Columnist: Does Trump present a potential crisis for the Republican Party?
Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 11, 2016
In a previous column I questioned if the Republican Party could actually rein Donald Trump in or would he become so vile that he will just self-destruct as did former Republican senate majority leader Trent Lott on Dec. 5, 2002.
In that column I stated that Trump does, in fact, remind me of Trent Lott, who ended his career being considered by some as a kind of buffoon and embarrassment to the Republican party. In the early 2000s, Sen. Trent Lott had also become an albatross around the neck of the Republican Party.
His culturally insensitive comments made at Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday celebration caused irreparable problems for the party. Lott, caught up in the carnival gala for a man known during his lifetime as being firmly entrenched against any federal or state civil rights legislation designed to empower blacks, said in effect that the country essentially took the wrong course in not embracing Thurmond’s divisive politics.
In the Lott case, the Republicans, anxious to distance the party from his rhetoric successfully persuaded him to resign his position as Senate Majority Leader.
Trump creates a special problem for the modern day Republican Party that has extended considerable energy over the past several years in attempting to rebrand the party’s image as that of being inclusive and accepting of all cultures. Trump’s attacks and criticism of Muslims, Hispanics and women, and anyone else who disagrees with him as he transitions to become the presumptive presidential nominee, creates a problem for Republicans that can conceivably have negative consequences at the polls in the November elections.
Some party leaders will, in fact, probably vote for Trump in the presidential elections, but are vehement that they will not endorse him as a candidate. Former president Bush and his brother, Jeb, who was eviscerated by Trump in the primaries, will clearly not be among his active supporters.
The anti-Trump movement does, in fact, appear to be growing rather than shrinking. At least eight GOP senators either won’t vote for Trump or have declined to back him publicly. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Rep. Bill Flores of Texas, who chairs the conservative Republican Study Committee, both recently said they weren’t ready to get on board, either.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, faced with mounting controversies surrounding his party’s nominee for president, is backing away from his pledge to support Donald Trump, pointing to the candidate’s appearance of bias against a Hispanic federal judge as especially troubling. Walker, who endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the Wisconsin primary, had previously pledged to support the Republican nominee “whoever that is,” arguing that any GOP candidate would be preferable to Clinton (http://www.politico walkers.com/story/2016/06/scott-walker-trump-endorsement-224059#ixzz4B35YxnLz).
It was actually in Wisconsin that Trump’s security team known for roughing up anti-Trump protesters that probably validated Walker’s decision to tone down his support of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. It was in Janesville, Wisconsin, recently that dozens of chanting activists filed into the lobby of a hotel, demanding that it cancel a Donald Trump town hall meeting set for the following day.
Within minutes, three members of Trump’s advance security team were in the lobby, and things escalated quickly. A 61-year-old former FBI agent, an official with the Trump advance security team named Don Albracht, began circling the room, putting his phone in the faces of protesters and filming them.
As they chanted “build communities, not walls,” Albracht ripped a sign out of one protester’s hands, jutting his phone within inches of her face, as her comrades shouted objections.
You know what? When one of the female demonstrators began videotaping Albracht’s actions, one of his team members, to her chagrin, unlawfully grabbed her in an attempt to remove her from the area.
Trump’s detractors are quick to say that the mayhem in Janesville is only one example of the aggressive tactics Trump’s security has been using to shut down even peaceful protests directed at preventing him from becoming president.
It is without a doubt that Trump is in need of a reality check when it comes to appearing presidential. He truly believes that his actions, no matter how ridiculous, will ingratiate him to the American public.
This presumptive Republican presidential nominee is not like any other person that has attained the position to date. He does not appear to have inner restraints in his personal attacks on those who oppose his views and refuses to acquiesce to the whims of party members who would like to support him.
Does he represent a crisis for the Republican Party? What’s your opinion?
Dr. Glenn Dowell is an author and columnist who currently lives in Georgia.He has been a guest speaker on major college campuses , including having appeared on TV programs such as the Oprah Winfrey Show. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.