By Robert Reich
The Republican Party still has time to change its mind. Right now it’s supporting for President of the United States a man
1. who divides us by race and ethnicity and religion.
He says undocumented Americans “bring drugs, crime, they’re rapists.” That the Mexican government “sends bad ones over because they don’t want to pay for them.” And who says he’ll round up and deport all 11 million undocumented workers in the United States.
This is a man who equivocated on repudiating an endorsement from David Duke, former head of the Ku Klux Klan. And when asked to repudiate the vicious anti-semitism of some of his followers said “I don’t have a message to the fans.”
A man who claimed “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the Twin Towers collapsing, when there’s no evidence at all to support that statement. And whose response to terrorism is to prevent all Muslims from coming into the United States.
A man who says black criminals are responsible for 81 percent of homicides against whites, which turns out to be a racist myth.
2. whose incendiary lies are inciting violence across this land, but he excuses them.
When he learned that some of his supporters punched, kicked and spit on protesters of color at his rallies, he said “people who are following me are very passionate.”
When a handful of white supporters punched and attempted to choke a Black Lives Matter protester at another of his rallies, he said “maybe he should have been roughed up.”
3. who bullies, humiliates, and threatens those who dare cross him.
He mocks their physical characteristics, makes up lies about them, degrades them, tries to intimidate them by unleashing hostile attacks on the Internet – announcing, for example, that a family who donated money to a political opponent “better be careful, they have a lot to hide.”
He calls a federal judge who’s considering a case against Trump University a “total disgrace” and a “hater,” and alleging he’s Mexican although he was born in the United States.
4. who spreads baseless conspiracy theories.
He conjectured that President Obama was not born in the United States, and that the government hid information about the Ebola virus and a plague would start in America if flights from Ebola infected countries weren’t cancelled. He opined that Ted Cruz’s father was with Lee Harvey Oswald during the Kennedy assasination in Dallas, and that child health vaccinations cause autism.
Such baseless conspiracy theories can do great damage, when, for example, parents don’t vaccinate their children because they fear autism.
5. whose hateful and demeaning attitudes toward women and boastful claims of sexual dominance have been filling the airwaves for years.
They’re best summed up in an interview where he said “women, you have to treat them like shit.”
6. who believes climate change is not caused by humans, contrary to all scientific proof.
And he calls for more fossil fuel drilling and fewer environmental regulations, vows to cancel the Paris agreement committing nearly every nation to curbing climate change, and to rescind Obama’s rules to curb planet-warming emissions from coal-fired power plants.
7. who proposes using torture against terrorists, and punishing their families, both in clear violation of international law.
And if all this weren’t enough,
8. who wants to cut taxes on the rich, giving the wealthiest one tenth of one percent an average tax cut of more than $1.3 million each every year – exploding the national debt and endangering the future of Social Security and Medicare.
This man is Donald Trump, and the Republican Party wants him to be President of the United States.
Why are there so few statesmen left in the Republican Party? Are there no principled Republicans whose loyalty to the nation is greater than their eagerness to win back the White House? No Republican leaders with the courage to stand up and say this is wrong – that this man doesn’t have the character or the temperament to be president, and his election would endanger America and everything we believe in and stand for?
If not, shame on them.
Republicans still have time to dump Trump. For the good of the country and the world, they must.