Even before Donald Trump launched his campaign over two years ago, the Republican Party was already well on its way to becoming the train wreck we’re all witnessing today. While I thought it might take a few more years, Trump’s unexpected rise expedited things just a bit.
That said, as much as I realized how far the GOP had fallen from the days of Lincoln, Eisenhower, and even Reagan, I’ll fully admit that the depths to which the party has stooped during Trump’s rise have stunned me. While I always knew they were hypocrites, what I’ve seen over the past two years goes beyond basic hypocrisy, often bordering on outright insanity.
To put into perspective how awful the Trump-led GOP has become, I wanted to run down ten horrific things they’ve defended since he became the leader of the party.
1. The belittling of POWs and legitimate American hero Senator John McCain: For me, this always lands at the top of my list because he said this toward the beginning of his campaign — and his numbers only improved. Not only did Trump publicly say that he doesn’t consider McCain an American hero because “he likes people who weren’t captured,” considering all POWs are captured, this was a GOP presidential candidate mocking American service men and women who, while defending this country, something he never had the courage to do, have been captured (and often tortured) by the enemy.
2. A self-admitted sexual predator: When the Access Hollywood video came out, immediately many members of the GOP rejected Trump’s comments. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan withdrew an invite for Trump to speak at a campaign event for him, while some even called for him to step out of the race. This led to at least 15 women coming forward to accuse Trump of sexual harassment and/or assault, as well. For a few days, things looked very bleak for Trump. Well, at least until Republicans realized his poll numbers didn’t take that big of a hit. Within a matter of a week or two, the vast majority of the GOP was back on the “Trump Train,” proudly endorsing, defending, and voting for a man who was caught on video bragging about sexually assaulting women.
3. Someone who used “textbook racism” to slander a federal judge: “The textbook definition of a racist comment,” those were House Speaker Paul Ryan’s words about comments Trump made where he insisted a federal judge couldn’t do their job ethically because of their Mexican heritage. Nothing like the current Speaker of the House admitting that your candidate used a “textbook definition of racism” to slander a federal judge — but you supported him anyway.
4. Someone who stood up for white supremacists, the KKK, and Nazis: While I know keeping up with Trump’s horrible behavior is hard to do, let’s not forget that just a few weeks ago, after white supremacists, Nazis, and the KKK marched through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump tried to make an equal comparison between those who showed up to protest against these animals, ultimately saying that there were some “fine people” among the white nationalists chanting “Jews will no replace us” while carrying torches.
5. A man accused of molesting a 14-year-old: While some Republicans have called for Roy Moore to remove himself from the race for the U.S. Senate, much of the conservative media, and even a lot of Republicans, have come to Moore’s defense. I guess defending a self-admitted sexual predator of adult women wasn’t low enough — some Republicans felt the need to prove that they could go even lower.
6. A “president” who told a Gold Star widow that her husband “knew what he signed up for”: I don’t really think I need to elaborate much on this. Can you imagine if Barack Obama had said this to the widow of a soldier who had just been killed in combat? They would have gone absolutely ballistic.
7. A “president” who then called that same Gold Star widow a liar for speaking out publicly about his disrespectful phone call: Speaking of disrespecting a Gold Star widow, after she confirmed that Trump did tell her that her husband “knew what he signed up for,” something Trump denied saying prior to her publicly confirming it, she also said that the “president” didn’t seem to even remember her husband’s name when he called. Yet despite the fact that this was the widow of a man who had just been killed fighting for this country, Trump not only didn’t apologize for anything he said to her that she might have felt disrespected her or her husband, but he essentially called her a liar by continuing to insist that nothing he said was disrespectful.
8. A “president” who continues to defend, stand up for, and believe an enemy that attacked us over U.S. intelligence agencies, our own government, and even our allies: We’ve never seen a situation in this country where every U.S. intelligence agency, most of Congress, multiple tech companies who’ve testified that Russia was buying ads to push fake news, and even the intelligence agencies of most of our allies are all confirming that an enemy launched a sophisticated attack aimed at undermining our democracy — yet the current “president” believes the word of the serial-killing tyrant who ordered the attack over everyone else. Again, just imagine the uproar we’d be seeing from Republicans if a Democrat was basically saying they trust the word of the leader of a rival nation over his own intelligence agencies, our allies, and our own government. It’s absolutely unprecedented.
9. A “president” who mocked a disabled reporter: Another one that I don’t feel I need to elaborate on much. Yes, during Trump’s campaign he publicly mocked a reporter with disabilities, and it didn’t matter to his supporters one bit.
10. A “president” who has repeatedly trashed our Constitution by attacking our right to protest, the freedom of the press, and our judiciary: In behavior not seen since Richard Nixon called the White House home have we seen a “president” blatantly try to undermine our judicial system. From possibly obstructing justice, to firing the head of the FBI for not giving in to his demands, to frequent attacks on our judicial system, Trump’s made it very clear that he thinks he should have the power to overrule our Third Branch of government and a key cog to our system of checks and balances. This, of course, goes along with Trump’s criticism of protests against him (often saying they’re paid actors) and his almost daily attacks on any media entity or journalist who dares to write anything negative about him. Hell, he’s even gone as far as to suggest that news agencies that don’t bend to his will should have their licenses revoked. This country has never had a “president” who harbors such a clear disdain for our Constitution as Donald Trump. Yet, despite his frequent attacks on our rights, Republicans continue to defend him.
Obviously considering how awful Donald Trump’s behavior has been this list could be much longer. However, since I didn’t want this article to be 15,000 words long, I figured I’d go ahead and cut if off there.