‘History will condemn those who stayed silent’
Two years ago, no one would have believed you if you said the Republican Party could rally around a politician like Donald Trump or even stomach him. The values Trump represents have little to do with the conservative movement’s commitment to fiscal discipline and Judeo-Christian values. His temperament is alarming with his off-the-cuff tweets, thin skin, and insults. He also has a hard time discerning the good guys from the bad. He’s fought with a gold-star family and mocked prisoner of war John McCain for “getting caught” while singing the praises of Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un.
Trump has personally trashed prominent members of the Republican Party such as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and party chair Reince Priebus, who all eventually fell in line and endorsed him. 80 percent of evangelical Christians also supported a man who talks about groping women, couldn’t recite a Bible verse, and has a penchant for bearing false witness and adultery. So although the Republican Party now controls the House or Representatives, Senate and presidency, it does so with zero moral authority. Monday, Brendan Nyhan, political science professor at Dartmouth College called the collapse of the GOP’s commitment to constitutional and ideological principles “the biggest story in the world.”
“Reminder: Collapse of GOP commitment to constitutional and ideological principles is the biggest story in the world,” Nyhan wrote on Twitter. He then posted a clip from a recent New Yorker article and outlined his point in eight brilliant tweets.
Republican legislators who, a year ago, would have been aghast at any politician who praised the brutal dictator Vladimir Putin now have little trouble swallowing their tongues when Trump insists that Putin’s good opinion, however earned, is “an asset.” Those who made a fuss about pursuing any possible conflict of interest among Obama’s appointees now meekly allow the most conflict-ridden and least “vetted” of candidates for high office to walk through largely unmolested. And the insistence of the leader that he has no obligation to release any record of his financial entanglements, with the bold repeated lie that an “audit”—whose existence can’t be confirmed and wouldn’t matter anyway—prevents him from doing so, is simply and mutely accepted. The collapse—motivated for some by opportunism, for others by the intimidation of the mob—is complete.