It seems like a very simple question: What will it take for Republicans to turn on Trump? The answer, however, seems to be complex and elusive.
Since the beginning of his campaign, it seemed a strange partnership that Republicans would somehow choose a completely fiscally irresponsible businessman who has bankrupted his own companies multiple times in order to profit, as their golden calf to worship; a “traditional marriage and family” man who has been married 3 times (two of those the results of affairs on his previous wives) with 5 children from those 3 marriages. His current wife, an immigrant, who may or may not have been legal when she came to this country to model before marrying Trump, also has a history of being as naked as possible in front of the camera and yet somehow helped him secured the Evangelical vote.
Just seems kind of odd, don’t you think?
It’s not like he didn’t warn us that the Republicans, Evangelicals, and Conservatives would look the other way. He boasted it on the campaign trail stating, “I could shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” Most of us thought that was just crazy talk, but it turns out that it was one of the few things he’s said that was true.
Trump confidently does everything against the moral and ethical values that Republicans claim to embrace; traditional family, faithfulness, integrity, honor, and humility to name a few. And yet his voters, supporters and especially the Republican politicians in Washington, have happily averted their eyes or decided to ride the crazy train to the final destination, wherever that may be. Seems impossible, but 2016 and 2017 were and are the “Years of the Impossible.”
In Trump’s first two months in office, he’s done more damage to our country’s reputation and stability than any person before him. Amid the rustling and swelling of Russian-collusion allegations throughout his campaign regarding his team and himself, he’s worked actively to move those key members into powerful cabinet positions…people with no experience, deep pockets and even worse, with untrustworthy and unscrupulous histories.
He’s seeded his cabinet with millionaires and billionaires (despite attacking Wall Street on the campaign trail), he’s essentially sold cabinet positions to top donors, takes advice daily from a known wife-abuser and anti-Semitic, had his National Security advisor resign under suspicion of a relationship with Russia and now his Attorney General recused himself from investigating Russia under those same suspicions.
Is it enough to sour him with Republicans? Apparently not because they think it’s great that he’s getting rid of established, knowledgeable members (his “draining the swamp”) and Republicans are willing to forgive that, even as he’s replacing them with people who are even swampier. It’s simply par for the course where their “every-weekend-golfing” president is concerned.
Furthermore, Trump’s Russian dictator pal, Putin, is enjoying a sharp rise in favorability also thanks to Trump’s supporters. Does it matter that Putin is a known killer who has bombed Aleppo to Kingdom come or ordered the murder of journalists and opposition throughout Russia? Seems the answer is, “no.”
At least one Republican was willing to draw the line in the sand with Putin. John McCain, Arizona Congressman stated, “Vladimir Putin is a thug and a murderer and a killer and a KGB agent.” Speaking about Rex Tillerson, Trump’s Secretary of State receiving the Russian “Order of Friendship” in 2013, McCain said: “Frankly, I would never accept an award from Vladimir Putin because then you kind of give some credence and credibility to this butcher, this KGB agent, which is what he is.”
Let that really sink in for a moment. Putin is now popular among Trump’s supporters yet he’s considered by many to be a mass murderer. Rex Tillerson, with openly acknowledged ties to Russia, is our Secretary of State. Where is the patriotism of flag-waving Republicans who claim to love America? How did they elect a 5-time draft dodger to be the Commander-in-Chief of the military? What American values did they have to brush aside to put people with obvious open ties to our adversary, Russia, into our highest offices?
More importantly, is any of this enough to sway the course of the Republican “Trump train?”
If you said ‘no,’ you would sadly be correct.
But surely setting a course to bankrupt the country would finally drop the hammer…
Trump shows us every weekend that he is not fiscally responsible or conservative. Despite claiming to have inherited a mess, Trump jaunts down to his self-proclaimed “Winter White House,” (his estate in Florida which has cost taxpayers in the area an additional $1.7 million for security). Combine that with his continuing to allow his wife and son to live at Trump Towers instead of moving to the White House which costs taxpayers roughly $500,000 a day for added security. Estimates put Trump Tower protection at $183 million a year. Should I even mention the costs for shuttling Melania to Washington or Mar-A-Lago for those rare occasions when she drops down from her golden tower? I’m sure you get the picture.
