Hillary Clinton’s description of half of Donald Trump’s supporters as being “deplorables” at a fundraiser Friday night became the political talking point of the day on Saturday, and at least two notable Trump proponents turned Clinton’s comment into a Hollywood-themed meme.
Both Trump advisor Roger Stone and former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke tweeted images of key art for the ensemble action movie “The Expendables” that had been altered to swap the real characters’ heads for those of conservative figures.
Interestingly, the images are very different from each other aside from the theme and the pro-Trump angle.
“The Expendables” franchise is about an elite mercenary team which carries out dangerous, and deniable, operations — the type of missions that, say, the U.S. government wouldn’t be able to officially sanction. The cast, led by Sylvester Stallone, is made up largely of well known action stars of the ’80s and ’90s.
There are some important differences between the two versions of the meme — and I should note that we don’t know who originally made these, just that Stone and Duke tweeted them.
Stone’s version includes a number of Trump-supporting establishment conservatives, including Stone himself, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump and his sons Eric and Donald Jr., and Trump’s running mate Mike Pence. Notably, it also adds Info Wars’ Alex Jones, Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos and the cartoon frog known as Pepe, which is a mascot of the alt-right movement.
Duke’s version is a bit more intense, both in the faces it includes and the alt-right rhetoric that covers it. This edition of The Deplorables features Trump and his two sons, Hulk Hogan, Stephen Miller, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump campaign boss Stephen Bannon, Ann Coulter and, of course, Duke himself. This meme also includes a tagline for “The Deplorables”: “Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.”
In the bottom left corner you’ll also find a very loose approximation of a TV content warning. “AW” is short for “anti-white” and “WG” means “white genocide.” In the really fine print next to the rating is the notice that “it contains scenes with: forced immigration, forced refugee settlement, forced assimilation, forced integration, forced diversity, forced taxation, anti-white demoralization, extreme white flight.” Trump has been known in the past to retweet a Twitter user who went by the name “WhiteGenocideTM.”
While Stone has officially been associated with Trump’s campaign in the past and is reportedly still a “confidant” of the Republican nominee, Duke has been repeatedly denounced by the Trump campaign. In February, Trump caught a lot of flack for appearing to evade a question about whether her would disavow endorsements from white supremacist organizations like the Klan, but the campaign has issued numerous statements denying its acceptance of Duke’s endorsement ever since — including in late August when a robocall to Louisiana voters from Duke encouraged them to vote for Trump.
Clinton said on Saturday that she regrets being so “generalistic”: “I regret saying ‘half’ — that was wrong.”