General Von Hindenburg, the last elected President of the German Weimar Republic, is remembered for two things: First, Von Hindenburg appointed Adolph Hitler as German Chancellor, after which Hitler abolished democracy and instituted a Nazi dictatorship. Second, in Von Hindengurg's honor, the Nazis named a huge blimp after him-- a technological marvel of German engineering--bringing even greater fame to his name until the Hindenburg blimp crashed and burned in one of the most spectacular aerial explosions in history.
In other words, while Von Hindenburg was once considered a national hero, Von Hindenburg's name now lives in infamy.
Republican leaders who continue to endorse Donald Trump's presidential bid risk having their names and reputations similarly sullied forever. We should start to call them "Von Hindenburg Republicans".
Why must patriotic Republicans repudiate Trump for the sake of the country and the world and to preserve their good names and sacred honor? Let me count the ways:
• Had Trump only attacked Mexicans as rapists and murderers, it would have been enough.
• Had Trump only criticized John McCain for being shot down serving in Vietnam and held as a POW for four years, it would have been enough.
• Had Trump only proposed banning all Muslims from entering the country, it would have been enough.
• Had Trump only proposed that the US armed services commit war crimes by engaging in torture, it would have been enough.
• Had Trump only called women "fat pigs," "dogs," "slobs," "bimbos," and "disgusting animals," it would have been enough.
• Had Trump only attacked a Gold Star family, it would have been enough.
• Had Trump only refused to endorse the reelection of former Republican Presidential nominee John McCain and Republican Speaker of the House and former Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan, it would have been enough.
• Had Trump only said that he consults himself on foreign policy because he has a very good brain, it would have been enough.
• Had Trump only been ignorant that Russia is already in the Ukraine, it would have been enough.
• Had Trump only threatened to renege on US Treaty commitments to defend its NATO allies, it would have been enough.
But it gets worse. Now Trump and his surrogates are questioning the very legitimacy of the election and even threatening a "bloodbath" if Clinton wins.
Trump told a campaign rally in Ohio that he fears the election will be rigged.
Trump then doubled down on Fox News, claiming that with the courts striking down discriminatory voter ID laws, "People [presumably only Democrats] are going to walk in there, they're going to vote 10 times, maybe. Who knows. They're going to vote 10 times."
Roger Stone, longtime Trump advisor and partner of Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort, all but called for a political uprising if Trump loses:
"He [Trump] needs to say...'I am leading in Florida. The polls all show it. If I lose Florida, we will know that there's voter fraud. If there's voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate, the election of the winner will be illegitimate, we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will no longer be the government.' I think he's got to put them on notice that their inauguration will be a rhetorical [one], and when I mean civil disobedience, not violence, but it will be a bloodbath. The government will be shut down if they attempt to steal this and swear Hillary in. No, we will not stand for it. We will stand for it."
Has there ever been a major party Presidential candidate and his surrogates who have threatened to not recognize the results of an election. Even when the Communist Party USA ran Presidential candidates, they never threatened a bloodbath, or shutting down the government if they lost. And with many armed militia groups supporting Trump, this is all but a call for massive violence if Trump loses. How can Republican leaders stand for such threats to the Republic?
But it gets worse, still Letting Trump anywhere near the nuclear codes risks nuclear war and the destruction of humanity.
• In March, Trump refused to rule out using tactical nuclear weapons in the war against ISIS.
• At a Republican debate, when asked by conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt what he would do to maintain, modernize and secure the nuclear triad--airplanes, missiles, and submarines--Trump didn't even know what the nuclear triad is.
• According to Republican Joe Scarborough, during a national security briefing with a foreign policy expert, Trump asked at least three times why, if the US has nuclear weapons, it can't use them. Unconcerned about, or ignorant of, the possibility of mutually assured destruction, Trump repeatedly asked why the US builds nuclear weapons if the President can't use them.
It's almost unimaginable that a man born in 1946, who lived through the Cold War when the US and Russia had tens of thousands of nuclear missiles pointed at each other, any one or two of which could destroy humanity; when school children were told to duck and hide under their desks in the event of a nuclear attack; when the planet came within a hairs breath of nuclear annihilation during the Cuban missile crisis, could be so ignorant and uncurious as not to comprehend the dangers of nuclear war. But that's who the Republicans have nominated to be the next President of the United States.
As Norman Lear told the Los Angeles Business Journal, "I don't want a President who's out of his f*cking mind."
Do Republican leaders like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, John McCain, and Reince Priebus want a President with his hands on the nuclear codes who's out of his f*cking mind?
It's time for them to put country before party and reject Trump. Otherwise, their names will be scorned by future generations, if there are future generations, and they will go down in infamy like Paul Von Hindenburg and the exploding blimp that carried his name.