One thing that baffled me during the 2016 presidential campaign was how decent, moral individuals could support Donald Trump, a narcissistic pathological liar, sleazy businessman, and serial sexual predator. True, Hillary Clinton left much to be desired in the minds of some, but one would think that the tape of Trump boasting about molesting women and grabbing them in their genitals seemingly should have outweighed reservations with Clinton. I like to think that Trump's calls to racism and bigotry were not the determinative factor with Trump voters who in other ways seem decent. Now, with a special prosecutor in place and literally daily breaking news revealing yet more Trump transgressions and efforts to obstruct justice, isn't it time to walk away form Trump and regain integrity and arguably patriotism as well? A column by a 30 year Republican political consultant in the Washington Post addressed to White House staff and even Cabinet members would seem to apply to Trump voters as well. Here are column excerpts:
I’ve been a Republican political consultant for almost 30 years, and I’ve dispensed a lot of private advice. But now it’s time for me to reach out publicly to my fellow Republicans working in the Trump administration.
We really need to talk.
Whether you’re a 20-something fresh off the campaign trail, or a seasoned Washington insider serving in the Cabinet, by now you’re painfully aware that you’re not making America great again; you’re barely making it to the end of the daily news cycle before your verbally incontinent boss, the putative leader of the free world, once again steers the proverbial car into a ditch. On every front, you’re faced with legal, political and moral hazards. The president’s job, and yours, is a lot harder than it looked, and you know the problem originates in the Oval Office.
I know: Many of you serving in Cabinet, sub-Cabinet and White House roles joined Team Trump in good faith, believing you could help steady the ship, smooth the rough edges and, just maybe, put some conservative policy wins up on the board. You could see that President Trump’s undisciplined style was risky, but you hoped the big show playing over at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. would provide you with cover to work steadily and enthusiastically on the administration’s legislative priorities. Some of you even bought into the ‘Merica First new nationalism. Many of you quietly assured friends in the Washington ecosystem that Trump would settle into his job . . . .
Sure, you knew you’d have to feed Trump’s ego and let him take a victory lap after every success, but you also thought you might claim a smidgen of credit for a popular infrastructure bill, a big tax cut, repeal of Obamacare or a host of other “easy” lifts. Because we’re all ambitious, right? It’s okay to admit it. . . . . Instead, your president botched Trumpcare 1.0 and contributed little as Speaker Paul Ryan managed to ram public-relations nightmare, Trumpcare 2.0, through the House at the cost of much political blood and treasure. Instead, Trump’s fumbles have left many members of Congress ducking town hall meetings like they’re in the witness protection program. The tax bill and the rest of Trump’s agenda are deader and more pungent than six-day-old fish.
Now, you see the daily train wreck; you see a White House in turmoil and a president drawing an ever-tighter circle of family and corporate vassals around himself. You worry that the scandals and legal troubles, which have been rumbling on the horizon like a summer thunderstorm, are drawing nearer. You should worry. . . . Soon (and by soon, I mean now) you’ll have to make a choice. You’ll have to decide whether I’m here to help has morphed into I’m helping this president dismantle the republic. In D.C., principle is as rare as hen’s teeth, but, GOP friends, I’m here to help you.
Sticking with Trump to the bitter end and pretending the unfolding chaos is just “fake news” won’t save your reputation as the walls close in. It won’t ease the judgment of history. It won’t do anything to polish up your future Wikipedia entry.
Cutting ties with a man who is destructive to our values, profoundly divisive, contemptuous of the rule of law and incontrovertibly unfit to serve in the highest office in the land just might. Do it now.