Writing in the Washington Post, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush leveled Donald Trump for turning the GOP into a party of “anger, fear, grievances, prejudices and hatreds.”
According to Michael Gerson, the Republican Party he has belonged to and admired contained a multitude of voices and, although he didn’t agree with all of them, he admired their desire to attempt to do good.
However, under Trump, Gerson wonders, “Where are the Republican leaders large enough to show the way?”
Taking exception to Trump’s assertion that the coming election “is very much a referendum on not only me, it’s a referendum on your religion,” Gerson hammered the president.
“A direct, unadorned appeal to tribal hostilities,” Gerson wrote. “Fighting for Trump, the president argued, is the only way to defend the Christian faith. None of these men and women of God, apparently, gagged on their hors d’oeuvres.”
With Trump going on to ominously warn that, should evangelicals not show up to vote, ” “that will be the beginning of ending everything that you’ve gotten,” Gerson had enough of Trump’s fear-mongering.
“This is now what passes for GOP discourse — the cultivation of anger, fear, grievances, prejudices and hatreds,” he wrote.
“I have sympathy for principled Republicans at a time when principle is swiftly and effectively punished. In Florida’s recent primaries, significantly more Republican voters said they were loyal to Trump than to the GOP. In many places, the only way for an ordinary Republican senator or House member to maintain any political influence is to burn incense to the emperor,” he continued. “But Republican leaders need to prepare themselves. This compromise is likely to be temporary. Trump is not only making a challenge to the Republican establishment; he is also increasingly impatient with structures of democratic accountability.”
“As Robert S. Mueller III continues his inexorable investigation of Trump’s sleazy business and political world — and if Democrats gain the House and begin aggressive oversight — a cornered president may test the limits of executive power in the attempt to avoid justice,” Gerson explained, before warning. “If the GOP narrowly retains control of the House, Trump and others will take it as the vindication of his whole approach to politics. The president will doubtlessly go further in targeting his enemies for investigation and other harm. He will doubtlessly attack the independence of the FBI and attempt to make it an instrument of his will. He will doubtlessly continue his vendetta against responsible journalism and increase his pressure on media companies that don’t please him. On a broad front, Trump’s lunacy will become operational.”
“Republicans must pick their own point of principled resistance to a corrosive populism, if they have one at all,” he then challenged.
You can read the whole piece here.