The moment of truth, and I do mean truth, for Colorado Republican elected officials is now as they must either unequivocally denounce the catastrophic candidacy of Donald Trump or suffer the inevitable consequences.
In the minds of rational, thinking Americans, conservative and liberal, Democrat and Republican and none of the above, Trump is an unparalleled political abomination in the history of the United States.
As his critics from the left, center and the right have pointed out, and as anybody in their right mind can plainly see, Trump is uninformed, unintelligent, unprincipled, unpredictable, unrepentant and unable to exert even a modicum of self control over his anger or his ego.
A trove of sociologists, psychologists, political scientists, marketers and more have already spent countless words trying to explain how and why Trump enjoys the voter support he does, even though it now seems to be dissolving fast.
The explanation of Trump no longer matters. What matters is that there are throngs of his post-factual-politics fans that are either distracted, ill-informed or full-throttle racists and fascists like Trump himself.
In a few months, a few years or a few decades, we will all be judged by how we reacted to Trump. We’ll be judged in the very same way generations have been judged by how they dealt with George Wallace, David Duke, Joseph McCarthy, Adolph Hitler and Manuel Noriega. We will all soon have to own up to how we handled the Trump nomination.
But Republicans must own up right now, for the good of the country, and if for no other reason, the good of their own careers.
This has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with Hillary Clinton. It wouldn’t matter if Donald Trump were running against Nancy Pelosi, Jane Fonda or Mother Teresa, Trump is uniquely unqualified to be president.
I’m not discounting Hillary Clinton’s considerable problems with her own candidacy, but to say that they are so egregious as to make Trump a realistic choice is as ridiculous as saying that a spoiled 6-year-old boy can pilot a 747 because he bought one and can, sort of, ride a bike.
No. I and a growing list of other journalists, from the left and the right, as well as more Republicans and other conservatives each day understand the menace, and the need for honesty and accuracy.
Now it’s time for Republicans in Aurora and across the state to do the same.
Last week, Congressman Mike Coffman tapped a political white cane around the tea party’s third rail of Trump for President. In a paid political ad, Coffman said he “didn’t think very much” of Trump.
The move smacks of the same half-hearted political opportunism that allowed Sen. Joseph McCartney to extort the U.S. Senate for America’s dark and unnerving “Un-American Activities” charade in the 1950s. If Coffman is as courageous a politician as he makes himself out to be, he must “stand up” to Trump now, not after he’s president. If he believes it, he must tell Trump that America has no place for such blatant racism and fascist leadership. Dozens of prominent Republicans across the country have summoned the courage to risk alienating the spiteful tea party base by calling Trump out for the imminent danger he is.
Because if Coffman, Sen. Cory Gardner, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, congressmen Ken Buck, Scott Tipton, Doug Lamborn and GOP state lawmakers and county officials from all over the state don’t publicly, staunchly and undeniably make clear that they abhor the candidacy of Donald Trump and refuse to support or vote for him, then they leave the public with two options. Either GOP elected officials have such poor judgment that they cannot themselves be trusted to represent their more rational constituents, or they are so cowardly that they will not risk their own political jobs by angering the tea party inmates that are now running this surreal GOP asylum. It is this very same cowardice and poor judgment that allowed for segregation and Jim Crow laws in the South, the Holocaust, apartheid and a long list of odious regimes in places like Russia, China and all over the Middle East.
Warnings like mine aren’t hyperbole or hysteria; they are real alarm bells signaling serious danger to democracy and humanity. Never before have respected members of a political party, including 50 GOP security experts and a growing list of elected officials, called out their own party’s presidential nominee for his utter ineptitude and the imminent danger he represents.
Colorado Republicans must join those ranks. We all must join those ranks.
Because even if Trump is obliterated in the election, his candidacy will live on like a festering cancer in America. And once that cancer’s finally gone, we will all have to answer to what we did to either stop it, or feed it.
If you’re confused about what side of the argument you want to be on now, consider what side of history you want to be on years from now. You know the answer. And we must all summon the courage to act on it.
Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or email@example.com.