Journalist and comedian Harmon Leon has teamed up with cartoonist Ted Rall for Meet the Deplorables: Infiltrating Trump America, an attempt to understand the most enthusiastic of Trump supporters by spending time within the various right-wing subcultures that tend to go house the most ardent of our current president’s supporters.
As part of his research for the book, Leon did things like visit an anti-Muslim hate group, join a “conversion therapy” group attempting to “turn” queer people straight, and watch Trump supporters get free Trump tattoos. The result? A funny, insightful, and sometimes cringe-worthy exploration of the question: “How did we, as a country, get here?”
The book is having its official launch event tonight (Friday, February 2nd) at Pete’s Candy Store in Brooklyn. Both Leon and Rall will be on hand to share stories about their experiences in Trump’s America.
Here’s the full official synopsis:
Legendary infiltration journalist HARMON LEON is at it again, this time teaming up with ferocious political cartoonist TED RALL to answer the question most of America has been asking: “What the hell happened in 2016?” In their new book, Meet the Deplorables: Infiltrating Trump America, Leon goes deep undercover into the heart of Trump America, and Rall—two-time winner of the RFK Journalism Award and a Pulitzer Prize finalist—adds an innovative extra dimension to the book with his own essays and full-color cartoons.
Running throughout Meet the Deplorables, Rall’s distinctive artwork enhances the insightful and often irreverent tone employed by Leon—an award-winning New York journalist whose stories have appeared in VICE, Esquire, The Nation, and National Geographic. In his inimitable Gonzo-style, Leon’s carefully crafted narrative is designed to help us understand (and humanize) the “deplorables,” a word used by Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign to describe the racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic supporters of Donald J. Trump.
For the sake of humor and satire, Leon ventures where elite coastal journalists dare not: deep into Red State territory, where his audacious accounts vicariously take readers on a journey of enlightenment by providing a fresh and first-hand perspective of right-wing subcultures and those most adversely affected by Trump’s appalling policies on immigration, healthcare reform, and race relations.
This unique collaboration between the formidable team of Harmon Leon and Ted Rall holds up a mirror to modern conservative life and reflects a reality that is outrageous, entertaining, and always illuminating.
The book launch event runs from 7-9 p.m. at Pete’s Candy Store on Lorimer Street and is totally free (something anyone, in any part of America can get behind, amirite?).