Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) is known as a relatively moderate voice in a party that has succumbed wholly to extremism. Now the Republican senator has penned a long article in the Washington Post shunning her own party’s presidential candidate, and it’s impossible to argue with her articulate and compelling reasons why that is the right thing to do:
My conclusion about Mr. Trump’s unsuitability for office is based on his disregard for the precept of treating others with respect, an idea that should transcend politics. Instead, he opts to mock the vulnerable and inflame prejudices by attacking ethnic and religious minorities. Three incidents in particular have led me to the inescapable conclusion that Mr. Trump lacks the temperament, self-discipline and judgment required to be president.
The first was his mocking of a reporter with disabilities, a shocking display that did not receive the scrutiny it deserved. The second was Mr. Trump’s repeated insistence that Gonzalo Curiel, a federal judge born and raised in Indiana, could not rule fairly in a case involving Trump University because of his Mexican heritage. Third was Donald Trump’s criticism of the grieving parents of Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq.
Only last week Donald Trump brought his dog-and-pony show to Collins’ home state of Maine, and it didn’t take long for him to disrespect the United States Constitution – by kicking out a seven protesters who did nothing more than silently hold their pocket Constitutions high in the air. Republicans and sane political strategists question why Trump bothered to go to Maine in the first place, since it isn’t a swing state, and likely will choose Democratic candidate former Secretary Hillary Clinton in this year’s general election.
But the office of President isn’t just about winning swing states, or just about relating to Americans, it also requires extensive diplomatic and political tact, because it only takes a few words from the leader of the free world to move markets, encourage allies or embolden our country’s enemies, and Senator Collins wrote about those worries saying:
I am also deeply concerned that Mr. Trump’s lack of self-restraint and his barrage of ill-informed comments would make an already perilous world even more so. It is reckless for a presidential candidate to publicly raise doubts about honoring treaty commitments with our allies. Mr. Trump’s tendency to lash out when challenged further escalates the possibility of disputes spinning dangerously out of control.
Republican lawmakers have been terrified of the damage Donald Trump might do to their party for months, but now the establishment’s abandoning the top of their presidential ticket is accelerating into a flood ever since their impulsive and uncontrollable candidate embarked on a week-long gaffe binge, during which he insulted Gold Star families and our veterans, accepted a Purple Heart he didn’t earn, and insulted a baby while disrespecting the Constitution.
The only question Sen. Collins didn’t answer in her writing, was what took her so long to disavow Trump after he amply demonstrated months ago that there’s no way he was ever qualified to serve as President.
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report. Find out more at grantstern.com.