Zaleski: ‘What does it profit a man if ...”

FARGOWhen Republican office-holders are asked if they support Donald Trump for president, they retreat into a mealy-mouthed platitude: "I support the party's endorsed nominee." We've heard that tripe from North Dakota Republicans who, with a coup...

Jack Zaleski

When Republican office-holders are asked if they support Donald Trump for president, they retreat into a mealy-mouthed platitude: “I support the party’s endorsed nominee.” We’ve heard that tripe from North Dakota Republicans who, with a couple of exceptions, won’t say Trump’s name out loud, but apparently feel compelled to sacrifice their honor and good sense on the altar of party loyalty. They’ve lost their minds, their moral centers, their life-affirming values.
And for what? Party loyalty? Party loyalty above country. Party loyalty above decency. Party loyalty above conscience.
Oh wait, they say. It’s the “anyone-but-Hillary” mantra. That’s why they are lining up behind Trump like lemmings eager to leap off the cliff. That’s why they excuse his thuggish behavior toward anyone who challenges his ignorance. I love this one: “I might not agree with everything he says,” they preach, “but he’s better than Hillary.”
Better than Hillary? That’s a reason to abandon everything they allegedly stand for? If that’s the standard, they would endorse Beelzebub if he had an “R” behind his name.
Kevin Cramer probably would. North Dakota’s lone congressman was among the first to take the opportunistic leap onto the Trump train. A man of deep faith (just ask him), he apparently believes that Trump’s waving a Bible at rallies in Bible-belt states is good enough. Anyone notice The Donald was not waving a Bible at events in New York and New Hampshire, two states where Bible-waving doesn’t fool people. My guess is, other than a prop to make evangelical voters feel good about scuttling their principles, Trump’s Bible is a doorstop in his New York City penthouse.
What are they thinking? They have hitched their North Dakota wagons to a man whose “New York values” are the stuff Cramer and his ilk love to denigrate. The keepers of the party of “family values” have devalued their imprimatur by handing it to a super-rich exploiter whose idea of family values is to scrap wife after wife when he tires of them, buy them off, and then get them to tell a gullible world what wonderful man he is. Is this the sort of gentleman a Republican father would want his his daughter to date?
Trump has insulted a genuine war hero, Sen. John McCain, who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, by calling him a “loser.” He’s embraced a religious test for immigrants, thereby stoking Americans’ irrational fear of Muslims. He’s characterized all Mexicans as drug dealers and rapists. He’s made misogyny acceptable to millions of voters. He’s raised lying to a political art form. He’s given a tacit OK to bullying, because bullying is is his modus operandi and it works for him.
So when his newfound Republican supporters say “they don’t agree with all of what he says,” the questions should be: What the hell do you agree with? Is he right about McCain? Veterans groups might like to know where Cramer stands. Is Trump right about the way he treats women and marriage? The party of family values is rapidly developing a credibility problem on that one. Is his bullying, lying and flip-flopping the new model for Republican campaigning? Let’s ask fans of Wayne Stenehjem and Doug Burgum, the formerly responsible Republicans who want to be governor.
Disturbingly timely words from the Gospel of Mark: “What does it profit a man if he gain the world and lose his soul?” North Dakota’s sellouts to Trump might want to look in the mirror and ask that question of themselves.
Zaleski is the opinion editor of The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is a part of Forum News Service. Email him at .

Related Topics: ELECTION 2016
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