Just prior to the 2018 election, and two years into the Trump administration, I argued that we had seen quite enough. To my thinking, as rote enablers of a lawless president, Republican Party officeholders and candidates deserved blanket indictment.
Just prior to the 2018 election, and two years into the Trump administration, I argued that we had seen quite enough. To my thinking, as rote enablers of a lawless president, Republican Party officeholders and candidates deserved blanket indictment. Their chosen political party affiliation alone was prima facie evidence of electoral unworthiness. One needn't proceed any further, I'd contended. Republican officials were co-owners of the ills and outrages of this presidency.
But believing our unelected Republican friends to be decent and honorable people, I assumed that they, like many others, had simply been duped into supporting a world-class conman. So, I excluded rank-and-file Republicans who held no positions of authority from blanket condemnation.
Subsequent events have shown that I was premature in vindicating these Republicans. They have shown themselves to be reliable supporters of all that is blatantly repugnant in the Trump administration. Their continued endorsement is the very heart of what sustains this ongoing government horror.
Without the collaboration of their "base," Republican officeholders would lack the nerve and the stamina to sustain their lock-step support of the president. Ordinary Republicans are the protective pool, shielding craven Republican representatives, Senators and high-level appointees from the consequences of their unconscionable acts. All Republicans are now full owners of the disaster we witness.
Please, my Republican friends, spare me the tortured rationales and transparent rationalizations you've been dutifully parroting. You can still put lipstick on a pig and have it remain the swine that it is. I've heard your jaundiced justifications for continued support of the president: the booming economy (attributed to the incredible economic wisdom of this world-champion serial bankruptcy filer); the magnificent tax cuts (from which you likely derived little personal benefit); or the systematic politicization of our judiciary (for which there will likely be some future hell to pay).
Even given a modicum of truth in the administration's trumpeted accomplishments, some things are not negotiable. Honor and integrity are simply not for sale, trade or barter - not now, not ever.
As far as honor, integrity and the like are concerned, special scorn is reserved for evangelical Christians. They have been stalwart supporters of this rogue regime's unconscionable policies, including the horrifying cruelty and brutality visited upon the weak and the vulnerable. At long last, have they no sense of decency left?
In their unwavering endorsement of executive branch actions, evangelicals have forever forfeited any claim to speak with moral authority. Whatever happened to earlier entreaties to "Love thy neighbor" or "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, but lose his soul?"
Their prior pious pronouncements don't seem to have stopped them from championing those who betray our democracy. They would do well to reread their sacred texts.
So, where does this leave us? Our Republican friends possess the last vestige of power to reclaim our democratic republic. While redemption is still possible, we must not only call out our wayward Republican friends, we must call them back into the fold of those who would pledge their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honors to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution.
The ball is fully in your court, my Republican friends. Honor, integrity and democracy are all on the line. We've always believed you to be better than this. Here's hoping we are not proven wrong yet again.
Robert J. Silver lives in Taos.
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