Following last week’s editorial (Meaning - my Opinion), I expected backlash.
Please read carefully: I do not like writing about Trump and his many faults and follies. I would much rather write about...Just about anything else. Yes, this is a long column, perhaps too long for regular readers.
The problem is that I will keep reminding people that our democracy is in serious danger.
Please, pay attention. I will now repeat some famous actual quotes from and about the godless leader that led many of you into believing the “Big Lie” that the 2020 presidential election was somehow stolen.
The year was 2012... Trump’s tweet:
“Amazing Race winning an Emmy again is a total joke. The Emmys have no credibility. The Emmys are all politics, that’s why The Apprentice never won...” “The public is smart. They know it’s a con game.”
• 2012, after Republican Mitt Romney lost to Barack Obama...Trump’s tweet:
“This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy.
More reports of voting machines switching Romney votes to Obama.
Let’s fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice!
We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington.”
• Moving along, after Trump was asked about his support for “Some really good people...
“I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK? I don’t know anything about white supremacy or white supremacists—... —this guy. “Aah, I don’t know what I said! Aah, I don’t remember!”... “We’re going to be so strong. We’re going to be so tough. We’re going to be so vicious”
• 2106...During a campaign rally when some protesters rebelled:
“And we’re going to knock them for a loop. We have no choice.... Knock the crap out of him, would you? Just knock the hell—I promise you I will pay for the legal fees. I promise.”... “There’s a guy. Totally disruptive, throwing punches. I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks. I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell you. Ah, it’s true.”
MITT ROMNEY: “Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.
• BEN SASSE: “This is the party of Abraham Lincoln. This is not the party of David Duke, Donald Trump.”
• Conservative MONA CHAREN: “It was vertigo-inducing, because it showed me that either I had gone crazy or everybody else had gone crazy.”
• REP. MARK SANFORD (R-SC), 2013-19: “At that time, a number of people were just thinking this can’t go far, therefore, I’ll just look the other way, because it doesn’t matter. And because the thing that drives 99% of the folks in politics is self-preservation, to make noise might not be good in terms of my own political interest. Therefore, I’ll stay quiet.”
• After Ted Cruz won the Nevada primary leading up to the 2016 presidential election:
MARK LEIBOVICH, Author, Thank You for Your Servitude: “It was really ugly. It got as deep into the mud as I can remember any primary contest getting. Donald Trump was implying that Ted Cruz’s wife was unattractive.”
“A picture is worth a thousand words.”... “You know, his father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous. What is this? “
Right prior to—
“I don’t get angry often. But you mess with my wife, you mess with my kids, that’ll do it every time. Donald, you’re a sniveling coward, and leave Heidi the hell alone.”
Trump went on to win the next three state primaries.
“In 2016, there were countless Republicans who were very, very nervous about what a Trump presidency would mean for the country and for the party. There was a lot of concern.”
Trump chose Mike Pence to be his vice president.
“Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana, is in deep trouble politically. It’s not clear that he’ll be able to win a second term. And so, here is Donald Trump with the ability to offer Mike Pence a lifeline unlike any other and put him on the national ticket.”
“Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana, is in deep trouble politically. It’s not clear that he’ll be able to win a second term. And so, here is Donald Trump with the ability to offer Mike Pence a lifeline unlike any other and put him on the national ticket.”...
“He tells them his decision: that he’s not going to endorse Donald Trump in his speech. And they ask him why. And Cruz looks at them and he says, “History isn’t kind to the man who holds Mussolini’s jacket.” And that’s that. His decision’s made.”
TED CRUZ at his Republican Convention speech:
“Vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom.”
CONVENTION CROWD: Booing Cruz statement.
“Get out! Pull the plug! Endorse Trump! Endorse Trump!”
• On the campaign trail:
“The election is being rigged in an effort to elect Hillary Clinton president. It’s one big ugly lie.”
• “THESE ARE MY PEOPLE”
WHITE SUPREMACIST PROTESTERS: [Chanting] You will not replace us! You will not replace us! Many at Trump rallies using the raised arm as a salute —a demonstration by white nationalists at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
• January 6, 2021
WHITE SUPREMACIST PROTESTER: “This is Trump’s America!”
