In an election year which could have been something great, in which we could have had an experienced, level-headed conservative, we got Donald Trump. No, I’m sorry. We nominated Donald Trump. To be president. “We” as in the Republican party. And it’s been downhill ever since then.
Beating your opponent is always the goal, and we began this election cycle – way back in 2015 – with that in mind. Term limits kept Barack Obama from running again (thank goodness), so we knew that Hillary Clinton would most likely be our nominee’s opponent. The intense dislike harbored in GOP hearts for crooked Hillary (and Bill) Clinton prompted voters to embrace charisma and shock value first and foremost, superficial as they are, since those give the appearance of strength and defiance against the status quo. And so Donald Trump became our nominee.
Republicans had not been unaware of Trump, we just didn’t really care. We might have see him on “The Apprentice”, but we never would have thought that one day he would be on a November ballot as the Republican presidential option. He was for entertainment value only. Unfortunately, too many were satisfied with just that this election.
Trump’s unfitness for office goes far beyond the “unserious” aspects which surround his campaign. Yes, his speeches are nothing but a word salad. His policy explanations are skeletal. Those he has chosen to speak on his behalf, like Katrina Pierson, regularly go on illogical rants when interviewed on the national stage. He is shaky at best when it comes to upholding the basic tenets of conservatism. (That must be difficult for a lifelong liberal.) All these things point to an immature and ill-prepared candidate at a time when we desperately need a strong, consistent conservative with experience.
The acceptance of the features listed above reveal the GOP’s willingness to rationalize away basic candidate requirements. But nothing has been so clear in recent days as the GOP’s willingness to rationalize away basic human decency.
Donald Trump has a history of sexual predation, whether in word or deed, and this should bother us all. The problem is it actually doesn’t, especially to those who are so obsessed with beating Hillary that they’ll take any person who slaps an (R) next to their name. Requiring that our candidate has character is apparently too much of a burden when campaigning against a woman whose last name is the very definition of one who lacks just that. Where we should be raising the bar of principle we’re lowering it so much so that it aligns with the our worthless opponent. All the while, many of Trump’s supporters encourage us to “choose the lesser of two evils”. They, too, admit we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel in a year when we had the opposite available to us.
There is an entire horde who does not believe that Trump, whose past and present history filled with a string of infidelities, indiscretions, and recorded bragging of assault, is capable of the sexual assault claims made against him as reported in the New York Times, People, and elsewhere. It is sickening commentary on a political party proclaiming that it is the side which respects and protects women. Republicans can no longer lay claim to such a thing.
I don’t know if Trump’s ascendancy is due in part to an undercurrent of sexism among those who claim to be Republicans or if his rise has helped to produce it. Either way, it is a serious problem and one which does not bode well for the future of the party. If you read about Trump’s sexual exploits (whether they be word or deed) and aren’t bothered by them, try changing the perpetrator’s name to Bill Clinton and read them again. If you’re suddenly bothered now, you’re part of the problem.
The GOP of 2016 has allowed itself to be hijacked by a sexual deviant who is in desperate need of counseling for his obvious addiction. All the while, he is praised for promising to “Make America Great Again”.
For these and other rationalizations, the GOP deserves to lose on November 8.