A sad day for GOP, Amer­ica

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -

AS Don­ald Trump was build ing a cam­paign on lies, big otry, in­sults, fear­mon­ger­ing and un­rea­son, a few Repub­li­can lead­ers of ap­par­ent prin­ci­ple of­fered some re­sis­tance. Fore­most among them was House Speaker Paul D. Ryan. In March, Mr. Ryan in­sisted that “all of us as lead­ers can hold our­selves to the high­est stan­dards of in­tegrity and de­cency” and that “we shouldn’t ac­cept ug­li­ness as the norm.” On Thurs­day Mr. Ryan ca­pit­u­lated to ug­li­ness. It was a sad day for the speaker, for his party and for all Amer­i­cans who hoped that some Repub­li­can lead­ers would have the for­ti­tude to put prin­ci­ple over par­ti­san­ship, job se­cu­rity or the for­lorn fan­tasy that Mr. Trump will ad­vance a tra­di­tional GOP agenda.

Ex­plain­ing his be­lated en­dorse­ment of Mr. Trump in a home-state news­pa­per, the speaker said that con­ver­sa­tions with the pre­sump­tive Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee have re­as­sured him. Mr. Trump will help turn House GOP ideas into law, Mr. Ryan said, in a way that a Pres­i­dent Hil­lary Clin­ton would not. This is fan­ci­ful, as Mr. Ryan must un­der­stand. Judg­ing by his wild swings of po­si­tion over the years, Mr. Trump does not be­lieve in much of any­thing. The con­vic­tions that he does hold — against free trade and US lead­er­ship abroad, for di­vid­ing the na­tion by re­li­gion and eth­nic­ity — are an­ti­thet­i­cal to the prin­ci­ples Mr. Ryan has said guide him. Hav­ing se­cured the nom­i­na­tion with­out Mr. Ryan’s help, a Pres­i­dent Trump cer­tainly would not feel bound by any as­sur­ances that Mr. Ryan be­lieves he has heard from the can­di­date. “That’s the thing about pol­i­tics,” Mr. Ryan said a while back. “Pol­i­tics can be a bat­tle of ideas, not in­sults. It can be about so­lu­tions. It can be about mak­ing a dif­fer­ence. It can be about al­ways striv­ing to do bet­ter. That’s what it can be and what it should be.” Now Mr. Ryan has en­dorsed a man whose “so­lu­tions” in­clude ban­ning Mus­lims from en­ter­ing the coun­try, who casts as­per­sions on judges be­cause of their eth­nic­ity, who mocks peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, who lies re­peat­edly, who would muz­zle the free press. Each one of these is dis­qual­i­fy­ing — par­tic­u­larly for any­one who be­lieves in con­duct­ing the na­tion’s pol­i­tics in a con­struc­tive, rea­son­able man­ner or who claims to have the long-term in­ter­ests of the na­tion, rather than a short-term win at the bal­lot box or in Con­gress, in mind. — The Wash­ing­ton Post

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