DAVID DUKE: —former Ku Klux Klan leader
“We are determined to take our country back. We’re going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump.”
CHARLIE SYKES, Fmr. conservative radio host:
“Charlottesville was a long time coming. When Charlottesville happened, you could easily say the same thing that you could say about Jan. 6: This was inevitable. It was always heading toward this. You have a president of the United States who is willing to give tacit approval to some of the darkest elements of American politics.”
WESLEY LOWERY, Author, They Can’t Kill Us All:
“A man drives his vehicle into the crowd, killing Heather Heyer and wounding others. This was an incident that was clearly the tail of these far-right white supremacist powers emboldened and out of control.”
“So, you know, as far as I’m concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day. I think there’s blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it, either. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people—”
YAMICHE ALCINDOR, Host, Washington Week:
“I’m a reporter who has reported on race for a long time, and I never would have imagined the person in the office of the president calling people who go to a Nazi rally “very fine people.”
“It will have a tremendously positive impact on race relations.”
“One of Paul Ryan’s fundamental problems with him is his racism, the way that he flirts with racists. Seemingly anybody who supports him is OK in his book, no matter what they believe.”
“But very few, and very few top Republicans would say the president was wrong.”
“When the Republican Party didn’t push back, that was the moment you realized that their surrender was complete. That they were not ever going to stand against him. If you didn’t break with Donald Trump for Charlottesville, then basically you were saying, “We’re done.” That was a—the acquiescence of Republicans after Charlottesville I think was really an inflection point.
FRANK LUNTZ, Longtime GOP pollster:
“Every person who came up who challenged him Trump sought to destroy. Lifelong Republicans, lifelong conservatives—he wrote them out of the party. He made fun of them. He ridiculed them. He embarrassed them and he destroyed them.
The process to chip away at democracy goes on.
• November 4, 2020...The Big Lie
ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN: The communications director for Mark Meadows and the Freedom Caucus, press secretary for Vice President Mike Pence and was the Trump White House communications director.
“The West Wing was a ghost town. No one was even coming in. And the president didn’t come down from the residence for several days after it was called for Biden.
Trump lost, but allies were quick to respond to his “Big Lie” and the wheels began turning, churning
“Most fraudulent election in history!”... “Most fraudulent election in history!... “There is tremendous evidence of widespread voter fraud.”
The far right wing fell in place as many higher up Republicans just sat by, fearing the future.
“—but Trump has not lost. Do not concede, Mr. President. Fight hard.”
“I never once talked to anybody that believed any of this garbage. Ninety-nine point nine percent almost of congressmen and women in the Republican Party know that the election wasn’t stolen. They’re just too cowardly to say it, and frankly, in a republic that’s frightening.”
“They’re trying to put us under permanent martial law. You gotta rise up now!”... “I don’t even care if Trump concedes. I’m not conceding crap. This means revolution. This means war.”
“Now! Now! Now! Get out on the streets. Protest. Show them who you are and that they can’t get away with it.”
• The aftermath:
“The Republican Party enabled Donald Trump as he riled up his base and as he convinced his base that the election had been stolen, and there, for the first time, the Republican Party becomes unambiguously anti-democratic, right? They were breaking norms, they were tolerating authoritarian behavior. But the Republicans were not an authoritarian party until November 2020, when they, as a collective, refused to accept defeat in an election. That was incredibly decisive.”
These are only a few of the many, many famous quotes from people who have lived through this hellish period in American Democracy. I sincerely doubt pro-god Trumpers have read all this and the chance any of them have changed their anti-democracy stance is doubtful.
This past week four Times subscribers have cancelled their subscriptions. A local dental receptionists called to cancel the dentist’s subscription with the quote: “I don’t like being called a Nazi.” Let me assure you, local dentist, that you may not yet have reached the level of Brown Shirt/Red Cap, but you are well on your way.
Something, Anything but stupid Trump.