Never in our history have so many members of a president’s own party offered so many searing criticisms of him.
There is no need to evaluate the 45th President from Democrats and Liberals.
Judgments like the ones that follow are from lifetime Republicans and Conservatives; they might stir citizens to take stock of the well-being of our nation (timely, as the President prepares to deliver his State of the Union address).
[Please note that space permits only a very small sampling of Conservative critics.]
• Reflecting on Trump’s one year anniversary (1/21/18), long-time Weekly Standard editor, Bill Kristol tweeted: “A note to the dissemblers, apologists, and rationalizers, Trump really isn’t worth it.”
• Sen. Flake (R) spoke on the Senate floor (1/17) again blasting President Trump, this time comparing him to Joseph Stalin’s authoritarian attacks on a free press. Flake: “The destructive effect of this kind of behavior on our democracy cannot be overstated.”
• David Frum (1/16) discussed his new book, Trumocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic.”
• Ross Douthat (1/14): “Trump remains temperamentally authoritarian and personally vile.”
• “We have a president even more ignorant of America than he is of the rest of the world.” (Bret Stephens, 1/13)
• Gordon Humphrey (former GOP Senator): “Trump is an ignoramus. He’s probably mentally ill. He’s undermining democracy. He’s extremely dangerous.” (1/8)
• “’Button’ It, Mr. President. JFK and Reagan had the good sense not to speak flippantly about nuclear weapons.” (Peggy Noonan, WSJ, 1/6/18).
• “Why I’m Still a Never Trumper.” Bret Stephens (12/30): Trump’s personality – “the lying, narcissism, bullying, bigotry, crassness, name calling, ignorance, paranoia, incompetence and pettiness.”
• “Keep Trump off the Trail in 2018” argues Karl Rove (WSJ 12/21/17) because of “the President’s divisive rhetoric, needless personal attacks, narcissistic focus on ephemera, indefensible mangling of facts, and childlike need for constant praise.”
• Bruce Bartlett (in both Reagan and Bush 41 administrations) presents dire views (12/20/17): Trump’s “weariness with the presidency becomes more pronounced daily as special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation moves ever closer to the Oval Office. Moreover, Trump will be encouraged to make an early exit by members of his own party, who see him as an albatross around their re-election hopes, and can do only so much to protect Trump if the dam breaks and those closest to him, such as son-in-law Jared Kushner, must choose loyalty to Trump or going to jail.”
• Bartlett concludes: “The truth will be for most congressional Republicans, Trump was never much more than a tissue to be used and disposed of.” (12/20)
• “Mr. Trump Trolls Mrs. May.” (WSJ editorial, 12/1): “The President spreads fake news and damages an important ally.”
• “Once again today, this moves closer to the Oval Office,” said Steve Schmidt (McCain’s key 2008 strategist). Schmidt elaborated on Flynn’s guilty plea – “And we see the unraveling of all the lies. The President’s lies, the Vice President’s lies, the Attorney General’s lies, and we see an administration that has a nonstop proclivity to lying; now we’re seeing the criminal consequences of it.” (12/1)
• “Life-time Republican” Max Boot: “GOP deserves to die over Moore response” (11/13) column about the Alabama election endorsement by Trump and GOP leaders.
• “Mr. Flake is right that far too much of Mr. Trump’s rhetoric is crude, undignified, and patently false.” (Wall Street Journal editorial, 10/26)
• “Trump May Be Following Palin’s Trajectory,” headline from Reagan staffer Peggy Noonan, noting Palin “lost her place through antic statements, intellectual thinness and general strangeness. The same may well happen – or be happening – with Donald Trump” (10/21)
• At the 2017 Liberty Medal ceremony, Sen. McCain slammed Trump’s foreign policy as “half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems.” (10/18)
• “The Truth About Trump and Corker.” (WSJ editorial, 10/10): “The Senator is giving good advice, not that the President will take it.” WSJ cites “the president’s lack of discipline, short fuse, narcissism and habit of treating even foreign heads of state as if they are Rosie O’Donnell.”
• Sen. Bob Corker (R): Donald Trump is “an utterly untruthful president.” (10/9)
• “Is Trump A Moron? Duh.” (Max Boot, 10/5/17)
A historian looking at these witnesses will be reminded of the great Theodore Dwight Weld who provoked citizens to examine the horrors of slavery when only one percent of the population supported abolitionists.
In his book, “Slavery As It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses,” Weld showed the brutalities of slavery by explicit references to what Southerners themselves said about it – in their newspapers, court records, political campaigns, and other publications.
Chances are that you will not be shocked to hear that Southern states responded to Weld and other critics of slavery by censoring speech, publications, and the mail as well.
Do you think that critics of the President from the right will rally citizens to the First Amendment and to rising political engagement in 2018 (there is model from what began to happen in 1830s America)?