Politics

CNN Panel Disses All Trump Rally Attendees as ‘Cruel’

Don Lemon and guests veered dangerously close to repeating Hillary Clinton's infamous 'deplorables' comments

Image Credit: CNN

CNN Host Don Lemon (pictured above center) and some panelists on “CNN Tonight” decided that all supporters of President Donald Trump’s who attend his rallies are “cruel” and voted for a “cruel person who demeans and diminishes people.”

“I’m talking about the people who go to these rallies, and they cheer as the president holds up a victim of sexual assaults and jeers and mocks her,” The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer (above right) told Lemon, apparently referring to Trump’s criticism of Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her, at a rally.

Lemon replied, “I’m glad you said that because you’re not referring to every Trump supporter, right?”

“No. I’m talking about a very specific subset of Trump voters,” Serwer said. “And I think that anybody who has ever been the new kid at a school knows how this works. Everybody gangs up on you. They’re mean to you and they become closer friends and you’re the person on the outside.”

“And it’s basically that dynamic, only it’s in national politics,” Serwer added. “It’s something that’s embedded in human nature, but until — until now we haven’t had a politician who revels in exploiting that part of human nature. And I think it’s taking the country to a dark place.”

Serwer published a piece October 3 in The Atlantic called “The Cruelty Is the Point: President Trump and his supporters find community by rejoicing in the suffering of those they hate and fear.”

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“Trump’s only true skill is the con; his only fundamental belief is that the United States is the birthright of straight, white, Christian men, and his only real, authentic pleasure is in cruelty,” Serwer wrote.

“It is that cruelty, and the delight it brings them, that binds his most ardent supporters to him, in shared scorn for those they hate and fear: immigrants, black voters, feminists, and treasonous white men who empathize with any of those who would steal their birthright,” his piece continued.

“The president’s ability to execute that cruelty through word and deed makes them euphoric. It makes them feel good, it makes them feel proud, it makes them feel happy, it makes them feel united,” Serwer added. “And as long as he makes them feel that way, they will let him get away with anything, no matter what it costs them.”

Lemon agreed with those sentiments, saying, “The pattern here is cruelty.”

CNN commentator Amanda Carpenter (above left) backed Serwer’s claim that all Trump rally attendees are cruel, saying he “hits the nail on the head.”

“And it reminded me of two words that you see a lot on the internet, and that’s ‘liberal tears.’ Like, there’s a whole genre of conservative infotainment they find on YouTube … where people are just trying to make liberals scream and cry,” Carpenter said. “And they laugh about it, right?”

“Like there’s a mug that they’ll hold up and say, ‘Liberal tears.’ They laugh as they drink it,” Carpenter continued as she extended her criticism beyond Trump’s rally-goers. “The cruelty is the point of that. And it really has gone mainstream in a way that’s bigger than the people that just go to Trump’s rallies.”

Former South Carolina House Rep. Bakari Sellers (D) warned that “the only way this stops” is if “white, evangelical men have the fortitude to speak out against” this “racism, the sexism, the bigotry, the misogyny.”

Republican CNN commentator Alice Stewart emphasized that “it is a very, very small facet of Trump voters” who are cruel.

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“It’s the very base of who [Trump] is,” Stewart said. “But what really connects Trump supporters and Republicans and conservatives is the policy. I think while there’s a lot of hateful rhetoric and lot of hateful tone out there, what connects the Republicans I know and the conservatives I know are the policies that he represents.”

“We don’t appreciate the tone and tactic. We appreciate the policies that he’s putting forward and executing as president,” Stewart insisted.

Sellers further clarified his “cruel” criticism, saying, “First of all, everybody who supports Trump is not a bad person.”

“They overlook a lot … I don’t understand how you overlook misogyny, sexism, racism. I don’t understand how you can just sit back and say, ‘You know what, all of that is okay because I’m going to get all of these judges elected or I’m going to get a tax break,'” Sellers said.

The campaign of 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton took a hit in 2016, when she dismissed “half of Trump’s supporters” as belonging in “the basket of deplorables” during a September 2016 fundraiser in New York City.

Nevertheless, Lemon lamented that Trump supporters “voted for their cruel person who demeans and diminishes people over someone who is going to do the exact same thing but doesn’t speak.”

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