Mr Trump and The Spineless Republicans

August 3, 2016


Mr Trump and The Spineless Republicans

by The Editorial Board

Americans, do you trust Trump with their Future?

Just when it seems that Donald Trump could not display more ignorance and bad judgment or less of a moral compass, he comes up with another ignominy or two. This weekend he denigrated the parents of a fallen American military hero and suggested that if elected he might recognize Russia’s claims to Ukraine and end sanctions.

Mr. Trump’s divisive views helped him capture the Republican presidential nomination. And even as he creates a political whirlwind with each utterance, leading members of his own party haven’t the spine to rescind their support. Sure, some have come out with strong criticisms, but none have gone far enough. Repudiation of his candidacy is the only principled response.

On Sunday on ABC, Mr. Trump’s comments on Ukraine demonstrated even less knowledge about world affairs than suspected. His remarks also reinforced suspicions that he is sympathetic toward Vladimir Putin, Russia’s authoritarian, anti-Western president.

Mr. Trump seemed confused about Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and its efforts to wrest other parts of the country from Ukraine’s control. “He’s not going into Ukraine, O.K., just so you understand,” Mr. Trump said, apparently unaware that Mr. Putin sent troops there two years ago and that the international community still considers Crimea to be part of Ukraine. Russian troops have been seen, and sometimes killed, in Russian-speaking parts of Ukraine where an insurgency is fighting the Ukrainian government.

The United States and the European Union have condemned the land grab, which is at odds with post-Cold War commitments, and imposed sanctions that Mr. Putin is desperate to have lifted. Mr. Trump’s willingness to support Mr. Putin’s claim on Crimea and other parts of Ukraine, coupled with his lack of commitment to NATO, is good reason for Europe to fear for the future of the alliance if he becomes President.

There are other reasons to wonder about Mr. Trump’s friendly view of Mr. Putin. His campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was a political consultant for the pro-Russia political party in Ukraine and for a former president, Viktor Yanukovych, who was forced out of office by anti-Russian forces in 2014. Also, as Mr. Trump acknowledged, his supporters watered down language in the Republican Party platform to omit support for sending weapons to Ukraine.

Mr. Trump’s derision of the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, a Muslim American who was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart after he was killed in Iraq by a suicide bomber, was deplorable and mystifying. Why would a presidential candidate mock the parents of a soldier who died in combat?

At last week’s Democratic convention, Captain Khan’s father, Khizr Khan, with his wife, Ghazala Khan, by his side, criticized Mr. Trump for proposing to ban Muslim immigration to the United States and accused him of having made no sacrifices for his country. Over the weekend, Mr. Trump implied that Mrs. Khan did not speak at the convention because her religion did not allow it, and he equated his “sacrifices” as a businessman to those of the grieving parents. On Monday, Mr. Trump kept at it, complaining on Twitter that Mr. Khan “viciously attacked” him.

Some Republicans, like the House speaker, Paul Ryan; the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell; and Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire released statements defending the Khans. Yet they still refuse to back off their support for Mr. Trump.

Young Donald J Trump (left) and Decorated  Hero John McCain

Few carry as much weight on military matters as Senator John McCain of Arizona, himself a decorated hero of the Vietnam War, who issued a statement Monday sharply criticizing Mr. Trump, saying, “It is time for Donald Trump to set the example for our country and the future of the Republican Party.”

 It’s hard to imagine, a year into the campaign, that Mr. Trump could ever set such an example. The truth is, it’s time for Mr. McCain and other Republican leaders to set an example for their party by withdrawing support for Mr. Trump.
A version of this editorial appears in print on August 2, 2016, on page A22 of the New York edition with the headline: Mr. Trump and Spineless Republicans.


16 thoughts on “Mr Trump and The Spineless Republicans

  1. From the Mayo Clinic :

    “Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultraconfidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism”.

    “If you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may feel a sense of entitlement — and when you don’t receive special treatment, you may become impatient or angry. You may insist on having “the best” of everything — for instance, the best car, athletic club or medical care.
    At the same time, you have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation. To feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make yourself appear superior”.

