Out of Left Field: GOP establishment packing Trump’s bags

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Professor Michael D'Innocenzo will be guest speaker at Emanuel

Last week Donald Trump called Joe Biden “the worst candidate in the history of politics.” A few days ago at one of his virus-spreading rallies, Trump joined the crowd chants of “Lock Them All Up” – still including Hillary, the “criminal” Bidens, Obama, and others – and he is mad at Attorney General William Barr for not having done it already.

If he loses to Biden, Trump insists it can only happen if “the election is rigged.” Then he warns: “Maybe I’ll leave the country.” If Trump, or any of you, goes to the website of the appropriately named “Lincoln Project,” you will note many prominent Republicans cheering “Good Riddance” to Trump.

Finding another presidential election where the party leader is rejected, and where so many members openly state they will vote for his opponent, is non-existent. Forget about the rally cries of “12 More Years” (not only four more for Trump, but to be followed by at least eight for Junior and perhaps for Ivanka – a political dynasty to resemble their business model).

A recent posting by the Lincoln Project states, “Trump is a failed president, but don’t take our word for it. Just listen to the people who worked for him.” Former Trump Chief of Staff and retired Marine General, John Kelly, said, “President Trump is the most flawed person I have ever known. The depths of his dishonesty are just astounding to me. The dishonesty, the transactional nature of every relationship, though, is more pathetic than anything else.”

Anthony Scaramucchi, former Trump aide and North Shore resident, said after a recent Trump press conference that “the only lies were coming out of Trump’s mouth.”

Nebraska GOP Senator Ben Sasse said Trump is “a TV-obsessed, narcissistic individual. The president kisses dictators’ butts and has associated with white supremacists.” Because of Trump, Sasse contends “Republicans are staring down the barrel of a blue tsunami.”

The Lincoln Project and others highlight Republicans and Conservatives who not only reject Trump but publicly say they will vote for Biden. The Lincoln Project boldly states, “Total Collapse” – “Vote for Change” – “18 days until we begin the healing of America.” Ohio’s Republican Gov. John Kasich not only endorsed Joe Biden, he did so speaking at the Democratic Convention. It’s worth noting that no Republican has ever been elected president without winning Ohio.

John McCain’s widow Cindy strongly backed Biden as “the best man.” Former Republican Secretary of State and retired Gen. Colin Powell has endorsed Biden, saying that Trump “has drifted away from the Constitution.” Former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said Trump “is not a conservative,” he is “a chaos president.”

Miles Taylor, former chief of staff for Trump’s Department of Homeland Security, said he would vote for Biden. So, too, did more than 70 former GOP national security officials – all publicly voting for Biden. Tom Ridge, former GOP governor of Pennsylvania and first secretary of Homeland Security, endorsed Biden because “Trump sows division along political, social and religious lines,” and because Trump “lacks empathy, integrity, intellect, and the maturity to lead.” (At least six other members of George W. Bush’s cabinet have endorsed Biden.) Numbers of former Republican senators, governors, and House members are identified by the Lincoln Project as rejecting Trump and saying they will vote for Biden.

Other Republicans have said that although they will not vote for Biden, neither will they vote for Trump; among this group are George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, John Bolton, and Gov. Phil Scott of Vermont).

Former McCain advisor, Steven Schmidt, says, “Not only is Trump the worst president of our lives, but he is the worst president of all American history.” Former Hofstra Professor and noted presidential scholar Douglas Brinkley agrees.

Trump will go down in history as the failed Covid-19 president. His sad lack of leadership and his continued lying will cement his 2020 defeat. This week Trump returned to a constant refrain: “We are rounding the corner with the pandemic.” But he makes that absurd statement as 37 states reach new peaks of infections and as the United States continues to have one of the worst death rates of all advanced nations.

For lifelong conservative Max Boot, the question is now: “How can 42 percent of Americans still support the worst president in our history?” His column (Washington Post, Oct 13) deserves to be read.  His key conclusion: “Trump’s voters are suffering from an epidemic of ‘alternative facts.’”

Boot asserts, “It is bad enough that that the president lies so much; what is worse is that so many think he is telling the truth.” Boot states: “Many voters are still supporting Trump because they’re living in a hermetically sealed disinformation bubble that is impermeable to reality.” Boot concludes: “”Trump has made a strong case that he is the worst president in our history.”

The continuing challenge for our democracy is to understand why Trump officials and voters have not spoken out against him sooner and more emphatically. Related to that concern is Boot’s admonition: “Unfortunately, even if Trump is defeated, a large portion of the country will continue to believe a lot of things that simply aren’t so – and a small but significant number could be led into violence by their lunatic beliefs.”

On Sunday, former Republican Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder endorsed Joe Biden, saying that “Trump is inciting domestic terrorism.” Boot warns: “The disturbing plot by members of a rightwing militia to kidnap the governor of Michigan may be a taste of what is to come. As Francis Goya warned: “’The sleep of reason produces monsters.’”

[A note to my readers: I completed this column before I learned that two other sources were addressing the same topic on Sunday. I hope you find it useful to consider my views with The New York Times Sunday Review (full page 10): “Fit for Office: Here’s what some of the men and women who have been closest to the president have to say.” Also, a late-listed CNN special at 9 pm on Oct. 18: “The Insiders: A warning From Former Trump Officials.]

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