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Chapter 12
April 16, 2017

If You Look Around the Basket and You Can't Identify the Deplorable, You're Probably Unclear on the Concept

Being deplorable is like modern art: we all know what it's like when we step in it, but we have a much harder time defining it. Deplorable acts offend common decency, and are undertaken by people with no moral compass or compassion. They're like modern art in that way, too.

Of course, everybody has the potential to be deplorable (what Freud would have called "everyday neurotic deplorableness" if he had had the misfortune of living at the beginning of the 21st century rather than the 20th). To qualify for membership in the basket of deplorables, you have to be a sufficiently public figure so that your deplorable behaviour will affect people beyond your circle of friends and family.

Fortunately (or, unfortunately, depending upon how you view deplorableness), people in the basket never have to deplorable alone.

For example, it must be comforting to denizens of the basket to know that there will always be a Ben Carson, who doesn't seem capable of opening his mouth without letting the deplorable out. Did slaves "immigrate" to the United States with dreams of their progeny having a better life? I suspect their dreams ran more to being freed from their chains and beating their white masters to death with their own whips, but I can be romantic that way.

Carson's deplorable delusions would have been okay if they had been confined to Internet chat rooms populated by the terminally bored and malcontent, but he has been chosen to head Donald Trump's Housing and Urban Development department. Expect him to comment about how poor people love the freedom to live in cardboard boxes on the streets any day now.

Pamela Geller is an American...I'm not sure what, so, for lack of a better term, let's call her a "pundit." (And, to be fair, let us stipulate that there are pundits who are not deplorable, however much overlap there may be between the two categories.) This statement is a variation on "Sharia aw is coming for your children!", a chant that can be heard in the basket of deplorables almost as frequently as a rooster's good morning call is heard on a farm.

For the uninitiated among you, Bill M-103 was a non-binding resolution in the Canadian Parliament that suggested that, golly gee whillikers (the best kind of whillikers), Muslims might be human beings, too and, well, you know we hate to spoil anybody's fun, but maybe, just maybe, they should be treated with respect. Not, it pains us to say, hatred. The only connection between the bill and Islamic blasphemy laws lies in Geller's deplorable imagination.

Oh, and, Bill M-103 passed, and Geller is still allowed to be deplorable in public, sans burqa. I'm not sure who should be more disappointed...

What makes Cindy Jacobs, Christian...whatever she deludedly calls herself, so deplorable is not that she made an argument based on a stereotype - it's that she made an argument based on the wrong stereotype.

If she really wanted Jews to convert to Christianity, she could have argued that Christians love thy neighbour and do unto others and all that good, good Biblical stuff. Given examples of positive stereotypical Christian behaviour, Jews would be tempted to convert because of Christians' displayed moral righteousness.

Instead, Jacobs decided to support her greed and that of her followers by appealing to the blatantly stereotypical greed of Jews, couched in terms of convincing Jews to convert. This is the most - wait a minute! Jews converting to Christianity? Why is she even talking about - oh. Right. End Times prophecies.

Okay, the whole concept of "harvesting Jews" had unfortunate connotations, so it helped her earn her room in the basket, but, really, she was already going there on her own merit.

Just when you thought that the basket of deplorables was a specifically American phenomenon, along comes Canadian Senator Lynn Beyak to school you. Non-natively.

While residential schoolchildren may have occasionally enjoyed clean sheets and good meals, they also dealt with beatings, sexual abuse and other depredations, which led to a horrendously high suicide rate. Yes, certainly, some individuals running the residential school system may have been humane, but the intent of the system was to destroy native communities by depriving a generation of children of their culture.

To suggest otherwise is truly deplorable. It would be like focusing on the way American slave traders fed their slaves decent food and - oh, wait! Do you think Beyak and Carson ever get together and talk about how unfair history has been to oppressive white regimes?

If it saves us from having to listen, by all means let the basketeers be deplorable among themselves.

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