Washington Post Op-Ed: “The GOP Is A Refuge For Bigots And Wackos”
In the wake of President Trump’s Wednesday comments on followers of the QAnon conspiracy, Washington Post opinion columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote that the Republican Party has become a home to “bigots and wackos.”
- “It is a favorite game in politics to take the most extreme member of the other party and then paint the entire party as extreme,” Rubin began. “However, when many candidates and officials plus the head of the party evidence nuttiness, it is fair to label the party as such.”
- The conservative columnist went on to recall Trump’s exchange with reporters about QAnon:
Reporter: QAnon believes you are secretly saving the world from this cult of pedophiles and cannibals. Are you behind that?
President Trump: Is that supposed to be a bad thing? We are actually. We are saving the world.
- The president also described followers of the conspiracy as just a group of people who “love their country.”
- But as Rubin noted, “the FBI, in May 2019, said the conspiracy theory is a domestic terrorist threat pushing baseless allegations such as Pizzagate.”
- The federal law enforcement agency wrote in its assessment: “The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modern information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts.”
- Rubin noted the response of Joe Biden’s spokesperson to Trump’s comments:
In a written statement, Andrew Bates, a spokesman for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, responded to President Trump’s remarks, saying that, “not only is our president refusing to take responsibility for his failed leadership that has cost over 170,000 American lives and tens of millions of jobs — he is again giving voice to violence.” Bates continued: “After calling neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville ‘fine people’ and tear-gassing peaceful protesters following the murder of George Floyd, Donald Trump just sought to legitimize a conspiracy theory that the FBI has identified as a domestic terrorism threat.” But you’ll hear no objections from Republicans.
- And also former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who tweeted that “nut jobs, racists [and] haters have no place in either Party.” In response, Rubin wrote, “Perhaps he confused the GOP with a mainstream party.”
But it’s not only the fringe players in the Republican Party that deserve a mention, Rubin suggested, after listing off a handful of GOPers who either subscribe to QAnon, are racist, or both.
- “[Y]ou need look no further than Republican senators and House members on the Intelligence and Judiciary committees who have echoed the discredited Russian propaganda that Ukraine has the hacked DNC server and worked to elect Hillary Clinton in 2016,” she wrote. “And, of course, Trump will support debunked covid-19 cures (hydroxychloroquine! Try disinfectant!), raise the racist birther charge against vice-presidential nominee Kamala D. Harris and defend Confederate symbols.”
- Rubin concluded:
This is neither the conduct nor the mind-set of a rational, mainstream organization. The party takes its cue from a deeply disturbed and easily bamboozled president who will adopt any theory or embrace any person who likes him — whether it be Greene or Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong Un or QAnon. The only requirement is that praise be lavished upon him. This is deeply unhealthy and dangerous for any democracy, which requires a modicum of good faith and adherence to reality.
When a party wants to honor at its convention the couple who waved weapons at peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters, you have to conclude that it’s not only lost touch with Americans but also with decency and reality.