Donald Trump supporters. (photo: Damon Winter/NYT)
10 October 16
he headlines of the moment are in the growing roll call of prominent Republicans who are rescinding their support for Donald Trump. But I am left wondering how his candidacy and those who supported, enabled it, and abetted him until now, will be viewed through the long lens of history. It should be noted that many conservative editorial boards and critics have already come out against Trump long before this latest bombshell in very stark terms.
Apparently everyone has a line, and yet do you feel things would be different if all of these politicians thought Trump could still win in November?
And what should we make of all the other groups who have been insulted and marginalized by Trump and yet his supporters stood by him?
He attacked Mexicans as rapists and murderers - but that was not enough.
He called for barring Muslims from entering the country - but that was not enough.
He incited violence in his rallies - but that was not enough.
He publicly mocked the disabled - but that was not enough.
He retweeted anti-Semitic memes - but that was not enough.
He demeaned a Gold Star Family - but that was not enough.
He insulted the press and railed against their Constitutional freedoms - but that was not enough.
He said that those who suffer from PTSD were weak - but that was not enough.
He had a long history of misogynist and sexist comments - but that was not enough.
He repeatedly lied on issues big and small - but that was not enough.
He refused to release his tax records or health records - but that was not enough.
He joked about violence against his political rival - but that was not enough.
He bragged about sexually assaulting women because he is a "star" - but that was not enough.
I could go on and on and on.
I know some equate Donald Trump with Nazisim - that goes too far for me. But in recent hours I have been hearing echoes of the chilling poem by the German anti-Nazi theologian Martin Niemöller about the culpability of his country's elite in the rise of Nazism.
"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."
America's better nature has always been to speak out for the marginalized and dispossessed. It is an ideal for which we have all too often fallen far short. What about now?