Republicans used to pride themselves on their morals which is the backbone of conservatism. One cannot read the classic The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk and come away with any other conclusion. Now, however, we live in the age of Donald Trump and whatever sense Republicans may have had about morals, has been flipped on its head and tossed aside.
It started with the election of Trump himself. He built his campaign on crass comments that alienated many, especially minorities and women. During the campaign, 18 women came forward and accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct after the infamous Access Hollywood tape was released where he is heard discussing forcing himself onto women. In return, Trump accused all of the women of lying. He is currently facing a defamation lawsuit by one of the victims which brings up the legal question, can a sitting president be sued for something he did in his past before he came to office?
Further keeping to the subject of Trump’s treatment of women in the news is yet another female has come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. This time a former Fox News employee. Now more than 50 female democratic lawmakers have asked the House of Representatives to investigate all the sexual misconduct claims against Trump.
And then there is the issue of Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama accused of sexual assault by women who were underage at the time of the incidents. The youngest accuser was 14 when she alleges Moore, then in his 30’s, tried to initiate sexual contact. In all, some eight women have come forward with accusations against Moore for sexual misconduct and assault. Moore, taking a page from Trump’s playbook, accused the women of lying and attacked them. Instead of shunning Moore, Trump embraced him to the disgust of many. On Tuesday night Alabama voters rejected Moore and elected, in a solidly Republican state, his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones.
The loss of Alabama’s seat in the Senate, combined with November’s Democratic sweep in Virginia is painting a picture that voters are firmly rejecting Trump. Never before has a president burned through almost their entire reservoir of political capital with so little to show for it within their first year of office. And it all comes down to morals.
In order to get Trump elected, not to mention Roy Moore, Republicans have ignored the most basic of its values. This is an issue I touched on in my very first post on this blog back in September of 2016. In the article, “A Republican Voting Against Donald Trump,” I explained my reasons why I would not be voting for Trump and wrote, “The nomination of Donald Trump has been and is a catastrophe for the Republican Party.” Shockingly, Trump won, but that did not stop the catastrophe, it just extended the time it would take for Republicans to feel how much of a disaster their choice was.
Today, voters are rejecting Trump en mass. His approval ratings keep breaking record low after record low. And Trump keeps lowering the bar of presidential conduct. As I was writing this, he posted on Twitter what has been interpreted as derogatory comments about Senator Kirsten Gillibrand which in effect called her a whore. The tweet prompted the editorial bored of USA Today to write, “With his latest tweet, clearly implying that a United States senator would trade sexual favors for campaign cash, President Trump has shown he is not fit for office. Rock bottom is no impediment for a president who can always find room for a new low. The editorial went on to say, “A president who would all but call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush.”
It is well past time Republicans reflect on where morals fit into their party. Where is their decency?