This article is not written to argue about the certain disaster DonaldÂ Trump represents to the GOP and to the nation. This article, rather,Â is to present a warning to those so-called â€œleadersâ€ of the RepublicanÂ Party who apparently hope to avoid committing to a stance in thisÂ conflict, just as they are so fond of dodging controversy in all their carefully arranged show votes and non-confrontational, pandering,Â send-more-money emails.
One of the foremost concerns in determining our future as a party or aÂ movement is to determine, once and for all, the caliber of thoseÂ purporting to be leaders of the Grand Old Party, whether they areÂ elected party officials or elected public officials under theÂ Republican Party banner, so that those of us who haveÂ identified asÂ Republicans in the past, due to the conservative principles itâ€™s stoodÂ for, may determine whether to leave the Republican Party for good, orÂ to finally realize that the Republican Party has already left us. (ItÂ should be noted that the same critique goes for the supposed leadersÂ in the self-styled â€œfaith community,â€ who are giving the Church anÂ honest chance to determine if we really support and endorse thisÂ notion of â€œPatriotic Evangelicalismâ€ that has apparently been passingÂ itself off as Christianity for many years.)
There is ample evidence of cowardly â€œleadersâ€ pretending not toÂ embrace Trump as they slowly realize just how unpopular he reallyÂ is. This fits a growing pattern of behavior we have observed duringÂ this entire primary season, that of shameless opportunists who wereÂ quick (or willing) to jump on the Trump bandwagon as it seemed toÂ gather momentum, only to discover gradually that this purportedÂ bandwagon has only ever been an attempted stampede, and that theÂ voters simply arenâ€™t having it.
The truth is, these people are not leaders: theyâ€™re merely sycophantsÂ whose lifestyle (in many instances, theÂ DC-based high life of power,Â money, and cocktail parties) hinges on serving the whims of someÂ modern-day patron, while pretending that they actually serve theÂ interests of their constituents. They donâ€™t really like being stuckÂ with such a boorish, disagreeable patron as Trump, but theyâ€™d farÂ rather have him as their mascot, despite the inconvenience ofÂ repeatedly being put to the trouble of pretending to repudiate hisÂ more egregious statements, than lose the cozy, familiar comfort ofÂ their privileged patronage system. That tensionâ€”between what theirÂ constituency and all principles of decency and common sense require ofÂ them, and what their own self-interest demandsâ€”is what this farcicalÂ charade is really all about.
The ones pretending to hold themselves aloof, to respect the â€œwill ofÂ the peopleâ€ (people who, they know good and well, are mainly crossoverÂ Democrats intent on mischief; trolls; and misinformed primary voters),and to stay above the frayâ€”rather than condemn Trump and work toÂ ensure that someone else isÂ nominatedâ€”are conveniently those â€œleadersâ€Â who are not up for re-election this year. McConnell, Cornyn, andÂ others hope that the furor will die down by the time their nextÂ elections come around, while they willingly leaving their comradesÂ (those in the Senate who are up for re-election this year, and ALL theÂ Republicans in the House, to say nothing of all the down-ticket races)Â to die in the field.
These are the disgraceful actions of shameless, self-serving cowards,Â not leaders. Furthermore, they haveÂ the gall to cloak their cowardiceÂ under the guise of â€œteamwork.â€ Falling in line behind the presumptiveÂ nominee and calling for party unityâ€”which they know is an absoluteÂ sham, given the reckless, acrimonious, and false rhetoric Trump hasÂ been spewing for the past yearâ€”is merely their calculated least-badÂ method of self-preservation. It is now clear that all they have beenÂ doing, in their non-endorsements, half-hearted endorsements, reversalsÂ of endorsements, and flaccid pretenses of disagreement with Trumpâ€™sÂ tone, isâ€”in the absence of any adherence to actual principles orÂ idealsâ€”merely an attempt to gauge which course is likely to offend theÂ least number of voters. Failing that, they hope they can ride out theÂ stormy winds ofÂ conflict and find safe harbor when the controversyÂ dies down. What they donâ€™t realize is that this conflict is not goingÂ away; we will not forget the baseness of their cowardice and betrayal.
This is the self-evident ultimatum that is implicitly issued by allÂ free-thinking people, whatever theirÂ particular ideology, to theÂ self-styled and unfortunately elected â€œleadersâ€ of the RepublicanÂ Party currently operating in standard wishy-washy mode: Disavow TrumpÂ now and work publicly to ensure he is not theÂ Partyâ€™s nominee, or elseÂ the Republican Party will collapse, and you will have no place in theÂ new party that emerges from its ashes. The bright spotlight of truthÂ and accountability is a wonderful antiseptic to the rot of systemicÂ corruption, and those golden parachutes and cushy lobbying jobs thatÂ you look forward toÂ enjoying when all this is over may not end upÂ providing the soft landing youâ€™ve been planning for.