It took this. It took these three minutes of the most vulgar dialogue we’ve heard from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for the de facto leader of the Republican Party, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, to finally throw in the towel and say he’s had enough.
After Trump’s remarks went public, Ryan rescinded his invite to Trump for a rally in our grand state of Wisconsin. He called the remarks, among other things, “lewd,” “irresponsible” and “reprehensible.”
Yet, Paul Ryan has failed here. These comments are too little, too late. Why was it not enough the moment Donald Trump called Mexicans “rapists?” Why was it not enough when he derided an entire religion, vowing to ban all Muslims from entering the country? Why was it not enough when he attacked a Gold Star family?
Because Paul Ryan is not truly a leader.
At this point, almost 19 percent of Republicans in the House and the Senate have made it clear they will not support Trump in the general election. Sadly, this is Paul Ryan’s “enough.” It was not about morality — it was about re-election. When enough Republicans were ready to withdraw support from Trump, only then did Ryan decide he would too.
Ryan obviously had his reasons for delaying this statement. He wanted to emphasize party unity in an already politically fractious moment. Furthermore, isolating the white, uneducated males that make up Trump support base would hurt his re-election efforts, and those of Republicans across the country. But this election is bigger than that.
This election is about our legacy as voters. It is about what we will have to explain to subsequent generations.
They will ask “Are all Mexicans bad people?” They will wonder if it is okay to “grab a woman by the p****.” The answers to these questions, while obviously a resounding no, will be thrown into question. Because as Trump has been saying quite a bit lately, actions speaker louder than words.
Plenty of Republicans have been saying throughout the election cycle Trump’s words are unprofessional and lack polish. But not enough came out and said they would not support him. That is the problem. In this election, it is not enough to say Trump’s words are bad.
This is the party of Lincoln we are talking about, the man who made the ultimate political sacrifice. He was willing to split the country in half and send us to civil war to uphold what was right — the abolition of slavery. That is what makes him a true leader. That is why history smiles upon him.
History will not smile upon Paul Ryan. It will not grimace, as it will on Trump. It will not lambast Ryan. But he will be a forgettable cog in a dying Republican Party that allowed a loud-mouthed bigot to rise to the top of their party, instead of a leader who stood up when his party needed him the most.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, will be remembered as the rebels who went down fighting against the stream of hate Trump spewed. Kasich’s refusal to speak at the Republican National Convention showed true character, a man who stood by his values even when it was not advantageous to do so.
Ryan won’t defend Trump after vulgar footage, but has long history of defending sexist legislationThis morning, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, catapulted himself to the top of news circuit when he, once Read…
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may not be the most trustworthy presidential candidate we have ever seen. Her email scandal, the intertwining of the Clinton foundation and her duties as Secretary of State and the help she got from the Democratic National Convention in her primary race against U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders do not make her look great.
But this election is bigger than even that. It says as much about ourselves as voters as it does about the two candidates. We need to make the statement that Paul Ryan couldn’t and still will not. We need to say that a man like Trump can’t be leader of the free world. We need to say that with our ballots, not just our words.