[guest post by Dana]
Wealthy, white New York liberal gets angry and smears poor people in a red state. Haven’t we seen this show before? I don’t normally pay attention to what Bette Midler says about anything, but given that she not only insulted everyone in the state of West Virginia but also echoed Hillary Clinton’s big campaign gaffe in 2016, I think it’s worth a look-see. Especially when one considers how Clinton later regretted
insulting so many Americans seeing how she helped fire up the MAGA crowd. And we know how that story ended…
Here is Midler’s tweet:
And as a reminder, here is what Clinton said at a deep-pocket fundraiser during her 2016 campaign:
We are living in a volatile political environment. You know, to just be grossly generalistic, 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. And unfortunately there are people like that.
While Midler is not running for public office, her tone and sentiment are similar to Clinton’s. From their lofty monied perches, they both smeared a large swath of the population, and as we saw with Clinton and are now seeing with Midler (judging by the angry responses), Americans don’t like to be told they are less than. Whether it’s West Virginia or New York (remember Ted Cruz’s “New York values” gaffe?), no one likes to be publicly lumped into a giant insult made by powerful elites. It only serves to foment anger and resentment while confirming already-held beliefs about how they are viewed by the more privileged set. Worse, it is this sort of sneer that helped propel a Trump victory in 2016. You’d think Democrats would get that by now. After all, they had front row seats to the unintended consequences when one of their own hurled a mean insult at a far less powerful group of Americans.
Although Midler is not a political figure, her attitude toward those outside of her political, cultural, and economic orbit is similar to Clinton’s in that it serves to reinforce Trump supporters’ assertions in 2016, and perhaps even in 2024, that Trump was/is the only one willing to fight for them. So, wealthy, white liberal elites, you might want to get off your high horses and think twice before insulting the entire population of a red state. That is unless you want to help the MAGA crowd assume White House power again.
Midler later apologized for her insult. Well, sort of:
See, the thing is: she continues to insult West Virginians because they are the very ones who continue to vote Joe Manchin into office.
And I’ll just leave this right here: