I know a lot of Republicans. They are friends of mine. By that I mean they’re actual friends, people with whom I’ve shared many ups and downs, highs and lows.
I haven’t yet had the nerve to ask any of them in person a question that has been bugging me ever since Donald Trump rode down the escalator in the summer of 2015 to run for president of the United States — as a Republican.
Why do they continue to support a guy who is a classic Republican In Name Only? Trump is the living embodiment of the term RINO.
He had no serious ties to the Republican Party before he declared his presidential candidacy. Those who fancy themselves as pure-bred Republicans, descendants of the Party of Lincoln, surely were aghast when he launched his campaign by invoking xenophobic rhetoric against Muslims and Latino immigrants.
Trump’s international trade policy is about as anti-Republican as any I can think of. He is a protectionist in the mold of labor-union bosses who tilt heavily toward the Democratic Party. Most GOP politicians I’ve encountered favor free trade, detest tariffs and do whatever they can avoid international trade wars; they damn sure avoid those wars when it involves our allies and strong trading partners.
Republicans used to detest federal budget deficits, let alone deficits that spiral out of control. That’s what the current GOP president is delivering with his tax cuts coupled with spending increases.
GOP politicians used to stand foursquare behind our intelligence community and law enforcement officials. Not this POTUS. He undermines and undercuts the CIA, the DNI and other spooks who say in unison that Russia interfered with our 2016 election. He blasts the FBI and the Justice Department, two agencies that usually are the darlings of GOP officials.
Donald Trump alienates our allies. He eschews virtually every normal diplomatic channel to communicate with them. Republicans normally would chafe against all of that, too.
But they don’t. They let Trump trample all over them.
Too few of them call out the president for what he is: a RINO. Yet they blast others of their own party to have the stones to criticize the president for being unfaithful to the political banner under which Donald Trump was elected as president.