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Republicans: Save Your Party, Don't Give to Trump

June 23, 2016 - 7:00am

"There's an old adage about a vat of wine standing next to a vat of sewage. Add a cup of wine to the sewage, and it is still sewage. But add a cup of sewage to the wine, and it is no longer wine but sewage. Is this what Donald Trump has done to our politics?"      -- Martha Bayles, in the Claremont Review of Books  

Yes, as Republicans should remember when their convention opens in less than a month, on the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump's disparagement of John McCain as unheroic because he was "captured." McCain was captured (with a broken leg and two broken arms) when North Vietnamese shot down his plane. He chose extra years of torture, refusing to leave when his torturers wanted to release him because he was an admiral's son.    

Trump says, however, that he, too, has been "very brave" by ignoring the danger of venereal disease during his sexual adventures: "It is a dangerous world out there -- it's scary, like Vietnam. Sort of like the Vietnam era. It is my personal Vietnam, I feel like a great and very brave soldier." He was serious; irony is not in this narcissist's repertoire. And there is a reason why Britain's staid Economist magazine refers to Trump's "look of a roue gone to seed."    

"Every republic," writes Charles Kesler, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College, "eventually faces what might be called the Weimar problem." It arrives when a nation's civic culture has become so debased that the nation no longer has "the virtues necessary to sustain republican government." Do not dwell on what came after the Weimar republic. But do consider the sufficiency of virtue that the Constitution's Framers presupposed.

Kesler recalls that James Madison's notes on the Constitutional Convention contain this from the July 17, 1787, debate on the proposal to have presidents chosen by Congress: Rather than making the president a "creature of the legislature," Gouverneur Morris favored election by the people. Rejecting the criticism that the people will be "uninformed," he said: "They will never fail to prefer some man of distinguished character or services; some man ... of continental reputation."

In Trump, Republicans have someone whose reputation is continental only in being broadly known. He illustrates Daniel Boorstin's definition of a celebrity as someone well-known for his well-knownness. It will be wonderful if Trump tries to translate notoriety into fulfillment of his vow -- as carefully considered as anything else about his candidacy -- to carry New York and California. He should be taunted into putting his meager campaign funds where his ample mouth is. Every dime or day he squanders on those states will contribute to a redemptive outcome, a defeat so humiliating -- so continental -- that even Republicans will be edified by it.

Trump's campaign has less cash ($1.3 million) than some congressional candidates have, so Republican donors have never been more important than they are at this moment. They can save their party by not aiding its nominee.

Events already have called his bluff about funding himself and thereby being uniquely his own man. His wealth is insufficient. Only he knows what he is hiding by being the first presidential nominee in two generations not to release his tax returns. It is reasonable to assume that the returns would refute many of his assertions about his net worth, his charitableness and his supposed business wizardry. They might also reveal some awkwardly small tax payments.

If his fear of speculation about his secrecy becomes greater than his fear of embarrassment from what he is being secretive about, he will release the returns. He should attach to them a copy of his University of Pennsylvania transcript, to confirm his claim that he got the "highest grades possible." There are skeptics.

Various Republican moral contortionists continue their semantic somersaults about "supporting" but not "endorsing" Trump. In Cleveland, they will point him toward the highest elective office in a country they profess to love but that he calls "a hellhole." When asked in a 1990 Playboy interview about his historical role models, he mentioned Winston Churchill but enthused about others who led "the ultimate life":

"I've always thought that Louis B. Mayer led the ultimate life, that Flo Ziegfeld led the ultimate life, that men like Darryl Zanuck and Harry Cohn did some creative and beautiful things. The ultimate job for me would have been running MGM in the '30s and '40s -- pre-television." Yes, that job, not the one he seeks.

          

George Will's email address is georgewill@washpost.com.

(c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

Comments

How any decent person could vote for a pos like Trump only shows how far down hill the republican party has gone. No true believer in Jesus or the constitution could ever follow him as he, his polices are against both. Those of you shilling for him show yourselves to be the bigoted, scared, ignorant gullible fools you are.

"People:...Save your sanity (and your time), Don't bother reading George Will,..(talk about "sewage"!!). (Why do you suppose McCain was referred to as "the songbird" by fellow prisoners at the "Hanoi Hilton"?.. Do some deep research to try to find the answer..). [Trump may well be right after all]----[And G. Will just might be unconsciously 'outing' himself as the "political groupee" he has ALWAYS been]

We get it George. You don't like Trump. Why don't you stick to baseball?

Does Georgie really expect us to see any value in saving a Republican party that allowed Obama's radical agenda to pass without ANY opposition? Yet they find their voice to speak out against, Donald Trump and all of his supporters (the people). What this really comes down to, is the establishment, elite, RINO's -- whatever you want to call them, can't believe they have lost control of the people. They're used to picking the candidate THEY want (Dole, McCain, Romney) -- who will carry on THEIR elitist agenda. And because that didn't happen this time -- the establishment wants Trump to lose so they can TEACH US A LESSON. The lesson? They know what's best for you and this country and we better fall back in line and do what they say. Hence -- Don't donate to Trump so you can help us regain power over the servants and show them how stupid they are for not listening to us.

George Will is an anal orifice. Most of the time he is shilling for his own portfolio. Journalist should look into George Will's financial records.

We have faces of men in our money who led some very filthyblives in comparrison to their accomplishments and notoriety. So, nice try... Perhaps try to explain to us why, since Trump is so vile in your opinion, how is it that Dr. Ben Carson endorsed him and had the discernment you lack on far many more levels. Look, here's the deal, Donald Trump is more like an average hard working American than you, or any on the RINO side have ever even dreamed of being. So keep your waste of time opinions and judgements about your self righteous views and patronizing bloviations to yourself. I think it's time you learn a new skill, because the same old tired marative of politicians doing business that only benefits politicians is about to come to an end! THE WORKING AND DREAMING AND BUILDING PEOPLE OF AMERICA ARE WAKINGNUP AND SUPPORTING ONE OF OUR OWN! So kidly get over it, and get over yourself you tired old windbag.

Why aren't you writing a don't give to Hillary article? Oh because you are the RINO everyone talks about. Time for you to join/go back to the Democrats and leave the republicans. Trump is taking the party back, taking America back.

Go be a Democrat... And GOP can just collapse.. they will cease to exist if you feel that way about Trump 13 million Trump voters will leave.. count on it.

If the 133 million Trump voters left and repubs gecame s center right party indtead of extreme left it might have a chance. Under Trump it dies the death of the ignorant, hateful polices it has spewed over the yr that are coming home to roost.

Is that a promise?

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