The Right’s Silence Is Deafening.

A snowball by itself isn’t very harmful. In fact, when thrown at someone it explodes into a satisfying cloud of flurries and fun.  But if it were to be rolled down a mountain, it could grow larger and larger until transformed into a full blown avalanche capable of burying hikers, cars, towns, and anything else in it’s path until it has morphed an entire landscape into a violent sea of white.

Last year Donald Trump rolled up a snowball of Mexican rapists and rural white fear and tossed it down a mountain towards the unsuspecting public below.  Over the past year, Trump’s momentum has grown exponentially and now, with the magic number of delegates having been reached, has reached the point of no return.

America is in the midst of an impending avalanche with a bad haircut and tiny hands.

It might already be too late however, as the entire GOP seems to have resigned themselves to their fate and rolled over waiting to meet their maker.  But it didn’t have to be this way.

Look I get it, Hillary Clinton is just about the worst thing in the world that could happen to conservatives.  The idea of her in the White House probably makes their skin crawl the same way mine does thinking about President Cruz (I literally shivered typing that).  But there is a limit to party loyalty and the sudden and reflexive kowtowing by the conservative establishment to their new Chosen One is utterly terrifying.

Robert Kagan observed in the Washington Post recently that this type of blind loyalty is what leads to authoritarianism.  He’s right.  Words matter when you’re the leader of the free world and Donald Trump has said a lot of words that should disqualify anyone from seeking this office.  If a Democratic candidate called for a ban on a religion or called women the names Trump has, I wouldn’t in good conscience be able to say I support them.

Country over party, right?

What is scary isn’t the capitulation of those like Chris Christie – who tucked his tail between his legs and sold his soul to the devil early on – it’s those who have been carefully tap-dancing and silently nodding in acceptance.

  • Paul Ryan went from saying he “couldn’t endorse” Trump to saying he was “encouraged” by him and just can endorse him “yet.”
  • Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said she voted for Trump but wasn’t happy about it.
  • Rep. Peter King said he had to endorse the nominee but wasn’t enthusiastic about it.
  • Senator Marco Rubio won’t even use Trump’s name, and just says he’ll “support the nominee.”

The candidate these “leaders” are offering tacit approval to is not a candidate who inspires with ideas of economic prosperity and hope.  He is a candidate whose prominence is the sole result of a swelling rash of fear, xenophobia, and anger among predominantly white Americans who believe “their country” is slipping away from them.

The establishment’s silence is deafening in a moment where a concerted effort by the conservative elite could go a long way in denying Trump the credibility he craves.  Every endorsement Trump receives gives his candidacy a little more legitimacy that allows voters to say; “See, he can’t be that bad, all those Congressman think he’ll be great.”  

The inability to put country ahead of party when the stakes are so high represents the worst of our politics.  I’d be willing to bet there is implicit – or maybe even explicit – understanding from the RNC that the Republicans will win or lose as a team this year and that renegade members who bash their nominee will not be supported with party money.

If Trump becomes president and our country heads down the path he has indicated he’ll take it, all of the GOP leaders who stood by idly in favor of their own self interest will have to answer for why they didn’t act when they had the chance.

Just like Trump’s support has snowballed into an unstoppable avalanche, so will his ideas if elected.  Fear is a powerful force and if it prompts the banning of Muslim immigration who is to say the trend won’t continue to other races and religions that scare red America.  If it starts with expanding libel laws so Trump can sue those who speak ill of him, who is to say it won’t end with FBI arrests of journalist who critique the Administration.  

You may say that is silly exaggeration and could never happen, but then again, a year ago it was thought impossible that a candidate could prey on “the other” to become a nominee for president in the Land of the Free.

Follow on Twitter @EighteenthandU

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