It’s Not Easy Being the Good Guys, But in January We Can Say, ‘You’re Welcome, GOP’

“Do all the good we can, in all the ways we can, in all the places we can, for all the people we can.”Hillary Clinton

Jason Easley wrote here Sunday that “If the current trajectory continues, by October, Republicans will be pretending that Donald Trump doesn’t exist.”

Unfortunately, the same won’t be true of the Republican base, who might be better referred to as Trump cultists, because this has all become a cult of personality thing, with Trump presenting himself as an embattled messiah, hiding his rapacious and relentless greed under a cloak of selflessness. Look how much he’s sacrifices! Look how unfair everyone is being to him!

According to Trump, who has gotten a free ride from the mainstream media, saving him millions of dollars he apparently doesn’t have, the media is biased against him. He whines that Hillary Clinton owns the non-existent “liberal media,” (just like she apparently gets to make the debate schedule) which must be why they spend so much time attacking her and repeating Republican talking points when they aren’t bothering to challenge them.

As messiahs go, Trump, like other recent Republican messiahs (Bachmann, Palin, Santorum et al), leaves a lot to be desired. If Jesus had spent that much time whining, he’d never have been crucified by the Romans. So sad.

Max Root is a senior fellow at a well-known foreign policy think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations, so his opinions about Trump ought to have some cachet: he calls Trump “an unapologetic ignoramus.”

You can legitimately disagree with much else of what Root wrote in an op-ed at The New York Times Sunday, for example, that Paul Ryan is a “thoughtful” Republican leader who “devised an impressive new budget plan for his party” (it was neither impressive nor new, and roundly condemned).

Or that Ronald Reagan only pretended to be stupid. Actor James Garner said in his memoir (The Garner Files, 2011) that Reagan had to be fed ideas because he had none of his own (“we had to tell him what to say” when he was the president of the Screen Actors Guild).

However, Root describes Trump to a tee, as a “know-nothing” who is “proud of his lack of learning,” who admits to making decisions “with very little knowledge,” which is a problem for a guy who “must make the most difficult decisions in the world.”

In a way, the joke’s on the Republican Party: After decades of masquerading as the “stupid party,” that’s what it has become. But if an unapologetic ignoramus wins the presidency, the consequences will be no laughing matter.

It’s scary. Because Trump is so self-evidently incompetent and dishonest and absolutely ignorant of virtually anything that matters, liberals and progressives run the risk of complacency, which would result in a Trump win. What Democrats must do is nurture a desire to punish Trump for his hubris.

This used to be seen as the task of the gods by the ancient Greeks. If you got too big for your britches, like Icarus, you’d get pile-driven back into reality. Aristotle, one of the wisest men who ever lived, said of hubris, and tell me if this doesn’t also explain Trump to a tee, “naive men think that by ill-treating others they make their own superiority the greater.”

If the Gods are not going to punish Trump for his manifest sins against all that matters, then the voters can do it in November, and reject him so resoundingly that he has still not hit the ground a year from now.

It is not enough to defeat Donald Trump: he must be so utterly rejected that he is politically, if not physically (though that’s not an unhappy thought either) emasculated.

And we must do it not only for ourselves, but for our adversaries. The survival of our democracy depends on it.

Only the Democrats can do this. The Republican Party lacks the will even if it can muster the desire. In January we will simply gather together and say, “You’re welcome, GOP.”

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