The party of “Honest Abe” has now become the party of Dishonest Don, and what follows are some disturbing displays of a Republican Party that has become devoid of conscience:
• More than 4,600 American citizens dead in Puerto Rico—a postscript to the government’s abysmal response to the widespread devastation of Hurricane Maria;
• The underhanded de-funding of Planned Parenthood;
• Separating thousands of immigrant children, some as young as 2 years old, from their parents at the Mexican border, many of whom are refugees seeking asylum;
• Accepting a leader who refers to immigrants of color as “animals who aren’t people,” followed by a widespread increase in hate crimes;
• The politicization of the FBI and CIA;
• Supporting known pedophiles and misogynists for elective office without a hint of unease;
• Tolerating the president’s relationships with Russian oligarchy bent on interfering with American elections, and kowtowing to America’s most noxious enemy of democracy, Vladimir Putin;
• Shredding the Paris Climate Accord and sabotaging the Iran nuclear deal;
• Entering into trade wars with our closest allies—Canada, Mexico and Western Europe;
• Standing silently as the president’s family sells influence;
• Accepting without argument Trump’s recent declaration that he is above the law and need not adhere to the rules and regulations everyone else must obey, that he has an absolute right to pardon even himself for any crime.
Where is the party of Lincoln? According to a recent Gallup poll, 87 percent of Republicans approve of the way Trump is ruining—oops!—running this country.
Patti Davis, an author and the daughter of President Ronald Reagan—the widely acclaimed champion of modern-day Republicanism—wrote a captivating op-ed piece for the Washington Post last week as the anniversary of Reagan’s death drew near. Disturbed by current events, what Patti Davis had to say begs forceful and unmuffled repetition:
“People often ask me what he [my father] would say if he were here now. Sometimes I’m a bit glib in response, pointing out that he’d be 107 years old. Other times, I simply say he’d be pretty horrified at where we’ve come to. But as the June 5 anniversary draws near, I’ve let myself imagine what he would say to the country he loved so much.
“I think he would remind us that America began as a dream in the minds of men who dared to envision a land that was free of tyranny, with a government designed and structured so that no one branch of government could dominate the others. It was a bold and brave dream. But, he would caution, no government is infallible. Our democracy, because it is founded on the authority of ‘We the people,’ puts the burden of vigilance on all American citizens.
“Countries can be splintered from within, he would say. It’s a sinister form of destruction that can happen gradually if people don’t realize that our Constitution will protect us only if the principles of that document are adhered to and defended. He would be appalled and heartbroken at a Congress that refuses to stand up to a president who not only seems ignorant of the Constitution but who also attempts at every turn to dismantle and mock our system of checks and balances.
“He would plead with Americans to recognize that the caustic, destructive language emanating from our current president is sullying the dream that America once was. And in a time of increased tensions in the world, playing verbal Russian roulette is not leadership, it’s madness. He would point to one of the pillars of our freedom—a free press—which sets us apart from dictatorships and countries ruled by despots. He didn’t always like the press— no president does—but the idea of relentlessly attacking the media as the enemy would never have occurred to him. And if someone else had done so, he wouldn’t have tolerated it.
“He would ask us to think about the Statue of Liberty and the light she holds for immigrants coming to America for a better life. Immigrants like his ancestors, who persevered despite prejudice and signs that read ‘No Irish or dogs allowed.’ There is a difference between immigration laws and cruelty. He believed in laws; he hated cruelty.
“Despite my father’s innate humility, he would ask the people of this country to reflect on his own words from his famous speech, ‘A Time for Choosing,’ delivered in 1964:
‘You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.’ ”