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

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPoll: Trump leads 2024 Republican field with DeSantis in distant second The politics of 'mind control' No Hillary — the 'Third Way' is the wrong way 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 Obama, 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 ClintonBiden: A good coach knows when to change up the team Perdue proposes election police force in Georgia To boost economy and midterm outlook, Democrats must pass clean energy bill 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 ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaA needed warning for Yemen's rebels — and for our allies and enemies alike What Joe Biden can learn from Harry Truman's failed steel seizure Biden: A good coach knows when to change up the team MORE’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 CruzPoll: Trump leads 2024 Republican field with DeSantis in distant second The politics of 'mind control' Juan Williams: It's Trump vs. McConnell for the GOP's future 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 –


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