In a scathing commentary in the Washington Post, a speechwriter for former President George W. Bush tore into Republicans who continue to stay silent as Donald Trump’s administration descends into chaos and questions about his competency arise.
Coming on the heels of the president’s recent comments about Haiti and African nations — calling them “sh*tholes” — speechwriter Michael Gerson asked his fellow Republicans when enough will be enough.
“Sometimes it is necessary to begin with the obvious. The claim that America needs more Norwegian immigrants and fewer Africans from ‘shithole countries’ is racist. It is not the same as arguing for a higher-skilled immigrant pool. That argument might go something like: ‘We need a higher-skilled immigrant pool.'” Gerson began.
“On this issue, Trump has not earned a single benefit of the doubt. His racial demagoguery in the Central Park Five case . . . his attribution of Kenyan citizenship to Barack Obama . . . his references to Mexican migrants as rapists and murderers . . . his unconstitutional attempt at a Muslim ban . . . his moral equivocation following the deadly protests in Charlottesville . . . his statement, reported by the New York Times, that Nigerians would never ‘go back to their huts’ after seeing America . . . all of these constitute an elaborate pattern of bigotry. Trump makes off-hand racist comments, he promotes racist stereotypes and he incites racism as a political strategy,” he continued.
Admitting that it is still difficult for him to write, “The President of the United States is a racist,” Gerson said it is time to admit: “Trump has revealed who he is. Now we reveal who we are.”
According to the former speechwriter, the time has come for Republican leaders to step forward and show some courage.
“The perfunctory criticisms, self-indicting silences, half-hearted defenses and obvious lies provided by most elected Republicans have been embarrassing and discrediting,” he wrote. “Loyalty to Trump now consists of defending the indefensible. His advocates are becoming desensitized to moral corruption. They are losing the ability to believe in anything, even in their own courage.”
“Trump is at war with the central ideal of the Republic — a vision of strength through inclusion and equality that makes our country special and exceptional,” he continued. “The president is wrong — repeatedly and offensively wrong — on the centerpiece question of our history: Are there gradations in the image of God? The only acceptable, only American answer is ‘no.'”
“This debate will now be decided on countless private battlefields of conscience. We have been called to be part of the long American story, to help determine the nature and promise of our country,” Gerson concluded. “It is both an honor and a burden. We have no idea how this struggle will unfold. But we know how it must end: with a president who raises our sights instead of lowering our standards.”
You can read the whole commentary here.