Friday, August 19, 2016

Why Paul Ryan Needs to Denounce Trump

An op-ed in Newsweek by a former business news reporter with the New York Times is a must read. It calls on Paul Ryan to denounce Donald Trump and also goes into detail on Trump's lack of true business acumen and mental stability.  The writer calls Trump a carnival barker and rightly so.  The man is a menace and the thought of him in the White House ought to terrify every sane American.  Trump's business empire may well be propped up by Russian money and his campaign is still under the titular leadership of a man, Paul Manafort, who could well be on his way to an FBI investigation for his dealings with enemies of America in Ukraine.  Here are op-ed highlights (read the entire piece):
History rarely presents the opportunity to prove our character. Usually, we stumble through an election year, caught up in petty bickering and the occasional raging controversy that soon fades from public consciousness. . . . This is not one of those years, Mr. Speaker. These are dangerous times for America and the world. What America does in this election will affect our allies, our enemies, our children.  
We have a candidate for president from your party going so far as to suggest that “the 2nd Amendment people” could stop a president from exercising the Constitutional powers to nominate judges. And that, an obvious suggestion for assassinating a political opponent, is just the latest and most unbelievable historical outrage.
As youths, many of us read in history books about people who stood by and allowed horrors to unfold, and assured ourselves we would have challenged demagogues, regardless of the consequences. Now we are adults and face our first real chance to prove that. And so, Mr. Speaker, I ask you—in the first of a series of open letters to you over the next few weeks about the dangers posed by Donald Trump and his many secrets—to do what you know you must: Condemn your party’s presidential candidate. Condemn Trump as someone who does not represent the values of the Republican Party nor America. Condemn him as a danger to the United States. Condemn him to show that anyone should be disqualified for the presidency if they suggest their supporters should consider murdering public officials to achieve policy goals.
Would doing this cost you your seat in Congress? Probably. But others have sacrificed far more—those crippled while fighting tyrants overseas, those who died at the hands of racists at home while pursuing justice.
Imagine how history will view you for staying silent. If Trump is elected president, you—as the most prominent leader in the Republican Party—will be responsible for his actions. You will not be able to control him, no more than his campaign team, nor his bankers, nor his business partners could control him. As someone who first covered Trump’s business dealings decades ago, I assure you that the petty bully who mocked the family of an Army vet killed in battle is not a political novice who needs only to educate himself. That hate-filled man is the real Donald Trump, the one business reporters have known for over 40 years—reckless, narcissistic, lacking all self-awareness, eager to lash out at anyone who tells him what he does not want to hear. No intervention will help . . .
In decades to come, your children and grandchildren will ask, “Why didn’t you do something?”
Some conservatives of character, like Erick Erickson, Jonah Goldberg, Max Boot, Lindsey Graham and Mitt Romney, have denounced Trump. They would rather their party lose the White House in 2016 than turn America’s future over to an unstable man who could well gain access to the nuclear codes. Speaker Ryan, you and other Republicans who care about conservatism, who care about America, must set aside the petty differences that separate our nation’s great parties and join all those fighting to stop this man. Patriotism must trump tribalism.
 “The thing you don’t understand about Donald Trump is that he’s mentally ill.”   One of Trump’s most senior executives said those words to me in the summer of 1990. I knew this person was not qualified to make a clinical diagnosis, but it was disturbing that one of the developer’s lieutenants would say such a thing to a reporter and clearly mean it.
 When the inevitable occurred and Trump could not even pay the interest on his billions of dollars in debt, his lenders found themselves in an impossible position—if they demanded he make good on all the debt he had personally guaranteed, he would file for personal bankruptcy, and the financial institutions that doled out the cash to him would go under. Trump and his lenders were standing in a basement filled with gasoline, and if either lit a match, they would both burn to death. Trump did not “outsmart” his banks, as he likes to say now. He and they had been so reckless that they had to save him to save themselves.
 [T]he words that best summed up the financial nonsense that led to the bankruptcy of Trump’s businesses were uttered in the early 1990s by the dean of financial journalists, Floyd Norris. He said that someday we all would have to explain to our children and grandchildren the bizarre story of Donald Trump, how so many banks behaved so recklessly to benefit a man who was obviously little more than a carnival barker. The answer, Floyd said, was: “You just had to be there. It can’t be explained rationally.”
 Mr. Speaker, we are again having to explain the success of the carnival barker, only now he is much more dangerous. Rather than being just someone who could put legions of banks out of business, he could become president of the United States and cause incomprehensible harm. Plenty of people—including members of your own party and even psychiatrists—are saying Trump exhibits signs of mental illness, as his lieutenant told me decades ago.
 It is not too late to do the right thing. Condemn Donald Trump. Don’t be on the wrong side of history.
Will Ryan heed the call?  I doubt it.  In my view, Paul Ryan is a man who is utterly morally bankrupt. He feigns religiosity yet pushes policies that are the antithesis of the Christian message he claims to honor.  Like Trump, Ryan embodies the swamp fever and pathological lying that are synonymous with today's Republican Party.  Do NOT expect Ryan to do the right thing. 

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