Friday, July 22, 2016

Daniel Pipes: Why I Just Quit the Republican Party

I would be lying if I did not admit that I awoke with a sense of foreboding after Donald Trump's acceptance speech last night wherein the narcissist echoed the self-love and egomania that motivated the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and other despots and dictators throughout history.  The most frightening thing, however, was seeing the convention crowd revel in it utterly oblivious of the path down which Trump seeks to that America.  Our European allies and others must be frightened and dismayed.  Yes, there are some Americans who belatedly are finally saying "enough" and "I am done" but far more need to wake up and do so.   One who has just done so is Daniel Pipes, who has served in five (5) presidential administrations, who has just left the GOP.  The following are excerpts from a piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer:  
The Republican Party nominated Donald Trump as its candidate for president of the United States - and I responded by ending my 44-year GOP membership.
Here's why I bailed, quit, and jumped ship:
First, Trump's boorish, selfish, puerile, and repulsive character, combined with his prideful ignorance, his off-the-cuff policy making, and his neo-fascistic tendencies make him the most divisive and scary of any serious presidential candidate in American history. He is precisely "the man the founders feared," in Peter Wehner's memorable phrase. I want to be no part of this.
Second, his flip-flopping on the issues ("everything is negotiable") means that, as president, he has the mandate to do any damn thing he wants. This unprecedented and terrifying prospect could mean suing unfriendly reporters or bulldozing a recalcitrant Congress. It could also mean martial law. Count me out.
Third, with honorable exceptions, I wish to distance myself from a Republican Party establishment that made its peace with Trump to the point that it unfairly repressed elements at the national convention in Cleveland that still tried to resist his nomination. Yes, politicians and donors must focus on immediate issues (Supreme Court justice appointments) but party leaders like GOP committee chairman Reince Priebus, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrongly acquiesced to Trump. . . . Republican leaders are lining up to surrender to him - like low-energy, cowering weaklings."
Fourth, the conservative movement, to which I belong, has developed since the 1950s into a major intellectual force. It did so by building on several key ideas (limited government, a moral order, and a foreign policy reflecting American interests and values). But the cultural abyss and constitutional nightmare of a Trump presidency will likely destroy this delicate creation. Ironically, although a Hillary Clinton presidency threatens bad Supreme Court justices, it would leave the conservative movement intact.
Finally, Trump is "an ignorant, amoral, dishonest and manipulative, misogynistic, philandering, hyper-litigious, isolationist, protectionist blowhard" in the words of Republican donor Michael K. Vlock. That charming list of qualities means supporting Trump translates into never again being able to criticize a Democrat on the basis of character. Or, in personal terms: How can one look at oneself in the mirror?
And so, with Trump's formal nomination, I bailed.
America's failure to teach history in its schools is catching up with us.  Nightmares from 85-90 yeas ago seem about to repeat themselves, but this time in America.

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