  2. I think the decent Republicans of Midwest states such as
    Illinois, Kansas, Iowa etc will be turned off by this repellent personality
    too. I lived in Illinois for a few years in the past and understand
    their version of Republican Party politics.

    (As for the racist ones in the Deep South, it’s another story).

  3. If there is some “mental disorder” in Donald trump, then what of the people, the “ordinary” Americans, the Republicans, who support him, nay, even worship him, that run into the hundreds of thousands or even millions?

    This is truly a World gone mad or going to go mad.

    “In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right” as the opening line in a song by the Beastie Boys goes.

  4. Narcissistic personality disorder is a human condition that has living presence within a wide spectrum of people. It is like cancer cells we carry. It is dormant or malignant. If the latter, it shows up and one becomes a cancer patient.

    Donald Trump, I should think, is pretty smart. He is focussed on his target audience and getting their votes – the Whites, the Blacks and the working class who lose their jobs or see drop in their wages because of relentless inflow of new immigrants and they taking away their jobs for lower salary and big companies moving therir operations overseas for cheaper costs. He deliberately wants to be politically incorrect and hammer home his points to provoke their visceral feelings to sway them to his side.

    At times he takes a bigoted view on specific matter/s but he rationalises it from his perspective, even if we totally disagree with that.. Take the issue related to Mr Khizr Khan who took the stage at the Democratic Party Convention to blast Donald Trump. He looked combative and asked Trump insultingly if he had read the American Constitution, like he himself had. Except perhaps for those studying American Law, practically no normal person would read a counry’s constitution front to back. I haven’t though I could have read excerpts of it as quoted in some written materials that I happen to read. Mr Khan read because he did law at Harward. I also suspect he could informally be running a practice to advise new immigrants wanting to settle in the US, in which case he should know the constitution at his finger tips.

    Mr Khan’s faux pas was having his wife seated next to him sullen and silent without uttering a single word. Trump took pot shot at him berating him as a male chauvinist who keeps his wife subservient and as a showpiece trophy. Tit for tat it was.

  5. @ Phua Kai Lit,

    You have quoted from the Mayo clinic, which i think is a very authentic Syndrome of a severe kind of ‘ mental psychotic disorder ‘ on the part of Donald Trump, spewing hate right down from his guts……..

    Either that, or methinks he’s deliberately doing the stunt as a kind of a ‘ reverse psychology ‘ , knowing full well that Mrs Clinton is still ‘marginal ‘ at this stage of the Campaign. So, what he does, or attempting to do, is to cause PROVOCATIONS to as many people in order to rattle the would-be voters, who may be sitting on the fence for uncertainty, and with such deft provocations, he might just scrape through by winning over the opponent……just marginally …..

    Either being shrewd or else a pure ‘ gamble ‘ he’s taking, seeing Mrs Clinton is slightly ahead of him……?

  6. Dear Wayne

    This is why some political scientists argue that fascism (as a movement with genuine political support) was not possible before the introduction of the mass media i.e. radio and talking movies.

    Without the radio and the movies (such as Lenni Riefenstahl’s “Triumph of the Will”), a disturbed personality like Hitler would not have been able to mesmerise so many Germans and come to power so easily. Of course the economic crisis, national humiliation through the Versailles Treaty and the desperation of unemployed Germans were the background factors.

    Fascist politicians who can give rousing, hate-filled speeches against
    foreigners and “out groups” can become quite powerful. In the 1930s, there was the American fascist Catholic priest called Father Coughlin who became quite influential, using the radio. Donald Trump is the latest version of American fascism, with his attacks on foreigners (immigrants), and outgroups such as Muslims.

  7. Muslims under attack in the USA by Trump and his followers, Muslims (Turkish) under attack in Bulgaria, Chinese under attack in 1Malaysia (by UMNO Baru-linked Redshirts and the like).

    Looks like only progressive countries like Finland treat ethnic minorities
    properly (Sami, Swedes, non-white immigrants in Finland).

