America, the world has a question for you: Where did the Republican Party go?
As Donald Trump continues to push the line of what is acceptable to say and do in American politics, Republicans must eventually face questions many clearly are dreading:
- How much defamation of political opponents, religious leaders, or even Gold Star Parents will you endure?
- How many times will you accept creative interpretations of the truth, or even downright lies, from your own presidential candidate?
- How much fear-mongering and xenophobia will you stand by, for all the world to see?
- How many times will you accept a weakening of the special bonds America shares with her allies?
- And finally, for how long will you accept that your presidential nominee reveals no details on how he plans to fix America’s ills?
Despite his many claims to the contrary, Donald Trump, does not command respect among America’s allies and adversaries.
On the contrary, Trump invokes ridicule, confusion about U.S. commitment to its allies, and an impression that the Republican Party is willing to drive the country off the cliff on its quest to win the White House.
Many outside the U.S. are wondering how the GOP could allow the current situation to happen. And moreover, how politicians and Republican voters alike can allow Trump to so blatantly chip away at conservative mantra. What happened to the party of Lincoln and Reagan? The party of principles and civility? The devotion to a staunch relationship with NATO and European allies?
Earlier in the year, it seemed that most of the party leadership and a majority of Republican voters would reject Trump’s dystopian and simplistic caricature of the world. Soon after he clinched the nomination though, a string of endorsements soon followed. A solid backing of conservative voters means that Trump is running neck-and-neck with Clinton in the polls.
Thus, it seems that both a large part of the Republican establishment and its voters have weighed their options, and decided that the quest for power trumps everything else.
That’s fine, and obviously the Republicans’ prerogative, but I hope you reconsider. The rest of the world is watching, and that we’re not impressed. We’re actually quite embarrassed and concerned on your behalf.
In Donald Trump’s alternate universe, America can do what it wants and simply expect allies and others to follow its lead. The only problem with that view is that it isn’t grounded in reality. Statecraft is a complex game of “give and take”, meaning that the United States is actually dependent on other countries, particularly its allies, to reach its strategic goals.
Every time Donald Trump debases U.S. politics, belittles entire religions, spooks America’s allies, and simplifies the world to fit it into his populist narrative, he makes it harder for the U.S. to command respect and goodwill on the world stage.
And every time a Republican politician finds the audacity to somehow defend such statements, it leaves the impression that the GOP also has decided to trade its principles and civility for the prospects of power. It leaves the rest of the world wondering: Where did the Republican Party go?