the 2016 presidential election, President Trump attacked Khizr Khan, the father of Humayun Khan, who was killed during the Iraq War after Khan spoke on behalf of Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention.

Days later, President Trump attacked Khan again in an interview with George Stephanopoulos by saying, “If you look at his wife, she was standing there,” he said. “She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.” Days later during an interview with CNN, Khan was again attacked by Trump on twitter.

While Graham did criticize Sadler for her comments and Fox New did apologize for Lt. Gen. McInerney’s words, there has been no discussion about how these attacks directly contradict President Trump’s and his supporters’ stance on one of the most hot button issues of the past few years: Colin Kaepernick’s protest.

Colin Kaepernick started protesting the national anthem on August 14, 2016 due  and in a statement to Steve Wyche stated his reasoning. Kaepernick said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Many people felt this was a sign of disrespect against the military, including a high-ranking military official who advised the Baltimore Ravens not to sign Kaepernick to a contract this past summer. Yet,  nowhere did Kaepernick state that the intention of the protest was to attack the military and when it was brought to his attention that members of the military felt disrespected by the protest, he changed his method.

When he first started protesting, Kaepernick sat down while the anthem was playing until former Green Beret Nate Boyer wrote an open letter and had a meeting with Kaepernick where they came to an understanding.

In an episode of Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel, when Boyer was asked about the meeting, he said, “We sorta came to a middle ground where he would take a knee alongside his teammates,” and described the significance of the action by stating, “Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother’s grave, you know, to show respect. When we’re on a patrol, you know, and we go into a security halt, we take a knee, and we pull security.”

Despite this, Kaepernick has been on the receiving end of constant criticism for “disrespecting the military” by those who ironically have made a habit of disrespecting and belittling those who have made remarkable sacrifices for this country so that Colin Kaepernick can have the right to protest.

Why have mainstream media outlets constantly misconstrued Colin Kaepernick’s protest over and over again, and deemed him unpatriotic because he stood for a cause he believed in, but will not even discuss whether President Trump’s comments and the comments of his supporters are unpatriotic?

Kaepernick has lost the ability to work in his field of employment because of inaccurate analysis by media pundits, yet there have been no repercussions for Trump, Sadler and McInnerney because outlets such as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC among others refuse to condemn them for blatantly disrespecting the military.

The words and actions of Trump, Sadler and McInnerney are deplorable, but so is the amount of leeway these individuals are given by the media. There will be no condemnations or discussions by members of the media pertaining to the mockery of sacrifice being unacceptable anywhere near the level there were for Colin Kaepernick, and that is truly deplorable.

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