Editor: Irony is too mild a term to describe the defection of Republican Party faithful to the GOP’s presumptive candidate for the presidency.
The almost unanimous contempt party leaders expressed for Donald Trump and the measures they took unsuccessfully to derail him are inconsistent with their latest actions. One of his fiercest critics — and victims — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio announced not only that he would support Trump but would be honored to speak on his behalf at the Republican National Convention.
Should we be surprised? Should we be surprised that Sen. John McCain, struggling for re-election in Arizona, supports Trump even though Trump insulted him? Remember that in his 2008 presidential campaign McCain selected former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential candidate. That, in my view, was close to an act of treason, given Palin’s profound lack of suitability for the job. The new supporters of Trump, after appearing passionate in citing his flaws, illustrate more than irony; it’s disdain for the safety of our nation.
Does loyalty take precedence to the country or to a party? Does unity require sharing values with a potential tyrant who can bring you down with him? Shakespeare’s Polonius was mocked for his admonition to Hamlet, “To thine own self be true.” In this case — with the stakes as high as they are — these words of party unity are as disingenuous and disgraceful as it gets.
One of the first signs of the collapse of ancient civilizations was that words lost their meaning. Let’s back away from that symptom. We are still a great nation, grounded in decent values. While we never will be as true to those values as we should, let’s keep trying to keep alive the promise of “liberty and justice for all.”