It’s difficult to overstate just how much lasting damage Donald Trump has done to the Republican Party’s reputation.
No longer can the GOP claim with a straight face to be the party of “law and order” now that its leader is an obvious criminal with no respect for the rule of law and those who enforce it. No longer can it claim to care about national security now that its president kowtows to foreign strongmen and refuses to take action to defend our elections from Russian interference. Its true values have been laid bare and it’s clear that the Republican Party exists solely to defend the wealth of the super-rich through the passing of heinous tax cuts and to turn back the clock on social progress by stuffing the judiciary with underqualified reactionary judges.
Thankfully, some conservatives have seen the light and are willing to disavow Trump and his heinous administration. In a new article in Florida Politics, longtime Republican operative John McKager “Mac” Stipanovich slammed President Trump and revealed how dedicated he is to fighting the “existential threat to American democracy” that our gameshow-host-in-chief represents.
“When I say I have Trump Derangement Syndrome I mean it literally. I admit it freely; it is an ever-present, influential factor in my daily life,” said Stipanovich. “He’s literally changed my life. I thought he was a damn fool before he ever ran for President. I was a Never-Trumper from the moment he descended from on high on his golden escalator and I have not wavered since. He has confirmed my worst expectations — and then some.”
Stipanovich goes on to say that he has lost money and even lifetime friends over his opposition to Trump. Despite the fact that his constant attacks on the president and his Republican enablers have cost him business, Stipanovic says he simply can’t stop doing it and has decided as a result that he’s better off simply retiring and leaving his firm to go about its business without him.
Importantly, Stipanovich is also willing to admit that there has “always been a nasty underbelly in the Republican Party since World II.” He identifies this problem as a “virulent strain of right-wing populism.” This putrid core has metastasized under Trump and Stipanovic condemns it as isolationist, protectionist, nativist, and xenophobic. “White fright” is also probably the defining characteristic of the modern Republican Party according to Stipanvovic.
“Trump’s genius was that he recognized the rot in the Republican Party. He didn’t transform the Republican Party, he reveled it. He could have gone the way of Ross Perot or George Wallace and had a third-party candidacy and been defeated. But his genius was to commandeer the party of Ronald Reagan. Which obviously I have not gotten over yet. And I’m unlikely to get over,” he writes.
Despite the current grim state of affairs, Stiponavich is dedicated to fighting on.
“All I know is he’s got to go and then we’ll sort it out after that. I don’t know how long it would take for the Republican Party to recover from Trump, if it ever will. Because I think Trump is as much an effect as he is a cause. There was something wrong with the Republican Party, and there is still something wrong with the Republican Party,” he writes.
Hopefully, more Republicans follow his lead, develop the spine they are so clearly lacking, and denounce Trump. Our country might very well depend upon it.
Read the full piece here.