Republicans, already reeling from Trump's disastrous presidency, now have a whole new problem to deal with: Avoiding being labeled Nazi sympathizers:
New Hampshire Republican Party staffers arrived at work Thursday morning to find their Concord headquarters vandalized.
A rock had been thrown through a window and the word "Nazi" was spray-painted on the back of the building in a heart.
Concord Police are investigating and will determine whether the incident should be treated as a hate crime, Lt. Sean Ford told the Concord Monitor.
While a few Republicans directly criticized Trump's defense of white nationalism, most avoided angering the temper tantrum prone president. Presumably a political calculation on their part, their tepid outrage has nonetheless left them open, not unfairly, to accusations of support for American Nazism.
The New Hampshire Democratic Party unconditionally denounced the vandalism:
“Vandalism is unacceptable, it's inexcusable and it's wrong. The New Hampshire Democratic Party wholly condemns this criminal action and hopes the perpetrator is held accountable. There is no place for that in our politics."
But here's the problem with the continuing Republican reluctance to call out Trump: If you stand by a person that openly supports white nationalism, you cannot later claim you were just an innocent bystander. Trump has made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that he stands with the white nationalists. Yes, he made mouth sounds about how Nazis and the KKK are bad people but he reserved most of his venom for the people opposing them. That's about as unambiguous message as he could send short of throwing an arm up and shouting "Seig Heil!"
It's clear that Republicans are stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, they have to support Trump because they need him to advance their agenda of deregulation and massive tax cuts for the rich. In the other, turning on him in order is going to be the only way to save themselves from being voted out of office in a brutal wave election.
Ironically, Republicans like to complain about Muslims not protesting loudly enough against terrorism no matter how loudly they actually do it. Now that it's their turn to be smeared, I imagine they're not enjoying it very much. It would be a story worthy of pity if they hadn't spent the last 60 years priming white conservative voters to respond to racism as their main political motivation. They could have stopped at any time but their dependence on hate and rage only grew as the Tea Party flourished with the GOP's blessing, leaving them with a base of frantic and paranoid bigots looking for someone to lead them to the promised (white) land. It was inevitable that someone like Trump would come and steal their party from them and even then, Republicans figured it would better to ride it out and get what they could.
Them chickens have come home to roost, y'all. By refusing to stand up and tell Trump he's a monster for siding with Nazis, Republicans are now complicit with his endorsement of white nationalism. They'll cry that it's not fair and they don't deserve to be lumped in with Nazis but they had their chance and just like Trump, most of them blew it.
Maybe try to be less spineless next time, yes?
There are 446 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
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