Image from Politico
Dear Conservative Republicans:
I’ve been watching you. Yes, you, George Will. And Jennifer Rubin. You too, Jeff Flake, Paul Ryan, Lindsay Graham, and John McCain.
I’ve watched you with your indignant outrage. “How could my Grand Old Party have been so suckered by the misogynist, lying, hateful little man who sits in the White House?” you say, clutching your pearls and wringing your white-gloved hands. “How did that awful Trump hijack my beloved party? All we ever wanted was low taxes and small government! Wherefore the hate?! The racism?! The contempt for democracy?”
I’m tired of this. Yes, there is a degree of satisfaction in finally watching you have to come to terms with the end point of your own policies – satisfaction in watching your slack-jawed and sweaty faces finally comprehend your own ugliness. But that satisfaction does not overcome my anger at watching forty years of hypocrisy.
Since Reagan’s ascendency, conservatism has stood for exactly the policies that Trump now endorses and tries to implement: lowering taxes for the rich and corporations; disenfranchising poor and brown people; stripping regulations designed to protect health and the environment so businesses could reap higher profits; limiting affordable health care to the wealthy; pouring the public coffers into the pockets of defense contractors; belittling and undermining public education; controlling women’s bodies and limiting their wage-earning; cow-towing to the gun lobby and ignoring all the death it profits from; and demonizing Democrats as America-hating wimps. Don’t believe me? Look at any of the RNC-endorsed platforms since the 1980 convention – they are, more or less, the very planks.
You do not now get to feign surprise at Donald Trump. He is no one else’s monster but your own. No, actually, that metaphor affords some space between you and him. He is your mirror image, your progeny. You are him, and he is you.
The only difference that I can see is that his racism, misogyny, and insatiable greed is out in the open rather than bubbling just below the surface – the place you were for so long able to keep it put.
Am I calling you, conservatives, racist? Women-hating? Disdainful of the poor and the sick? Yup, I am. Whether you’ve been able to admit to these qualities, they are within you – your policy proposals and your congressional voting records are the proof. Where The Donald shouts and blusters, you have always whispered and winked and nudged. But you and him – you’re the same, deep down. You’ve just been better at hiding yourselves from yourselves.
Take a good, long look at that nasty, orange fool, blathering and lying and doing his best to make the rich richer and to screw, well, everybody else. It’s you you see. Stop pretending that you’re better. You are not.