Republicans are 'complicit' in hatred as long as they follow 'political pyromaniac' Trump: Ex-Bush speechwriter
Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Fountain Park in Fountain Hills, Arizona (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson shredded his fellow Republicans in a Tuesday Washington Post column in which he said President Donald Trump's hateful rhetoric has made it impossible for the GOP to plausibly stand against ethnic and racial hatred.

At the start of his column, Gerson linked the current reaction to the caravan of migrants in Mexico to the way Americans once shunned Jewish refugees who were trying to flee Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

"Americans predictably forget that their initial response to attacks on Jews in Germany during the 1930s was utterly shameful," he writes. "Horrific persecution was broadly reported in American media. Yet our country passed up opportunity after opportunity to accept Jewish refugees, including children."

Gerson then explains how Americans' physical distance from the carnage that occurred in Europe meant we never had to directly face the people we let die at the hands of a madman.

Similarly, he says that the Republican Party as led by Trump is not facing up to the hatred and violence that the president's rhetoric is inciting.

"This is what makes Republicans who are complicit -- those who are bystanders and enablers -- so difficult to understand or forgive," he writes. "Many regard themselves as opponents of prejudice and especially as philo-Semites. But how can they accept political leadership that expands the acceptable range of hatred? How can they condemn the fire in our public life when they follow a political pyromaniac? Or perhaps they assume that history will again look the other way."

Read the whole column here.