Four years ago, Hillary Clinton made a statement that backfired on her. While enjoying a comfortable lead in the polls, she showed disdain for Trump supporters by referring to them as “Deplorables.” Not surprisingly, that slur served to motivate millions of folks to show up on Election Day and vote against her. At the time, many of us thought it was unfair for Hillary to stereotype all of Trump’s followers in that way. But that was then, and this is now. Following last week’s insurrection and assault on the nation’s Capitol, we must now conclude that Hillary had it right all along.

The Trump followers who stormed, then vandalized the Capitol and caused the death of at least five people, are, at the very least, deplorable. More than that, they are murderers. They weren’t protesters, they were rioters. They weren’t activists, they were lawbreakers. They weren’t patriots, they were insurrectionists. And guess who made them that way? Guess who told them to march on the Capitol? Guess who told them that their country had been stolen from them and that they should help him overturn the election? None other than their hero, Donald J. Trump - leader of their cult. Like Pavlov, who made his animals adhere to his will by having them salivate over food, Trump controlled his deplorables by having them salivate over lies. The more lies he told them about a “stolen” election, the more his followers salivated. Every time he tweeted, they responded. If he said, “march and disrupt”, they obeyed. Then, after Joe Biden admonished the President to call off his dogs, Trump tweeted a message for them to stand down and go home, and they did. But in that tweet, Trump also wrote, “We love you. You’re very special.” This is the same man who praised the Charlottesville Nazis as “some very fine people.”

 In the days ahead, pundits and prosecutors will be consumed with assigning blame for the Capitol riot, and there will be plenty of it to go around. Trump is to blame for what happened last week because he is the one who fomented the insurrection. The deplorables are also to blame for blindly following their leader. Others share the blame too like Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley. Those two clowns kept Trump’s base fired up by continuing to lie about voter fraud, thus giving the mob reason to believe that they could help overturn the election by disrupting a joint session of Congress. Finally, EVERYONE who voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020 is partly to blame for what transpired last week. They knew of his boorish, erratic, and mean-spirited behavior from the get-go, but excused those dangerous qualities as harmless eccentricities. It shouldn’t have taken a violent siege to make them realize that they had backed an egocentric maniac.

So what now? First thing’s first, the FBI should continue to identify as many of the Capitol trespassers as possible and have them arrested for committing a federal felony. These under-educated, white trash cowards deserve no mercy when caught, and they deserve to spend the rest of their lives in prison. Next, we should punish the man who incited the insurrection. It is rumored that some White House officials are saying the President is insane and are considering removing him by activating the 25th Amendment. Long time Presidential adviser David Gergen suggests Congress should issue a formal censure of Trump. Others say Trump should be impeached so that if convicted, he would be disqualified from running for President again. But my favorite punishment comes from social media giants Twitter and Facebook, in which the latter blocked Trump’s account temporarily, and the former did so permanently. Other social media platforms are considering similar bans. That means going forward, the outgoing President will have no readily accessible platform for lying to and mobilizing his deplorables, and they, in turn, will have no one in the White House to fuel and encourage their Negrophobia, homophobia, Islamophobia, Hispanophobia, xenophobia, and epistemophobia. January 20th can’t come soon enough.

Postscript: Once calm was finally restored at the Capitol last Wednesday night, lawmakers worked into the next morning to officially count electoral college votes, and declare Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 election. Trump then pledged to leave office peacefully, but still claimed that he won, and added that his was, “the greatest first term in Presidential history.” Deplorable. Simply deplorable.

Jim Longworth is the host of Triad Today, airing on Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. on ABC45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 11 a.m. on WMYV (cable channel 15).

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