The Great Con…

America has been conned. By one of her  own.

Nikita Khrushchev said the following in 1956.  “We will take America without firing a shot. We do not have to invade the U.S. We will destroy you from within….”  

Today our “American president” admires the leader  of Russia, aka the old Soviet Union.

Given America is more politically divided than any time since the War Between the States I’d be very worried.

“We’re liable to wake up one morning, and Donald, if he were president, would have nuked Denmark.”

That was Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas back in 2016, when it was still permissible for the Republican Party to speak truth about Donald Trump. A man who has spent his life conning investors, the press, girlfriends and wives has now enlisted one of the two major political parties of the world’s only superpower in perhaps the greatest con in history. Republicans must pretend Trump should be president of the United States.

In a long career of political consulting, I’ve helped elect Republicans in over half the country. I turn on the television and see men and women I helped elect praising Donald Trump, and I know they are lying. They are not idiots who suddenly decided that the core values they long claimed were at the heart of the Republican Party — character counts, personal responsibility, strong on Russia, fiscal sanity — were now meaningless. But they have convinced themselves that to be a Republican in 2019 requires you to lie. They tell themselves that their mendacity serves the greater good.

In the 2016 Republican primaries, candidates other than Donald Trump spent most of their time attacking each other for one seemingly very sound reason: The Republican Party was never going to nominate a bankrupt casino owner who had lost the 2000 Reform Party nomination for president to Pat Buchanan; a candidate who had given the maximum allowed under law to Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, had five kids with three wives, who seemed to believe church was where you went when you needed to marry a model, and who talked in public about dating his own daughter.

It was obvious this man could not represent a conservative party, so the key to winning the Republican nomination was simple: Be the last person standing against Donald Trump and you had to win. That logical conclusion proved to be an optimistic fantasy.

The justification that many Trump skeptics gave for supporting him in 2016 was that he would change, grow into the office. But the presidency hasn’t changed Trump; he is changing the presidency. Trump has validated decades of criticism from Democrats that issues like the national debt and family values were meaningful to Republicans only to the degree they could be weaponized against Democrats.

We now exist in a world in which Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is to the right of a Republican president on Russia and North Korea. Racism seeps from this White House like blood from a poorly bandaged wound.

In 2016, Republicans who had grave doubts about Trump but supported him could argue that he was better than Hillary Clinton, and that it was a binary choice. But a Republican primary gives Republican voters a chance to choose another Republican alternative. Voting for Trump in a primary is validating Trump, stripped of any pretense that he might improve or that an evil socialist is the alternative.

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