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Growing Consensus: Trump is a Racist, His Republican Competitors are Mostly Cowards, and the GOP Future is in Danger

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Irresponsible Rhetoric and Policy on Immigration Harming Individuals, Nation

The chorus of voices condemning Donald Trump’s lies and racism continues to grow, with many observers now also calling out Trump’s fellow Republicans for their cowardice in sufficiently denouncing Trump and distancing the GOP from his dark vision of America.

In fact, Trump’s ascendancy in the Republican ranks has given license to a whole new level of hate speech from his fellow partisans, tainting the entire GOP and all of its candidates up and down the ballot.  As Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid put it in an important floor speech this morning: “The venom that Republicans continue to spew has consequences. History will judge those who stand idle as fear and animosity become the platform of an American political party.”

The following is additional analysis about the “Trump Effect” on politics, people, and the nation writ large:

In a blistering floor speech this morning, Senator Harry Reid called out Donald Trump and other Republicans who are complicit in mainstreaming nativism and hate, stating, “Words have power, and when spoken by influential leaders they infiltrate every corner of our society … The venom that Republicans continue to spew has consequences. History will judge those who stand idle as fear and animosity become the platform of an American political party. The simple fact is that Republicans are running on a platform of hate. And every Republican who fails to speak out against the hateful, dangerous rhetoric being spewed by their party is complicit. For the moral character of our nation we must demand that Republicans return to the values on which our country was founded.”

Dana Milbank, Washington Post: “Donald Trump is a Bigot and a Racist: In his new column, Milbank writes: “Let’s not mince words: Donald Trump is a bigot and a racist. Some will think this an outrageous label to apply to the frontrunner for a major party’s presidential nomination. Ordinarily, I would agree that name-calling is part of what’s wrong with our politics.  But there is a greater imperative not to be silent in the face of demagoguery … Trump led the ‘birther’ movement challenging President Obama’s standing as a natural-born American; used various vulgar expressions to refer to women; spoke of Mexico sending rapists and other criminals across the border; called for rounding up and deporting 11 million illegal immigrants; had high-profile spats with prominent Latino journalists and news outlets; mocked Asian accents; let stand a charge made in his presence that Obama is a Muslim and that Muslims are a ‘problem’ in America; embraced the notion of forcing Muslims to register in a database; falsely claimed thousands of Muslims celebrated the 9/11 attacks in New Jersey; tweeted bogus statistics asserting that most killings of whites are done by blacks; approved of the roughing up of a black demonstrator at one of his events; and publicly mocked the movements of New York Times (and former Washington Post) journalist Serge Kovaleski, who has a chronic condition limiting mobility … Though all Trump supporters surely aren’t racists or bigots, even a cursory examination of social media reveals that many are.”

La Opinión Editorial: “A Strategy of Lies”: The nation’s largest Spanish language daily newspaper editorializes against the mainstreaming of hate and lies coming out of the Republican presidential primary season, recognizing the potentially dangerous consequences: “Promises and accusations during election campaigns lend themselves to hyperbole, but Trump has gone beyond by also instigating hatred. Back in August, a pair of Trump supporters said to have been inspired by the candidate’s words to batter a Mexican homeless man. Months later, a black protester was beat up during a Trump rally in the South. For Trump, it is enough to repeat a lie incessantly and then accusing the media of lying.   Accusing the media is an old Republican tactic which, in this primary, has been turned into an art thanks also to other candidates such as Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina. The truth has become of secondary importance, and Democrats are no exception. But the virulence of the lies expressed in the GOP presidential primary is dangerous because of the dishonesty and hatred they arouse.”

Senator Lindsey Graham: A Trump Nomination Would Bring “Irreparable Damage” to the Republican Party: Sen. Graham told the New York Times that Trump as the Republican nominee, “would be an utter, complete and total disaster … If you’re a xenophobic, race-baiting, religious bigot, you’re going to have a hard time being president of the United States, and you’re going to do irreparable damage to the party .”  Graham also recounted his recent conversations with Republican donors, saying, “If you care about the future of the Republican Party, and you want to have a viable Republican Party, you better start moving … If they don’t push back, they’ll have nobody to blame but themselves.”

Peter Beinart: “The Cowardice of the Republican Candidates” Regarding Donald TrumpBeinart writes in The Atlantic, “Give Donald Trump this: He has taught Americans something about the candidates he’s running against. He has exposed many of them as political cowards … There’s an irony here. When it comes to Vladimir Putin, ISIS, and Iran, the GOP candidates love denouncing ‘appeasement.’ Yet when it comes to Trump, appeasement is their core strategy. They’re desperate to stop him. But they won’t call him a demagogue or a bigot or worse than Hillary Clinton, because that entails political risk. So they dissemble and evade and thus remind voters why they hate professional politicians. Which makes Trump stronger still.”

New York Times: Despite Acknowledgment that Trump Would Be an Electoral Albatross for Downballot Republicans, Many in GOP are Afraid of Condemning Trump: The Times highlights that while Republicans fear Trump at the top of the ticket would be disaster, many in the Party are nonetheless fearful of actually publicly condemning him: “Many leading Republican officials, strategists and donors now say they fear that Mr. Trump’s nomination would lead to an electoral wipeout, a sweeping defeat that could undo some of the gains Republicans have made in recent congressional, state and local elections. But in a party that lacks a true leader or anything in the way of consensus — and with the combative Mr. Trump certain to scorch anyone who takes him on — a fierce dispute has arisen about what can be done to stop his candidacy and whether anyone should even try …  Some of the highest-ranking Republicans in Congress and some of the party’s wealthiest and most generous donors have balked at trying to take down Mr. Trump because they fear a public feud with the insult-spewing media figure. Others warn that doing so might backfire at a time of soaring anger toward political insiders. That has led to a standoff of sorts: Almost everyone in the party’s upper echelons agrees something must be done, and almost no one is willing to do it.”

The longer Trump stays in the mix – tolerated by his fellow Republicans – the more his approach to politics empowers hate and radicalism.  Trump’s racially charged rhetoric and policy prescriptions are having real-life consequences, including numerous instances of attacks and harassment against Latinos, Muslim-Americans, and African-Americans linked to the “combustible” atmosphere fostered by Trump. Now, a downballot Republican candidate is joining the fray:

Iowa Republican Congressional Candidate Proposed Executing Some Undocumented Immigrants: State Senator Mark Chelgren, a Republican who is running for Congress, proposes executing some undocumented immigrants. As the Journal-Express newspaper of Marion County, IA reported after a conversation with Sen. Chelgren, “For border security, Chelgren believes a fence would define the border and control who enters and leaves. If one is found to have crossed into the country illegally, committed a felony while here, then been deported, he supports executing that individual if they break America’s immigration laws a second time.”