Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Huge Mistake

The following in an excerpt from an article written by Eric Sasson entitled: “Republicans Are Realizing They’ve Made a Huge Mistake.” 

“Three Republicans—Representative Richard Hanna, former gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, and former Chris Christie adviser Maria Comella—announced they would support Hillary Clinton in November.  And in the face of a growing rebellion over his ongoing feud with the Muslim family of a slain U.S. soldier, Donald Trump announced he was not ready to support the re-election bids of three high-profile members of the GOP: John McCain, Paul Ryan, and Kelly Ayotte.

“The events of the last week have led many to wonder why Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are still attempting to thread what has become an increasingly narrow needle.  Both leaders have condemned Trump’s comments several times already, only to remain behind his candidacy.  In the face of Trump’s remarks against the Khan family, their loyalty is beginning to seem foolhardy.

“Of course, it’s one thing for Obama to call upon Republican leadership to denounce Trump, and quite another for them to follow through.  Trump overwhelmingly won the Republican primaries.  Indeed, he garnered more votes than any other Republican in history (although he also got the most votes against him too).  Make no mistake, Ryan and McConnell, and senators like McCain, are relying heavily on these voters to turn out in the general election and vote for down-ticket Republicans.  To pull their endorsements would be to effectively denounce these voters as well, falling into exactly the trap that Trump has often spoken of: that of an elite establishment that thinks it knows better than the voting public.

“Alienating these voters is, in their minds, simply not an option, with control of the Senate clearly up for grabs.  If Trump voters stay home, the argument goes, then Democrats win.  Which explains the precarious balancing act Ryan and Co. are attempting: criticize Trump just enough to distance the party from Trump, but never outright condemn him and scare away his voters.

“One has to wonder, however, if we’ve reached a turning point with the Khan story.  Trump’s refusal to walk back his attacks on the Khans has dominated the headlines for days and presents a nearly existential conundrum for a party that prides itself on being a champion of the military.  The cost-benefit analysis that these Republican leaders are engaging in may be shifting.  Is holding on to the Senate really worth the irreparable harm that Trump is doing to the Republican brand?

“Furthermore, there is little chance that the Khan controversy will be the last of Trump’s PR disasters.  With future offenses seemingly inevitable, Republicans will time and again have to offer their mealy-mouthed condemnations, while Democrats, the press, and moderate conservatives will keep demanding that more forceful steps be taken.  Standing by idly while Trump runs their party into the ground seems to be the very definition of spinelessness.”


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