Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Dear Republican National Committee

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, has condemned Donald Trump's remarks about banning Muslims from entering the US. Priebus: "We need to aggressively take on radical Islamic terrorism but not at the expense of our American values." Other leading Republicans have done similarly. Even Dick Cheney, certainly not my favorite primate, said his statement, "goes against everything we stand for and believe in.”

But words are not enough. Consequences must follow. The RNC should immediately disqualify Trump from running as a Republican for the presidency of the United States of America.

I watched Trump's latest run at the Republican presidential nomination initially with a degree of bemusement. How could anybody take this guy seriously? He's a preening narcissist. His program is basically himself. He promises to "make America great again", but he has very little to say about what exactly that means and how he plans to do it. When he's challenged by anyone in the press regarding his vague promises and made up facts, he drowns out the criticism by unleashing a barrage of bombast and blather. At base he is a clown, a walking self-parody.

I'm not laughing now. The joke's not funny any more. Trump is nominally a Republican but he talks like the candidate of the National Front. And he continues to lead the polls among the field of Republican candidates. His xenophobic rants against Muslims in particular seem to have no problem finding a receptive audience.

I was startled when my trusty clock radio came on at 5 AM this morning to treat me to an earful of Trump going on about how we need to ban all Muslims from entering the US. This, I thought, is going too far. As already noted, condemnations from leading Republicans were not far behind. But what I didn't hear was a statement like this from the RNC: "It is unacceptable for the candidate of our party to promulgate views that are so totally antithetical to American values. As such we  reject his candidacy and hereby disqualify him from any nomination as the Republican candidate for president of the United States."

To not exclude Trump from the nomination, regardless of how certain or uncertain it is that he could actually win it, is to tacitly approve the views he promotes. Apparently the party's attitude is that if this guy can win enough primaries and caucuses to win the nomination, it's his; all they care about is that someone who calls himself a Republican ends up in the White House. Besides, they're undoubtedly afraid that if they shut him out of the party, he will run as a third-party candidate, splitting the conservative vote and guaranteeing a win for the Democratic candidate. For the sake of having a Republican president, even those in the party who know better are ready to hold their noses and send a guy into the running who at best is Berlusconi and at worst is Mussolini.

Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy.
You in America will see that some day.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

In my view that's a cowardly and cynical calculation. If the Republicans love their country as much as they profess to, they will do the right thing and toss this guy out on his ear, regardless of the electoral consequences. I am not particularly confident that will happen.

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