All of this costs taxpayers tens of millions of dollars each month to spend for his frivolity; money that could go for helping our beloved veterans, seniors, and children. Time and time again, we heard the rallying cry promising “fiscal responsibility and accountability” along the campaign trail. Republicans will hold him accountable, right? They can’t possibly defer from this staunchly held value of fiscal responsibility just to follow the party lines blindly. Or can they?
How can they dismiss all these actions when it clearly flies in the face of everything Republicans hold near and dear?
The answer seems to be that Republicans, Conservatives, and Evangelicals are willing to sell their souls, deplete themselves of their values and core ethics in order to fully oppose anything and everything liberal. Damn the costs.
Imagine what it must take to convince yourself that immigrants are bad even though we are all (except Native Americans) essentially foreign to this country through our ancestry, that religious freedom only matters for one religion, that abortion is an abomination and against God (even though in the Bible says God told Moses how it is to be done by priests–Numbers 5: 11-28), that marriage is sacred (even though the divorce rate is more than 50% in the US), that protesting is bad (though this country was founded on protests…see Boston Tea Party), that freedom of the press must be stifled to protect the rich and powerful and that tolerance, fairness, and equality are not reserved for everyone–just white, straight, evangelical Republicans.
By now, you’re probably asking yourself, “Is there a ‘bottom’ to how devoid of ethics and morality Republicans will willingly go to accepting the new status quo? Is there, in fact, a turning point?”
Several weeks ago, we seem to have gotten a whiff of it when the unlikely poster boy for the new “Conservatism,” Milo Yiannopoulos, stumbled and was quickly and unequivocally thrown to the wolves. He was an odd icon of the Alt-Right and Republican parties. Milo seemed to encapsulate all things conservative, evangelical-Republicans SHOULD hate but were told by the powers that be, namely Trump’s right-hand man Steve Bannon, that they should love.
Milo is a flamboyantly gay British Catholic man with an African American lover who demeans women and hates the establishment (a professed Libertarian). He was everywhere. He had book deals. He was a popular writer with Breitbart (Bannon’s blog baby). He was speaking on college campuses around the US and they would roll him out as their “Greatest Act Of Tolerance” (if not ignorance). I feel pretty safe in saying that most Trump supporters probably didn’t know about the “being gay with a black lover” piece of the puzzle, but regardless, they were told to embrace Milo and they did.
Milo was set to be a keynote speaker at the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), he had a book deal that advanced him $250,000 and all seemed glorious for Milo, Republicans, and Breitbart. But then Milo took his views and comments past that magical, elusive line of Republican acceptability. During an interview, Milo found the Republican breaking point. Seems that evangelical, conservative Republicans can look the other way for a lot of things but possible pedophilia isn’t one of them.
Yiannopoulos had a radio interview and mentioned that he didn’t feel that issues like underage sex should be a problem; citing his own early experiences at fourteen as his litmus test for his viewpoint. This, by the way, is a Libertarian tenet regarding the age of consent and government interference where they deem there shouldn’t be any. So Milo argued for his point of view that pubescent teens should be allowed to decide for themselves the proper age of consent instead of the government stepping in. Big no-no for Republicans and Democrats alike, it seems. And if that wasn’t enough, Milo challenged the response by the radio team who used examples of priests molesting small children to which Milo replied, “And you know what. I’m grateful for Father Michael. I wouldn’t give nearly such good head (oral sex) if it wasn’t for him.”–And there went the Evangelical voters.
Thusly, Milo was ripped from the Republican bosom and cast aside like Euro-trash. No convention, no book deal, and no job at Breitbart.
Is pedophilia the only issue where Republicans will take a stand? Not adultery? Not gluttonous spending? Not involvement with Russia? Not lies? Not incompetence, ineptitude or belligerence? Not Twitterstorm rants at 3 a.m.? Not unsubstantiated claims? Not vilifying the media? Not threatening our air and water for business gains? Not separating families? Not reviling groups of people? Not stepping on Constitutional rights? Not destroying access to healthcare? None of these? Seriously?
The answer will come sooner rather than later and we will finally see what it takes for evangelical conservative Republicans to finally make that turn. Probably when Trump’s policies finally effect them personally…when they can no longer cast aside their values, morals, and ethics simply to blindly support a party that no longer represents any of those things or their own interests. Only then will Republicans turn against him. Hopefully, they won’t wait until Trump starts shooting people in the streets.