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Hilary Clinton Wants Deprogramming of the Deplorables

Unpacking Disturbing Calls for Deprogramming: A Troubling Trend

In a recent CNN interview, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stirred controversy by suggesting that millions of Trump supporters may need "formal deprogramming." This statement was met with apparent approval from CNN's Christiane Amanpour, who had previously proposed that the FBI should have intervened to control certain campaign statements made by Trump. Amanpour seems to have found a like-minded ally in Clinton.

My concern regarding this comment extends beyond whether Hillary Clinton was entirely serious; rather, it lies in the disturbing trend of reckless rhetoric from national leaders. It's a trend that has been observed across the political spectrum, and yet, the media seldom subjects such statements or personal attacks from left-leaning figures to the same level of scrutiny.

Discussing the recent turnover in the Speaker's position by all Democrats and eight Republicans, Clinton suggested that Democrats should groom selected Republicans while treating the rest as if they were part of a cult:

"Sadly, so many of those extremists, those MAGA extremists, take their marching orders from Donald Trump, who has no credibility left by any measure. He’s only in it for himself. He’s now defending himself in civil actions and criminal actions. And when do they break with him? Because at some point, you know, maybe there needs to be a formal deprogramming of the cult members, but something needs to happen."

It appears that the "basket of deplorables" has now transformed into a group of cultists, attributed to "emotional and psychological needs and desires."

Amanpour appeared amused by the suggestion, but the collaboration between the two figures is concerning for those of us who value free speech in this era of heightened political tension. Throughout history, many countries have treated dissenters as mentally ill or in need of reeducation.

The media has, for some time, embraced the mission of educating the public to adopt its views. Former President Barack Obama and various journalists have discussed the need to reeducate the public and reshape their understanding of ideas. Obama criticized "anger-based journalism" while advocating for an advocacy-journalism model in which the media shapes the news for citizens who, in their view, require assistance in framing their thoughts.

What's striking is that Amanpour's interview with James Comey also reflected an intolerance for opposing viewpoints. She questioned why the FBI did not "shut down" President Donald Trump's "hate speech" during the 2016 presidential election.

Comey aptly responded by highlighting the impropriety and unconstitutionality of such a suggestion: "That’s not a role for government to play. The beauty of this country is people can say what they want even if it’s misleading and it’s demagoguery."

However, neither CNN nor Amanpour addressed the concerning remark made by a CNN host about using the FBI to suppress political discourse.

Now, Amanpour has aligned herself with a leader who is willing to label political opponents as members of a cult. This sense of self-righteousness is precisely why Hillary Clinton remains one of the least popular political figures in America. Irony abounds as Amanpour and Clinton denounce reckless rhetoric and anti-democratic sentiments on the right while expressing intolerant and inflammatory views themselves.

Sally Joe

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