Jay Bookman

Opinion columnist and blogger with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, specializing in foreign relations, environmental and technology-related issues

Memo to GOP: If this doesn't cross your line, you have no line

Republicans, this is what your 2016 nominee to be president of the United States of America had to say Tuesday in a speech in Wilmington, NC:

"Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know."

"Maybe there is, I don't know."

So ... Reince Priebus, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Johnny Isakson and other GOP leaders, let's talk.

You've stuck by this man through the "captured" slam on John McCain, through the Mexican rapists fiasco, through his racist screed against a federal judge of Mexican descent, through the Megyn Kelly blood thing, the grotesque mocking of a disabled person, the repeated anti-Muslim statements. You overlooked his public plea for spying help from Russia and his embrace of Putin, you downplayed the insults he fired at a Gold Star family, you excused his proposed abandonment of NATO allies, and you pretended not to hear the rigged election nonsense. Somehow -- and do not ask me how -- you even tolerated the repeated tin-foil-hat claims that the father of Ted Cruz had helped to assassinate President John F. Kennedy. Even after all that, you still claimed to want to put this man into the White House.

Which leads us to what happened Tuesday:

You can, if you choose, pretend to be too stupid to understand what Trump was saying, as his press statement clearly invites you to do. But you are not that stupid, not unless you force yourself to be.

And if hinting at a Second Amendment solution to your political opposition does not cross your final line, then you have no such line. And if you have no such line, then you have forfeited the right to be respected by your fellow Americans and by yourselves as well. You also take upon yourselves full historic and moral responsibility for whatever comes next.

And that ought to terrify you, because to tell the truth, you don't know what's going to come next, do you?

You keep telling yourself that this is as bad as it can get, but by now you have to know better. Trump is going to get worse, because that's what Trump does, and you also have to worry about the impact of this kind of inflammatory, highly irresponsible rhetoric on the fevered minds out there who mistake this kind of garbage for leadership.

So ... what are you going to do?




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About the Author

Jay Bookman writes about government and politics, with an occasional foray into other aspects of life as time, space and opportunity allow.