The New York Times on December 2 carried yet another story of Republican leadership fretting about Donald Trump, “Wary of Donald Trump, G.O.P. Leaders Are Caught in a Standoff.” The article quoted among others, Senator Lindsey Graham on the effect of a Trump nomination. As a candidate himself, and one who is trailing Trump by a wide margin in the polls, Graham is not exactly a disinterested observer. Yet his succinct precis bears repeating:
“It would be an utter, complete and total disaster,” Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, himself a presidential candidate who has tangled with Mr. Trump, said of his rival’s effect on lower-tier Republican candidates. “If you’re a xenophobic, race-baiting, religious bigot, you’re going to have a hard time being president of the United States, and you’re going to do irreparable damage to the party.”
We admit to being among the legion of people who underestimated Trump’s staying power and, indeed, we still find it difficult to fathom and depressing to try. On the other hand, we were among the first to recognize his danger to the Republican Party and the need for decisive action. Way back on July 11, we wrote in a Special Bulletin:
It is clear that other Republican candidates and “leaders” have, as our British friends would put it, their knickers in a twist about what to do. That is unnecessary. The answer is obvious, not easy perhaps, but obvious: every other Republican candidate should decline to appear on a debate stage with Trump. Acting individually, they would fear alienating Trump supporters, but acting collectively they should be able to summon the courage to do the right thing. One or two, say Senator Cruz, might insist on showing up, but we could live with that.
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In short, we call on our Party to “Dump the Trump” and to do it sooner rather than later. Bumper stickers, anyone?
Needless to say, our advice was not taken, but we believe it is as valid, or perhaps more valid today. Republican candidates clearly have the right to decide with whom they choose to debate. Refusing to participate with Trump would not censor him. We can be sure that his vulgar megaphone will still echo throughout the land. But the more responsible leaders will have shown that they know how to draw a line in the sand and stick to it. And if they cannot deal with Donald Trump, how can we expect any one of them to be a match for Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Ayatollah Khomeini, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi or other rivals and enemies around the world?
For our part we suggested in July the possibility of “Dump the Trump” bumper stickers. There are now available from Cafe Press a variety of Anti-Trump bumper stickers. We have no connection, financial or otherwise, with Cafe Press, but if any of our subscribers choose to purchase such a sticker and display it, RINOcracy.com will be pleased to reimburse half the cost.