The headlines of the moment are in the growing roll call of prominent Republicans who are rescinding their support for Donald Trump. But I am left wondering how his candidacy and those who supported, enabled it, and abetted him until now, will be viewed through the long lens of history. It should be noted that many conservative editorial boards and critics have already come out against Trump long before this latest bombshell in very stark terms.
Apparently everyone has a line, and yet do you feel things would be different if all of these politicians thought Trump could still win in November?
And what should we make of all the other groups who have been insulted and marginalized by Trump and yet his supporters stood by him?
He attacked Mexicans as rapists and murderers – but that was not enough.
He called for barring Muslims from entering the country – but that was not enough.
He incited violence in his rallies – but that was not enough.
He publicly mocked the disabled – but that was not enough.
He retweeted anti-Semitic memes – but that was not enough.
He demeaned a Gold Star Family – but that was not enough.
He insulted the press and railed against their Constitutional freedoms – but that was not enough.
He said that those who suffer from PTSD were weak – but that was not enough.
He had a long history of misogynist and sexist comments – but that was not enough.
He repeatedly lied on issues big and small – but that was not enough.
He refused to release his tax records or health records – but that was not enough.
He joked about violence against his political rival – but that was not enough.
I could go on, and I ask you to do so in the comments section. Perhaps we can tag it with #butthatwasnotenough.
I know some equate Donald Trump with Nazisim – that goes way too far for me. But in recent hours I have been hearing echoes of the chilling poem by the German anti-Nazi theologian Martin Niemöller about the culpability of his country's elite in the rise of Nazism.
"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."
America's better nature has always been to speak out for the marginalized and dispossessed. It is an ideal for which we have all too often fallen far short. What about now?
I think Dan Rather has a point: None of the vile things that Donald has said in the past were enough, but now it is. The implicit question is, why now? Sure, it’s great they’re finally disavowing Donald, but what took them so long? It’s not as if this latest outrage is anything new for him.
Dan is no fan of Donald’s, and I’ve also shared another of his Facebook Posts on a different subject. The right will dismiss what he says, but I don’t think they should: He’s damn right.
Still, all of this will likely serve to rile up Donald’s frothing base. They heckled and booed Paul Ryan at the Wisconsin event that Donald was disinvited from (and I saw one Trumpette claim they’d shouted Ryan off the stage, which they didn’t. At all.). There will probably be more boorish behaviour (probably worse, possibly far worse…) over the next few weeks, assuming Donald stays in the race (which, at the moment, seems certain).
However, plenty of mainstream people—including non-insane conservatives—are repulsed by Donald’s behaviour, as they have been countless times before, of course. This time, however, growing numbers of people are committing to ensure that Donald is not elected president. Maybe this really is the final turning point in bringing about Donald’s defeat?
Hope springs eternal.