  8. Thanks Hawking Eye for adding some sanity into this discussion about American politics.

    Certainly American politics is not about one side being psychologically defective (or insane) and another side normal person. Malaysians’ sanity will be kept by presenting powerful stories from both sides, just the way how Americans retains their sanity through seeing all sides’ stories via freedom of press and expression. Here are two more pieces of articles about Trump taking a different view:

  9. I accessed and read it and the following part therein made me pause and think.
    “Trump, as is his wont whenever he is criticized, fired back at the Khans. In an interview, he oddly questioned why Ghazala Khan [Khizr Khan’s wife] said nothing during the speech and implied that she may have not have been allowed to speak by her husband—a double hit on Muslims and women that only made Trump look worse when the mother later explained she simply couldn’t speak of her son Humayun without breaking down.”

    How could one accept the argument that she couldn’t speak of her son without breaking down when she was stoic enough on stage not to show any emotions when her husband spoke so emotionally and glowingly about their soldier son’s death in line of duty, an ultimate sacrifice for the country. She definitely looked like a subjugated woman show piece. She was most of the time looking by the side, never once at the camera and never uttered a single word. In her mind, she must have been telling her husband: Why the heck did you drag me here and make me face this painful ordeal.

  10. It’s wonderful that Hawking Eye has managed to make acceptable a vindictive and bigoted demagogue.

    Also noteworthy is Hawking Eye’s praise of Trump’s ability to galvanize the disenfranchised with rhetoric which is bigoted and detrimental to their own wellbeing.

    What is predictable is Hawking Eye’s attack of the parents of a slain soldier – most probably because he was Muslim – and insinuating that reading of the American constitution is some how unusual for some Americans .

    In my experience immigrants, people who have had to sit for citizenship exams and minorities are more likely to have read or been exposed to the Constitution then well apologists for Trump for instance.

    Absent from Hawking Eye’s critique is the fact that Trump has proven to be woefully inadequate when it comes to defending the constitution which was before now the rallying cry of most Republicans.

    Never mind the fact that as Muslim parents they (the Khans) were most probably aghast that their son had died defending the Constitution or that is what most GOP folks would have said in any other circumstance.

    Furthermore Khan’s wife who before had given numerous interviews , clearly was emotional (like her husband ) and thus stood sadly beside him.

    Unlike Trump’s wife I suppose who had no problem plagiarising (she said she wrote it but her speech writer took the fall) from a minority that Hawking Eyes thinks that Trump is smart to demonize for his core rabid base.

    Are you a DAP supporter by any chance ?

  11. Delving deeper into issues that are played up in the media and asking questions that have never been asked can, sometimes, irk people who carry contrary set opinion of their own. I look at the presidential fight as an outsider from this side of the world and it makes no difference to me personally whether it is Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump that wins.

    Heroism and bravery aside, Capt Khan’s death took place at the battle field and he was a war casualty. He was described as having made the ultimate sacrifice for the country. What does this actually mean? Did he volunteer to serve the Army on his own or was he conscipted by law to serve the Army failing which he could be punished. If it is the first then the ‘ultimate sacrifice’ description would fit perfectly well.

    My earlier suspicion that Sr Khan could be running a practice to advise people wishing to settle in the US seems to be correct. I just heard an investigative journalist appearing on Fox News telling that Mr Khan is an Attorney giving advise on immigration matters to Muslim clients seeking residence in America.

  12. Heard from Fox news, really ?

    The tone and your description of Khan and your Trump sentiments do not reflect an outsider stance. Furthermore having an opinion about what the candidates say and do. does not negate objectivity.

    ” What does this actually mean?”

    Which part don’t you understand ?

    Also perhaps you should read news reports about him using your preferred echo chamber before posing questions. This way folks can argue about specifics points instead of vague Trump talking points.

  13. Dear Hawking Eye

    Conscription (compulsory military service) was
    abolished in the USA long ago!
    Get your facts right first, my friend.

  14. In the light of what Mr Phua Kai Lit mentioned, I must concede that the late Jr Khan did make the ultimate sacrifice in losing his life at the battle field for America.

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