The Fraudulent Republican Anti-Trump Movement
Republican leaders have moved directly from kidding themselves that blowhard bigot Donald Trump couldn’t possibly win the Republican presidential nomination into a full-scale panic that it may already be too late to stop him.
Now House Speaker Paul Ryan from Wisconsin is positioning himself as an alternative in the remote possibility Republicans succeed in deadlocking their party’s convention just like they’ve deadlocked Congress.
If Republicans are desperately searching for a white knight to save their party, Ryan has been practicing his humble acceptance speech in front of mirrors for years.
But here’s what’s so completely dishonest about this sudden Dump Trump movement. There are many reasons why a vulgar, openly racist, know-nothing demagogue should never seriously be considered for the presidential nomination of any legitimate political party.
But none of Trump’s most brazenly offensive views are all that different from those Ryan and other Republicans regularly employ to attract small-minded, mean-spirited voters to their party.
The only real difference is that instead of appealing to racial, religious and ethnic hatred in coded language, Trump does it in plain English right out loud. Instead of sounding dog whistles that bigots everywhere can hear, Trump uses a bullhorn.
Republicans Are No Longer the Party of Lincoln
Consider Ryan’s denunciation of Trump even as Republican voters were giving Trump a commanding lead for the nomination.
Without naming him, Ryan condemned Trump for failing to immediately disavow public support for his candidacy from David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, and other white supremacists.
If a person wants to be the nominee of the Republican Party, Ryan sanctimoniously declared, “They must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry. This party does not prey on people’s prejudices. We appeal to their highest ideals. This is the party of Lincoln.”
Sorry, Paul, but that no longer remotely describes the Republican Party.
It’s absolutely true that Abraham Lincoln, who freed the slaves, was a Republican when he was assassinated in 1865. But Republicans stopped being the party of Lincoln in the 1960s.
That’s when Republicans intentionally turned their backs on Lincoln’s legacy to pursue Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy of actively seeking the votes of Southern white racists angrily quitting the Democratic Party to protest its support of civil rights under President Lyndon Johnson.
That racist Republican strategy worked. What had been the solid Democratic South almost overnight became a solid Republican South. Openly racist Democratic senators like Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms switched parties to become openly racist Republican senators.
That solid Republican South continues to this day for exactly the same reasons. Most Republicans no longer publicly use racial epithets to describe people of color as subhuman, but they continue to oppose every effort to reduce enduring racial inequities in income, employment, education, health care and criminal justice in everyday American life.
Country club Republicans were perfectly happy to welcome ignorant, low-life racists into their party to win elections as long as wealthy donors still controlled the party’s primary agenda of steadily cutting taxes for the wealthy.
But something amazing happened this year. Even though wealthy Republicans put an enormous mountain of millions of dollars behind yet another Bush, Jeb, to do their bidding, his awkward, inept campaign fell flat on its face, winning only four delegates.
Instead, those ignorant, know-nothing low lifes that genteel Republicans counted on to support them took control of the nominating process themselves and put Trump far out in front, prompting him to exult: “I love the poorly educated!”
And the No. 2 candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the only remaining candidate with any possibility of catching Trump, is the other most openly offensive, extreme candidate, also personally despised by Republican leaders.
Cruz not only fully supports Trump’s Berlin Wall along the Mexican border, he promises to forcibly round up and deport more than 11 million undocumented immigrants and carpet bomb Muslim countries to make the sand glow.
Sure, Republicans would prefer that Trump were not around to clearly expose what their party has become today.
But they have real problems articulating why Republicans shouldn’t support him, since Trump’s most offensive and frightening positions are the same ones other Republican candidates regularly express in slightly less inflammatory language.
So they’ve taken to charging that Trump is, shudder, a secret Democrat because he refuses to support the gutting of Social Security and Medicare that a real Republican like Ryan keeps writing into House budgets.
Good God, Trump even claims Planned Parenthood performs valuable health services by providing cancer screenings for millions of women.
But, of course, no one really needs to be afraid of Trump becoming president because he agrees with Democrats on a few common-sense issues.
What makes Trump such a dangerous authoritarian demagogue is his vow to actually deliver on the racial hatred and division Republicans prefer to promote far more subtly. If anyone really brought that about, it would destroy America.