As a Democrat, I have no reservation saying that America needs a strong Republican Party. We live in a two-party system and there are very real policy debates that we should be having.
With that said, this Republican Party is failing themselves and failing Americans as a whole at resembling anything close to a major political party.
Let’s be honest for a minute. Republican support of Donald Trump is clearly less about Trump and more about former President Obama. It’s a guttural reaction. As hard as Republicans may have tried, they have been completely unable to erase our first black president from the history books.
It tears them up inside that a smart, cocky, black man beat them at their own game, twice. He stopped the world economy from crashing. He eased our fears during national tragedies, and whether we liked everything about the ACA or not, he tried his best to give more people access to health care. All with a smile. Not because he was happy with the way it all played out, but because that’s what presidents are supposed to do ― act presidential.
As president, Obama recognized that he represented all Americans, even the ones who didn’t vote for him. He recognized that he was not bigger than the office of the presidency. He knew that he owed the office a high level of respect. More importantly, though, he realized that our children were watching. A concept unfathomable to the current occupant of the Oval Office.
President Obama recognized that generations of politicians, teachers, civic leaders, and yes, children, would take their cues from how he behaved as president. Instead of engaging in Twitter battles or attacking the character of his detractors, he gracefully ignored their criticism and stood tall against a party determined to beat HIM. He acted presidential, imagine that.
My Republican friends should take note because what they’re supporting, either directly or indirectly, isn’t just an anti-Obama presidency but an anti-American president. Supporting a president who is uninterested, unprepared, and unwilling to learn from his mistakes isn’t just overtly political, it’s immoral. At some point, you are the company you keep.
(Let me unapologetically digress and say that if Republicans are offended that they’re constantly being called racist by Democrats, stop palling around with racists; it’s not that complicated. If you consistently find yourself on the side of the racist, if you consistently find yourself defending racists, if you consistently find yourself making excuses for racists, you may not be a racist, but you certainly look like one. If that hurts your feelings, that’s too bad, this is me abandoning political correctness. That’s what you wanted, right?)
There is no tax break in the world that can justify supporting a man who continues to lie to the American people with no hesitation. There’s no level that unemployment can fall to that should justify the disrespect that this man has shown to each and every one of us. The end will never justify the means, ever.
Instead of being honest with themselves and with the American people, Republicans have chosen to be complicit and engage in a level of intellectual dishonesty, and that isn’t just disgusting, it’s dangerous.
Deep down we all know that there is nothing about Donald Trump that is admirable. There is nothing about Donald Trump that is redeemable. He is a con-artist and a fraud. He worships at the altar of greed, lies like it’s going out of style, and sees apologizing as a sign of weakness. He is everything our parents told us not to embrace.
At some point though, the bottom will fall out of this president’s poll numbers, taking the rest of the Republican Party with him. Not even this brand of corporate cowards can save this administration. It will be at that point and only at that point that Republicans will admit publicly what many have said to me privately, “He had no business becoming president.” A fact that has been obvious from the moment he emerged from his golden tower. A fact that privately, few Republicans deny. When that happens, let me be the first to say that there is nothing courageous about publicly coming to that conclusion.
There is a clear difference between political courage and political expediency. The first is how Republicans should have acted during the election and the second is how they actually acted. Like a mathematician, Republicans made a calculation that party was more important than country. They decided that attempting to erase our first black president from the history books was more important than any other pressing issue.
The more I engage with Republicans post-election, the more I realize how badly they are still reeling from their loss to President Obama in 2008. The more I realize that they are stuck in a time warp reminiscent of a 1980s movie with no path or plan to move America forward. The problem with that realization is that we’re not in a movie, this is real life and these decisions have consequences.
If Republicans can’t figure out a way to lead, it’s time for Americans to replace them with someone who can. Someone who can restore faith in government and civility into our national dialogue. Someone respectable. Someone other than the current group of politicians who can’t get over 2008.