Law prof once an Obama supporter, now in 'basket of deplorables'

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map MORE’s tainting of Trump supporters as “irredeemable” bigots continues to roil the presidential campaign. As a law professor who supports Donald J. Trump’s candidacy, I was stunned by the ugly attack.

In prepared remarks at a Hollywood fundraiser, Clinton stated:  "You could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it."

Clinton condescendingly described the “other half” of Trump supporters as those that belong in the "other basket.” This second half of Trump supporters are fearful new-economy losers at a “dead end.” They get Clinton’s empathy.” These Trump supporters go into Clinton's pity basket.

With the next day’s non-apology, Clinton conceded only that her “generalized” estimation of the percentage of racist Trump supporters was not exacting: “I regret saying half. That was wrong.”

Well, at least do the math. Is it 30 percent, or 40 percent, or perhaps 47 percent of Trump supporters who are irredeemable bigots? What remainder percentage are dead-enders destined for the pity basket?  

Clinton’s Statements Are Not the Arkansas Way

Originally from Arkansas, I experienced Clinton’s alternative slander and condescension personally. I knew Hillary Rodham as my state’s first lady when she worked hard to reform Arkansas’ education system.

I took her pro-education message to heart. I left the “land of opportunity” for graduate school at Harvard and then earned three law degrees. Just as she first did, I entered law teaching. I was inspired by, and have supported, both Clintons.

And yes, I now support Mr. Trump. Which basket do I claim?   

For the record, Hillary Clinton did not learn to defame and belittle voters while in Arkansas. Such was not the way of Bill Fulbright, Win Rockefeller, David Pryor, or (the first female U.S. Senator) Hattie Caraway.

Was Hillary Clinton Obama’s Worst Mistake?

I have supported candidates of both parties since leaving Arkansas. In backing Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Energy: Dems ask Pruitt to justify first-class travel | Obama EPA chief says reg rollback won't stand | Ex-adviser expects Trump to eventually rejoin Paris accord Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand Ex-US ambassador: Mueller is the one who is tough on Russia MORE, I had hoped for fundamental change in the political order and some healing of the nation’s racial divisions. Perhaps expectations ran too high.

As an academic, I have long promoted the Executive’s Article II, Section 2 appointment authority. I publically defended the appointment discretion of both George Bushes and Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonShould the Rob Porter outcome set the standard? Make the compromise: Ending chain migration is a small price to legalize Dreamers Assessing Trump's impeachment odds through a historic lens MORE. And I zealously advanced Barack Obama’s right and responsibility to choose his own team.

Second to his Iran capitulations, I must now consider whether President Obama’s appointment of Hillary Clinton was his worst mistake. She was bi-partisan in her misjudgments. Clinton wandered between neocon-Republican recklessness and liberal-Democrat naiveté

America is less secure and the world is more fractured because of Clinton’s State Department tenure. And we may never know the extent of the email security breaches or the Clinton Foundation access misappropriations.

Sadly, Arkansas’ reformist first lady now appears to be the personification of America’s petrified political establishment.

Supporting A Pragmatic, Disruptive Non-Politician

In late 2015, I began to listen repeatedly to Trump’s message. I listened past his purposeful hyperbole, New Yorker sarcasm, and Alpha-male tweets. Sometimes it was not “easy listening” but Trump is not a politician.

I heard a patriot who does not minimize America’s potential or her problems. I heard a disruptive pragmatic who advocates job growth through tax cuts and smart trade. I heard a realist who advances a new national security paradigm. I heard a resolute leader who will prioritize protecting all Americans in this age of terror.

Since early 2016, I have attempted to support Trump in a variety of disruptive ways. Since early 2016, I have attempted to support Trump in a variety of disruptive ways. I even became a write-in candidate for the GOP nomination in late primary states for the legal standing needed to challenge Canadian-born Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care: Trump eases rules on insurance outside ObamaCare | HHS office on religious rights gets 300 complaints in a month | GOP chair eyes opioid bill vote by Memorial Day HHS official put on leave amid probe into social media posts Trump, Pence to address CPAC this week MORE’s ballot eligibility. (Williams v. Cruz is now before a New Jersey appellate court to resolve the “natural born” issue.)   

Most recently, I launched “Lawyers and Law Professors for Trump.” It has proven to be a tall order. Trump is scorned on university campuses even more than he is ostracized from white-shoe law firms and feared on “Gucci Gulch” K Street.

It is from this latest effort that I understand the strategic purpose of Clinton’s basket weaving. By branding even a fraction of Trump backers as either bigots or dead-enders, Clinton attempts to suppress Trump’s surfacing support among independent, college-educated, and African-American voters.

Meanwhile, I am proud to be in either basket. I am proud to be in the widening group of  “irredeemable” Americans pushing back against the established political order.

Victor Williams is a Washington, D.C. attorney and law professor. He leads Lawyers and Law Professors for Trump –


The views of Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.