Thursday, February 25, 2016

Saving America

A Roll Call columnist, Walter Shapiro, pleads with Republican leaders to unite in a move to stop Donald Trump. Shapiro takes Trump to task more for what he does not say than for his reprehensible bombast. No one really knows what Trump might do. Any predictions are based on the shifting sands of his outrageous and false claims.

Here are just a few snippets to motivate your reading of the complete article.

Dear President George W. Bush, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Gov. Mitt Romney:

I am writing you in your role as the de facto leaders of your party. Gentleman, the Republic is in peril. Donald Trump poses a mortal danger not just to the Republican Party, but also to the American democratic experiment itself.

You have seen how Trump’s temperament in public borders on the unhinged. And you have witnessed the vitriol that Trump directs at anyone who gets in his way.

But now, sensing how the political winds are blowing, prominent Republicans in Washington are busy convincing themselves that Trump is an authoritarian they can do business with. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy just said on MSNBC, “I think I can work with Donald Trump.”

Work with Donald Trump?

Everything in this campaign has demonstrated that Trump is only using the Republican Party for ballot access. He has no allegiance to any Republican ideology and offers no guarantee that Republicans will even be welcome in his White House.

The looming danger is that Trump could be elected president. If he prevails at the Cleveland Convention, only a wounded Hillary Clinton and a divided Democratic Party would stand between him and the White House.

Think for a moment of President Trump — a man who revels in getting even — in charge of the IRS, the FBI and the CIA.

None of you, I know, is comfortable imagining President Trump. And there’s no time to delay; the enemy (and that is not a word I use lightly) is at the gates. Which is why I urge all four of you to go public with an Anybody But Trump alliance.

What I am proposing is that the four of you issue a statement saying flatly that you could not support Trump, even if he were the Republican nominee. This is a moment when love of country trumps love of party.

The goal would not be to anoint a nominee, but to prevent Donald Trump from getting any closer to the levers of power.

You have all dedicated significant portions of your lives to public service. That is why you do not want to be remembered as leaders who sat on the sidelines — privately despairing — in the face of the gravest threat to American democracy in decades.

If these Republican leaders cannot stop Trump, then we need God to save America because America is incapable of saving itself. Good luck with that.

Shapiro's article was reprinted as the main editorial in today's Daily Star.

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