Didn’t we just do “basket of deplorables” already? At least Joe Biden isn’t sticking 25% of the country into that category, as Hillary Clinton did when claiming half of Donald Trump’s supporters belonged there. Biden’s estimate is a bit more generous — at 10-15%, tops.
“The words a president says matter,” says Joe Biden, “so when a president stands up and divides people all the time, you’re gonna get the worst of us to come out.” And that’s when Biden divvies up the American public for himself in his virtual town hall with Ryan Wilson and actor Don Cheadle:
Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday said that 10 to 15 percent of “people out there that are just not very good people.”
Speaking during a virtual town hall with young Americans, Biden discussed the importance of a president setting an example for the country on issues of race during a conversation moderated by actor Don Cheadle.
Biden accused President Trump of dividing the nation, saying “The words a president says matter, so when a president stands up and divides people all the time, you’re going to get the worst of us to come out.”
“Do we really think this is as good as we can be as a nation? I don’t think the vast majority of people think that,” the former vice president added. “There are probably anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the people out there that are just not very good people, but that’s not who we are. The vast majority of the people are decent, and we have to appeal to that and we have to unite people — bring them together. Bring them together.”
Granted, Biden’s not being quite as dismissive or insulting as Hillary was four years ago in this now-infamous clip, but he’s still making the same argument. A good chunk of Americans aren’t worth engaging at all, and we might as well cut them loose, both arguments go:
For that matter, The Hill points out, it’s also reminiscent of Mitt Romney’s use of the “47 percent” argument that had been spinning around on the Right in 2012. I wrote that at time too, arguing that any politician overtly writing off big chunks of the electorate were doomed to failure. So far, that’s proven fairly reliable. Note too that Biden doesn’t get any pushback on this argument from his audience, much like Hillary didn’t at that time, either. That’s a symptom of an echo chamber, and Hillary never did realize that danger.
How about now? Well, at least we’re progressing in limiting the discards. We started at 47%, went to roughly a quarter, and now we’re somewhere around 1 in 7. Who knew America would improve so much and so fast under Donald Trump’s leadership?