Deplorable Leaders

W.J. Astore

America’s “leaders” believe they are in-the-know, and the rest of us are know-nothings who can be pushed around or ignored.

Perhaps the most honest thing Hillary Clinton ever did was to speak of her “basket of deplorables” after which she dismissed them as “irredeemable.” This is exactly how Hillary and most of our “leaders” think. Anyone who’s skeptical of them, anyone who asks for proof, anyone who’s willing to resist, is thrown into a “deplorable” basket and dismissed.

It will work until it doesn’t; indeed, it’s already not working. But the system is not about to give in. At the presidential level, America’s likely candidates for “leader of the free world” in 2024 are Joe Biden and Donald Trump, or, as my wife likes to joke, ODR versus ODR. Old Demented Rotter versus Old Divisive Rotter.

Let’s take the “old” part first, since ageism is an instant rejoinder. It used to be said that being President of the U.S. was the toughest, most demanding, job in the world, making enormous demands on physical stamina and mental acuity. Eisenhower was considered old when he left the presidency at the age of 70, replaced by John F. Kennedy at the age of 43. If Biden is reelected in 2024, he will be 82 that November, and Trump will be 78. Both men are well past their prime. Are they truly ready for the rigors of the office? Do we trust either man to be able to complete another four-year term in office?

Now, let’s take the “D” part. Many observers have noted Biden’s mental decline; it was readily noticeable in 2020 when he ran as a candidate in the primaries. Sadly, mental decline often accelerates with age, sometimes unpredictably. Reelecting Joe Biden in 2024, assuming he runs again, will likely lead to his vice president taking over for him during his second term of office. Trump, meanwhile, is a divisive leader whose personal motto might be “divide and rule.” A leader should bring people together for their mutual advantage, not tear them apart for his own advantage.

And now the “R” part, the “rotter.” Neither Trump nor Biden is a champion of workers, of the poor, of the vulnerable. Neither has much empathy. Both are deeply compromised. It’s a common failing of “big fish” politicians to have so little regard for the commoners that they rule, but surely we can find candidates that are, dare I say, less rotten?

“Leaders” like Hillary Clinton are fond of denouncing large swaths of the American public as “deplorable.” Is this not a classic case both of projection and of profound narcissism? How do we move beyond ODR versus ODR in 2024?

What a country! (Azeen Ghorayshi / BuzzFeed News)

16 thoughts on “Deplorable Leaders

  1. Bill, as regular Bracing Views readers know I am a Kiwi who lived and worked in Seattle for 41-years – recently retired back to my home country of New Zealand. In the 41-years I lived in the USA every Presidential election was touted to be the most important and consequential ever in election history!
    It never was! Nothing changed. This 2024 election will be the same as all before it. It will change nothing. The “Deep State”, with its unseen puppeteers at the wheel, will just continue on running the country as it always has. LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think that’s about right, Dennis. If someone like George McGovern got the nomination in 2024 (almost impossible), both parties would gang up on him, as elements of the Democratic Party did against their own candidate in 1972. His character would be assassinated, he’d be called a Putin puppet, denounced as weak and un-American and otherwise unworthy.

      Because the duopoly won’t allow someone like Dennis Kucinich, or Tulsi Gabbard, and certainly not someone like McGovern, to win even the nomination.

      Cheer up, everyone! If Biden can’t run, there’s always Mayor Pete or Amy K. or even Deplorable Hillary to come to the rescue! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I spent an evening constructing a comment about this post–then it would not accept my comment, had to re-do a password, apparently the whole evening’s comment was lost –too bad as I, a 40-year now-
    retired Psychiatrist and Vietnam Vet had some significant things to offer about your moral-equivalence post re deplorable leaders.
    SJ Melson MD

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  3. To quote English Bob, our leader class has “no honor, no morals.” There is no oath they won’t break, they have no fear of retribution. They have no respect for rules or laws, because they make the rules and can change them or bypass them when they become inconvenient. As they are all rich or aspiring to be so (at least the ones who call the shots and are likely to tapped as Presidential timber), the only defense against them would be a complete re-writing of the tax codes and the election funding laws, which (in theory) would broaden the pool of potential candidates and bring us closer to the old saw about a government being “by, for, and of the people.”
    But as we used to say down around the border (the one with the big wall), Wish in one hand and sh*t in the other and see which fills up first. Sort of like expecting The Pentagon to say, “No thanks, we’re all right. We don’t need any extra cash this year.”
    But when it comes down to it, I can think of no way to realistically remove these people – or, at least, seriously weaken their stranglehold – on the government. The “leader class” has become the government.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We can always — in the words of Mick & Keef: ” Stuck around St. Petersburg when I saw it was time for a change Killed the Czar and his Ministers Anastasia screamed in vain I rode a Tank held a Generals rank When the Blitzkrieg raged and the bodies stank– Pleased to meet you hope you guess my name

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I agree with all your points in general, Bill, with two exceptions. First, the matter of age. According to the Census Bureau, when Ike left office, the average life expectancy for U.S. males was a little under 67 years. Sixty years later, it’s a hair over 79. Meaning that the goalposts on “old” have moved. Irrespective of individual mental and physical condition, there’s no innate reason that a 75-year-old is incapable of competently executing the office of President. RBG sat on the Court until shortly before her death at 87, and no one accused her of failing. There enough other examples that I don’t think there’s a basis for ageism overall.

    As for the deplorables, well….turns out that, much as I hate to give her credit, HRC was right: many people who support TFG are not exactly the most wonderful people as a rule. I was under the impression that’s who she referred to, not just the masses in general.

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    1. No offense to RBG, but she should have retired earlier, allowing Obama to pick her replacement.

      Biden is a little too much like the movie “Weekend at Bernie’s” come true.

      And, of course, Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be calling anyone “deplorable.”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Agree about HRC and Biden. Also agree that RBG should have retired, but my point about her abilities remains. OTOH, if SCOTUS is supposed to eschew politics (though the justices don’t do that, in practice), RBG shouldn’t have taken into account who was in the White House when she retired.

        (and that’s today’s Adventures with Acronyms)

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