When I left the Republican Party many years ago at this point, I had several motivations: (i) the GOP's fusing fundamentalist religious belief with the civil laws, and (ii) the hypocrisy of Republicans who publicly pretended to condemn bigots and homophobes, yet actually silently applauded them. Nowadays, these problems have only worsened, especially as blatant outward racism has become accepted with little or no condemnation from party officials. Enter Donald Trump as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee and there is little room to hide without being labeled as condoning Trump's ugly bigotry. The result is that we are seeing half-efforts from Republicans such as Paul Ryan to seemingly condemn Trump's statements without renouncing their self-prostitution to the man and his foul views. An op-ed in the New York Times looks at this phenomenon of far too many Republicans actually quietly agreeing with Trump's misogyny. Here are excerpts:
When Donald Trump attacked a federal judge whose parents were born in Mexico, Hispanic Americans were outraged. Other minority groups saw a pattern of bigotry. Democrats had a hard time concealing their glee. Republican leaders pretended they disapproved.
Well, to be fair, they did disapprove in a way — not because Trump believes the things he says, but because he says them so directly.
Far too many Republicans share this kind of racism and have for a long time. Trump has just dispensed with dog whistles and revels in his bigotry instead. But this is the party the Republicans have been deliberately and assiduously building for many decades, the party of division and intolerance.
Today’s Republicans have stymied every effort at reforming immigration, at achieving true equality for women, at ending the scourge of racist drug laws and criminal sentencing rules. The Republican Party has generated a wave of laws designed to make it harder for black Americans and other minorities to vote. It’s not that Republicans don’t want to deport millions of Mexicans and ban Muslims from our shores. They just don’t like to talk about it in the open.
So when Donald Trump started to attack Mexicans, Muslims and anyone else who popped into his head, Republican leaders may have thought it was bad tactics. But all that talk this year about the “Republican establishment” being aghast at Trump for his outlandish ideas was nonsense.
What really bothers Republicans is that Trump is not a member of their club and did not observe party discipline by saving his disdain for Democrats.
Asked about one right-wing blogger who said Republicans were backing a racist candidate, McConnell simpered that what matters is winning the White House. “The right-of-center world needs to respect the fact that the primary voters have spoken,” he said. Yes, in favor of blatant intolerance.
Given the cowardice of his fellow members of the party of Lincoln, Trump is, naturally, doubling down on running for racist in chief.
On Monday, Bloomberg Politics reported that Trump told campaign surrogates in a conference call to keep up the attack on Judge Curiel. And on Tuesday, he said in a statement, “It is unfortunate that my comments have been misconstrued as a categorical attack against people of Mexican heritage.” His evidence for his tolerance was, as usual, that he has lots of Mexican-Americans working for him.
[H]he [Trump] obviously plans to go on riding this tiger — because he thinks it will take him into the White House; because he is engaged in a creepy act of self destruction to avoid actually having to be president, which is hard work; or simply because he enjoys making bigoted comments.
Supporters of Bernie Sanders who talk about voting for Trump instead of Clinton if their candidate finally decides to drop out should consider this latest episode, and Trump’s larger pattern, carefully. They should know they would be voting for a racist.