Sunday, May 1, 2016

It seems clear now...

 ...that the 2016 presidential election will be between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

On Friday, David Brooks wrote in his column that this will be "a Joe McCarthy moment." And he's right (my emphasis):

People will be judged by where they stood at this time. Those who walked with Trump will be tainted forever after for the degradation of standards and the general election slaughter.

I'd go him one better. Never mind the "general election slaughter." Who cares? I'd say that if someone as obviously unqualified as Trump is elected president -- President! Of the United States! -- and you didn't do everything in your power to see that that didn't happen, you'll have to answer for it -- not to me or anyone else, but by looking into the mirror each morning and knowing you were at least partly complicit in it.

Also on Friday the Hill published a piece, "Republicans who vow to never back Trump," with a list of more than 60 public figures in the "Never Trump" movement. While some are pretty eccentric in their own right, the list does include such prominent Republicans as:

Mitt Romney; Gov. Charlie Baker (MA); former Governors George Pataki (NY), Tom Ridge (PA) and Christine Todd Whitman (NJ); former Sen. Norm Coleman (MN); former Rep. Bob Inglis (SC); and Ken Mehlman, former RNC chairman.

(Don't squint too hard looking for John McCain, anyone from the Bush family, or anyone else from this year's crop of GOP presidential hopefuls. The Republican Party isn't particularly known for its "profiles in courage.")

Now Mr. Brooks has been quite clear for some time where he stands on the question of Donald Trump. What he hasn't been clear on is exactly what is to be done about it. (Nor, in fairness, has anyone else on that list above.) But, again, Brooks is right: this is a Joe McCarthy moment. What do you want to tell your grandchildren about 2016? Where were you and what were you doing during the Rise of Trump?

And there's really only one course of action if you really, truly believe as I do that Donald Trump is unqualified to be Leader of the Free World. And that is to actively and vocally support his opponent in the general election. It doesn't mean starting some quixotic third-party effort or writing in Paul Ryan, but voting for Hillary Clinton. And until any of the people on that list or Mr. Brooks himself comes out in support of Mrs. Clinton, they might as well be on the side of Trump. There's just no getting around it.

Let me know when there's a #RepublicansforClinton movement.

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