The Donald Trump show released another shameful episode this afternoon, as Trump called for a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the United States. There are many things I could say here, and I will probably say them at some point. But for now, I feel it is only appropriate to defer to Governor Rick Perry. While he is now out of the race, his words from a speech back in July ring remarkably prescient.
“In times of trouble, there are two types of leaders: repairers of the breach and sowers of discord.
The sower of discord foments agitation, thrives on division, scapegoats certain elements of society, and offers empty platitudes and promises. He is without substance when one scratches below the surface.
He offers a barking carnival act that can be best described as Trumpism: a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued.
Let no one be mistaken – Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded.
It cannot be pacified or ignored, for it will destroy a set of principles that has lifted more people out of poverty than any force in the history of the civilized world – the cause of conservatism.
We will be no better off with a Republican divider in the White House than the current Democrat divider in the White House.
Donald Trump the reality television star is a great generator of ratings. But Donald Trump the candidate is a sower of division, wrongly demonizing Mexican-Americans for political sport.
It is wrong to paint with a broad brush Hispanic men and women in this country who have fought and died for freedom from the Alamo to Afghanistan. He scapegoats Hispanics to appeal to our worst instincts, when we need a president who appeals to our best.
This is not new in America.
In the 1840’s the “Know Nothings” emerged as a political movement, scapegoating Irish and German immigrants for the problems of the nation.
They were obsessively anti-Catholic, so much so that when the Pope sent marble for the building of the Washington Monument, they smashed it to pieces and helped delay its construction for 35 years.
These people built nothing, created nothing. They existed to cast blame and tear down certain institutions. To give outlet to anger.
Donald Trump is the modern-day incarnation of the know-nothing movement.
He espouses nativism, not conservatism. He is negative when conservatism is inherently optimistic.
He would divide us along bloodlines, when conservatives believe our policies will work for people of all backgrounds.
He has piqued the interest of some Republican voters who have legitimate concerns about a porous border and broken immigration system. But instead of offering those voters leadership or solutions, he has offered fear and soundbites. This cannot stand.
Conservatism doesn’t foment agitation through identity politics. That’s what Democrats do. But as a supporter of socialized medicine, the stimulus package and Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump is quite suited to follow the Democrats’ example.
I, for one, will not be silent when a candidate for the high office of president runs under the Republican banner by targeting millions of Hispanics, and our veterans, with mean-spirited vitriol.
I will not go quiet when this cancer on conservatism threatens to metastasize into a movement of mean-spirited politics that will send the Republican Party to the same place it sent the Whig Party in 1854: the graveyard.
Rick Perry tried to warn us. If we continue to ignore his warning, we will have only ourselves to blame.