“You... telling me the things you're gonna do for me
I ain't blind and I don't like what I think I see.”
Takin' it to the streets -Doobie Brothers
I don’t like what I know I am seeing in my party, the GOP.
I asked a close friend, a retired blue-collar worker, why he and his wife support Trump, despite the fact that he supported tax “reform” overwhelmingly benefiting the wealthy and corporations. He responded with a straight face and in all seriousness: “because he is not a Democrat.”
As a former GOP county party chair and local elected official, I have a scenario for my fellow Republicans to envision. Please, be honest when thinking about the following imaginary situation.
Close your eyes for a moment and think the unthinkable – that a Democrat was elected in 2016. Then, imagine that after extensive investigation 17 law enforcement agencies concluded that Russia, our traditional arch enemy, had successfully influenced that Presidential election via social media and hacking, very possibly influencing the outcome.
Then, further imagine that this Democrat president both refused to acknowledge Russian interference or pledge to do anything about it because he felt doing so would delegitimize his presidency. And, he refused to implement the sanctions overwhelmingly approved by Congress with almost no opposition from either party.
After having done business in Russia over several decades prior to his election, he also now declined to divulge his tax returns, including any Russian investments. His son indicated in 2008 that these dealings were extensive: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.”
Instead, this President made a habit of disparaging our intelligence community and any reports they issue, saying without proof that they show bias. In his words: the intelligence agencies “have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of’’ the opposing party.
Plus, this Democrat President is completely complementary of Russia and Putin. He equated Russia with us in a memorable quote: “There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers. Well, you think our country is so innocent?”
I would say that Democrat President was unpatriotic, possibly treasonous. Wouldn’t you?
If that President said about his opponent: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he would appear to at a minimum to be indirectly colluding with Russia to undermine the 2016 elections. I would certainly expect his party leadership to denounce him. Wouldn’t you?
If I were in the House of Representatives, I would certainly consider impeachment based on the above actions. Wouldn’t you?
Then, why aren’t Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority leader McConnell speaking out? The answer is both simple and disgusting –raw politics. For the GOP leadership, support for their party has clearly become much more important than protection of our nation and democracy. Just like my good friend, the only reason they support a buffoon like Trump is that he is not a Democrat. If he were a Democrat, he would have already been censored repeatedly and impeached.
There were some things about the father of modern conservative thought, Barry Goldwater, that I liked. There were others that I did not. But, the one thing that I admired the most and was certain of, and still am, is that he was a man of principle.
When Watergate occurred, Richard Nixon denied doing anything wrong. Remember the “I am not a crook” speech? Goldwater called him on it, rallying Republicans behind him, and forcing Nixon to resign.
Why haven’t McConnell and Ryan pressured Trump to resign? Where are the GOP’s Goldwaters of today?
Jack Bernard of Fayette County, a retired corporate executive, was a two-term county commissioner and former county Republican Party chairman in Jasper County.