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"Capitulated to Ugliness"

Jun 03, 2016

I posted on Facebook weeks ago that Donald Trump’s securing of the nomination was making Republicans engage in logical back flips. They had to justify their endorsement of what is, simply put, unjustifiable.  But Paul Ryan’s ‘capitulation to ugliness’ is, to me, in some ways the most appalling example.

I had the privilege of meeting Paul Ryan a number of times when I worked at Wingspread in Racine, WI (which was in Ryan’s district). That was many years ago, but you could already tell that he was going places. I found him poised, charming, decent, smart, and passionate.  I didn’t agree with him about the color of the sky, but I liked and respected him. 

So it is with a more than a little chagrin that I learned yesterday that Paul Ryan had endorsed Donald Trump for President. After their meeting last month, it was abundantly clear that such an endorsement was coming, sooner or later.  But that didn’t make it any less disappointing.

I understand that politicians are not saints, and that they often have to swallow hard to put themselves in a position to win. Compromise is necessary not merely in the realm of policy, but in morality as well. And I understand that Trump puts all Republicans in a very difficult position. But there has to be a point where your love of country and commitment to democracy overwhelm your desire to achieve partisan goals, let alone to save your own political skin. 

For Ryan, as well as Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, and a host of fellow Republicans, there apparently there is no such line.  Even though they all said publicly that Trump is overwhelmingly unqualified to be President, all have come around to supporting the nominee.  

Was there ever a lower moment for the Republican Party? 

--Chris Beem

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