Wisconsin GOP must abandon Trump and bigotry

By Bill Kaplan

More explosive revelations on Trump. On Sunday, the New York Times reported: "The Justice Department ... in 1973, sued Trump Management for discriminating against blacks. Both Fred Trump (father), the company's chairman, and Donald Trump, its president, were named as defendants ... investigation by the New York Times ... uncovered a long history of racial bias at his family properties, in New York and beyond ... After nearly two years of legal wrangling, the Trumps gave up and signed a consent decree" (end discrimination).

And, on Friday, the Washington Post reported: "Now Trump campaign chief (Stephen Bannon) faces scrutiny over voter registration, anti-Semitism (and) ... domestic violence." Bannon changed his voter registration as the press was investigating where he lived. Moreover, court documents showed that he was once charged with "domestic violence" by his then-wife, saying later said that Bannon didn't want their children to attend school with Jews! The stench is overwhelming.

Conservative Washington Post columnist George Will prophetically opined: "Trump's collaborators ... will find that nothing will redeem the reputations they will ruin by placing their opportunism in the service of his demagogic cynicism and anti-constitutional authoritarianism." Are you listening Gov. Walker, Speaker Ryan, Sen. Johnson and GOP Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Priebus? Many Republicans are.

The Hill and Politico reported: GOP Govs. Charlie Baker (Massachusetts) and Larry Hogan (Maryland) will not vote for Trump. And, GOP Govs. John Kasich (Ohio) and Rick Snyder (Michigan) will not support Trump. Moreover, GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), Mark Kirk (Illinois) and Ben Sasse (Nebraska) will not vote for Trump. And, nearly a dozen House Republicans, including Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble, have said that they will not support Trump. Finally, former RNC Chairs Bill Brock, Mel Martinez and Marc Racicot oppose Trump.

But Wisconsin GOP politicians prattle on. Politico said: "Walker endorses Trump while highlighting his own resume" (another run for the White House). Speaker Ryan talks about his support for Trump and "fundamental principles". Are there any "principles" left? Then there is Sen. Johnson who teetered between "support" and "endorsement" before finally settling on: "I'm going to do everything I c: "Winnian to help him (Trump) win." Finally, Priebus has defended his bear hug of Trump with immortal stupidityng is the antidote to a lot of things."

However, as the Washington Post editorialized: "It's not a 'dog whistle' if everyone can hear the bigotry. Republicans supporting Mr. Trump, explicitly or tacitly, cannot reasonably claim that they do not know who he is and what he has been doing." Wisconsin GOP Rep. Ribble got it early: the difference between the party of Lincoln and the party of Trump. And, Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins said: "Mr. Trump's unsuitability for office is based on his disregard for the precept of treating others with respect.... Instead, he opts to mock the vulnerable and inflame prejudices by attacking ethnic and religious minorities." When will Walker, Ryan, Johnson and Priebus abandon Trump and bigotry?

-- Kaplan wrote a guest column from Washington, D.C. for the Wisconsin State Journal from 1995 - 2009

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