It’s the cowardice that should bother us most.
There is undoubtedly lots of things to hate about the ongoing Donald Trump catastrophe in our nation’s highest office, but the single most troubling aspect of it all is the absolute fear that seems to have a stranglehold on so many people who could stop Trump’s most deplorable behavior and actions.
When did Republicans become such cowards?
The party that soaks itself in images of toughness — walking around with guns in campaign ads, pretending to love the troops and war, talking tough about crime, making sure to use the word “fight” in every ad — seems to be filled with shrinking violets scared guano-less of a draft-dodging, gun-hating, unathletic New York city slicker who’s never done an honest day’s work in his life.
Look at what’s happening around them.
Trump has destroyed the economies of most rural Congressmen with his idiotic tariffs and trade beefs. Manufacturing jobs are vanishing and 2018 and 2019 will go down as possibly the two worst years for farmers since the Great Depression. American auto manufacturers have been hit pretty good, too.
He’s also sold out America’s military and bent over backwards to placate a set of dictators who have thoroughly and completely owned him in every situation.
On Wednesday, Trump told the country — he actually said this out loud — that he had moved American soldiers into Saudi Arabia to help with security efforts there, but we shouldn’t worry about it because Saudi Arabia was paying the bill.
Um, excuse me?
The U.S. president just turned the American military into mercenaries for hire? For hire by the country where the majority of the 9/11 hijackers originated?
This, of course, is after the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a single Sunday night phone conversation, convinced Trump to abandon our longtime allies, the Kurds, who helped us control ISIS in that region, and allow Turkey to invade Syria.
No surprise, that move just happened to also please Russia, as we saw when pictures emerged of Russian troops taking over an American military base in the area just a day after our troops pulled out.
Actually, none of it should have been a surprise.
Trump has been consistently owned by dictators — from Vladamir Putin to Kim Jong Un to Xi Jinping to Erdogan to the Saudi king.
They have owned him on military strategy. They have owned him on trade strategy.
They have conned him time and again into abandoning American principles and long-held American policies. And each time, as he did so, Trump has claimed to be smarter than all the other presidents and military officials.
And every time, his way has failed spectacularly.
Finally, this week, as Kurdish women and children were dying in the streets of Syria, the U.S. House passed a resolution — with bipartisan support — condemning Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria.
And this — this meaningless, toothless resolution — was the first and only sign among Republicans that there might be a breaking point for them.
They have sat on their hands and kept their mouths shut as Trump hurt their constituents, sold out their military and cozied up to dictators. They have excused away deplorable behaviors and horrendous mistreatments of other human beings. They have ignored blatant lies and egregious violations of laws and policies.
It’s the same group of men who are, right now, ignoring the obvious violations of law committed by the president in regards to Ukraine — violations that he and his attorney have repeatedly admitted to — and they are instead engaged in an effort to expose a whistleblower.
Not because the whistleblower has made wild and unsubstantiated claims — because almost every claim has now been verified — but because they can’t adequately attack the messenger if they only have this truthful message to work with.
Honestly, it’s disgusting to watch.
These grown men, like Bradley Byrne and Mo Brooks, who are so weak and timid that they run from what’s right because the crazy president might tweet about them. Or even worse, because they desperately hope to win, by way of their silence, his public approval of them.
The only thing that brings me any comfort is the knowledge that history will not be kind to them. Because there has never been a figure in American history who was praised for their weakness, their willingness to go along with the angry, torch-wielding mob, their refusal to decry injustice because they really needed a political endorsement.
History is rather consistent in that regard: The cowards never win.