It would only be in the interest of word-padding for me to rehash the saga surrounding Republican presidential nominee and Devil Muppet Donald Trump and the family of Kzir and Ghazala Khan, the parents of a Muslim American solider killed in the line of duty. You can go to other sites for that, for one thing; for another, this is still ongoing, and doesn’t appear to be letting up any time soon, which, I think, underscores my main point here.
Since the verbal attacks by Trump in response to Kzir Khan’s speech at the DNC, and subsequent exchanges, a number of high-profile Republican politicians have, because they still retain some measure of humanity, released strongly worded statements rebuking Trump’s rhetoric.
John McCain released the longest-winded and most powerfully worded statement, encapsulated by this line: “While our party has bestowed upon him the Nomination, it is not accompanied by unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us.”
Ohio Governor John Kasich said, “There is only one way to talk about Gold Star parents: with honor and respect.”
And the day after Khan called on Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell to pull official support from Trump, McConnell said this: “Captain Khan was an American hero and, like all Americans, I’m grateful for the sacrifices that selfless young men like Captain Khan and their families have made in the war on terror.”
This is all fine and good; such rhetoric should be rebuked, swiftly and uncompromisingly. But the time has come — indeed, the time has long since come and gone — for Republican leaders to openly rebuke Trump, not just his statements, and pull official support from him.
I’m not naïve. This is not a call to support Hillary Clinton who, regardless of what you think about her — her personality, her policies, her pantsuits, whatever — is going to make an infinitely better candidate than an anthropomorphized dumpster fire like Trump. Some Republicans have gone on record saying they will, but I don’t expect a blanket flip.
And, as someone who still listens to Third Eye Blind (Stephan Jenkins is a notorious a-hole) and Eric Clapton (who once called, at a live concert, to “Keep England white!”), and who still watches Roman Polanski films, even the ones he made after he was convicted of statutory rape, I understand, and am conflicted by, the notion of separating the statement from the person, the art from the artist.
But this is a bridge too far. It’s going to burn down, and it’s going to take with it everyone who stood beside Trump as he made these outlandish, hateful statements.
Chris Christie’s career is effectively over: he’s seeing record-low approval ratings in New Jersey, and he’s hitched his wagon to Trump, holding out hope that he’ll be rewarded with a cabinet post. Paul Ryan is a slick personality and a great speaker, but his political tenure from here on out is going to be tarnished, and history will not be kind to him. Same for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. And every major Republican leader of this era who tiptoes around Trump, who denounce his statements but continue to support his candidacy, will have to answer for it.
The only way to save their own skin and to preserve some measure of dignity within the Republican Party is to openly, plainly and quickly, rebuke Donald Trump and rescind official support for his candidacy.
And, for the love of God, find someone to run against Ted Cruz in the 2020 primary.