Over the weekend, the Las Vegas Sun editorial board published a new piece admonishing Representative Heck and the four Nevada Republican congressional candidates, Danny Tarkanian, Cresent Hardy, Mark Amodei, and Mary Perry, for their continued support of Donald Trump’s candidacy in light of his unrelenting racism and divisiveness. In their refusal to disavow Trump, these Nevada Republicans are enabling his behavior, embracing both his policies and his bigotry, and prioritizing party over country.
“That these five Nevada candidates for Capitol Hill — Heck, Tarkanian, Hardy, Amodei and Perry — say Trump should be our president and represent the United States to the world is unfathomable and deplorable. They apparently see Trump as a role model, and at least we can credit them for their transparency, sharing where their values are rooted, so Nevada’s voters know the essence of who they are and what they stand for.”
Read the editorial “5 Nevada politicians stand by Trump; here’s what that says” below or online here.
Donald Trump has become so unhinged in his ravings, so removed from reality, it’s no surprise that bedrock Republicans — headliners and rank-and-file, donors and operatives, economists and national security advisers — are throwing their hands up in resigned frustration and turning their backs on him.
What is startling is that there are still Republicans running for office, including those seeking election to the U.S. Senate and House from Nevada, who still stand by Trump.
There’s no sense for Republicans to pretend they are unified; it’s clear they are not, and for good reason. In his divisiveness and absurd proclamations, Trump has presented plenty of bona fide reasons for other candidates to put space between themselves and him. But incredibly, there still are candidates willing to stand by the most grievously unqualified and materially dangerous candidate the party has ever nominated for president.
Among them: Dr. Joe Heck, the Republican congressman running for the retiring Sen. Harry Reid’s seat, and the four Republican congressional candidates who want to represent Nevadans: Danny Tarkanian, Cresent Hardy, Mark Amodei and Mary Perry.
There’s no other way to read this: They think the White House is an appropriate destination for a narcissistic, belligerent bully who threatens violence if he doesn’t get his way, insults women, mocks the disabled, disparages minorities, refuses to release his tax returns because he’s hiding something, encourages Russians to engage in cyber-espionage against the United States, brags that an economic plan will help the middle class when it actually will raise their taxes and further enrich the wealthy including himself, lies when boasting that his companies have offered employee child care, suggests the U.S. default on its debt and hang our creditors out to dry — much like how he ran his companies into bankruptcy — admires Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saddam Hussein for their leadership, proposed that U.S. citizens accused of terrorism be tried before a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, which is illegal, and seriously and repeatedly claimed preposterously that President Barack Obama founded ISIS.
That these five Nevada candidates for Capitol Hill — Heck, Tarkanian, Hardy, Amodei and Perry — say Trump should be our president and represent the United States to the world is unfathomable and deplorable. They apparently see Trump as a role model, and at least we can credit them for their transparency, sharing where their values are rooted, so Nevada’s voters know the essence of who they are and what they stand for.
To be sure, we applaud the values and integrity displayed by Republican candidates who put the nation before party, and who are willing to risk a great deal politically to stand for what is right. They are people of principle, honor and bravery — patriots for putting nation ahead of politics.
Among the Republican U.S. senators rejecting Trump are Dean Heller of Nevada, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Ted Cruz of Texas and Susan Collins of Maine, a lifelong Republican who wrote in a Washington Post commentary that Trump “does not reflect historical Republican values nor the inclusive approach to governing that is critical to healing the divisions in our country.”
Perhaps most damning of Trump was a letter written by 50 national security officials, all of whom worked in Republican administrations from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush and who know what it takes to be a president during wartime and other crises.
“None of us will vote for Donald Trump,” they announced. “From a foreign policy perspective, Donald Trump is not qualified to be President and Commander-in-Chief. Indeed, we are convinced that he would be a dangerous President …”
Keep in mind that the people signing this letter are not politicians, not political operatives, but professionals in the business of keeping our country secure. Their observations about Trump are chilling:
“Most fundamentally, Mr. Trump lacks the character, values, and experience to be President. He weakens U.S. moral authority as the leader of the free world. He appears to lack basic knowledge about and belief in the U.S. Constitution, U.S. laws, and U.S. institutions, including religious intolerance, freedom of the press, and an independent judiciary.
“In addition, Mr. Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he has little understanding of America’s vital national interests, its complex diplomatic challenges, its indispensable alliances, and the democratic values on which U.S. foreign policy must be based … (He) persistently compliments our adversaries and threatens our allies and friends … (and) continues to display an alarming ignorance of basic facts of contemporary international politics.”
And if this isn’t frightening enough, they continued: “He lacks self-control and acts impetuously. He cannot tolerate personal criticism. He has alarmed our closest allies with his erratic behavior. All of these are dangerous qualities in an individual who aspires to be President and Command-in-Chief, with command of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. … We are convinced that in the Oval Office, he would be the most reckless President in American history.”
Stalwart Republican politicians might think it politically treasonous to reject Trump’s train wreck of a candidacy. Sen. Collins reconciled that concern: “Some will say that as a Republican I have an obligation to support my party’s nominee. I have thought long and hard about that, for being a Republican is part of what defines me as a person. I revere the history of my party, most particularly the value it has always placed on the worth and dignity of the individual, and I will continue to work across the country for Republican candidates. It is because of Mr. Trump’s inability and unwillingness to honor that legacy that I am unable to support his candidacy.”
All that said, and even as Trump continues to flabbergast the nation with his lies, ignorance and conspiracy theories, five candidates who want to represent Nevadans in Washington — Heck, Tarkanian, Hardy, Amodei and Perry — are standing by him.
And that, too, is chilling, because of what it says about them. To raise Trump on their shoulders betrays their willingness to dishonor the presidency and reveals that they share values that define Trump as a political, social and moral misfit.