50 prominent Republicans have urged the RNC to dump Donald Trump.
In a letter, circulated earlier this week, they referred to him as “unfit and unqualified” and added he would “weaken the United States’ moral authority“.
The diaspora of Republicans is not new. Just a few weeks ago Senator Kirk and Congressman Coffman had decided to publicly withdraw their support from Trump after he failed to endorse John McCain and Paul Ryan for their re-elections.
Yesterday it was the turn of Senator Susan Collins, who declared from the pages of the Washington Post,
Donald Trump does not reflect historical Republican values nor the inclusive approach to governing that is critical to healing the divisions in our country.
Now, the list of Trump-skeptics Republicans has got bigger. Among them, many security and foreign policy experts.
Former homeland security secretariats Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff; Robert Blackwill and James Jeffrey, who both served in President G.W. Bush’s NSC. And Michael Hayden, former director of CIA and NSA.
Many of them did not take part in a similar initiative launched in March and decided back then to stand by Donald Trump.
Why the Republicans are turning their back on Trump.
It is difficult to pinpoint one single issue that made them change their minds, as the crumbling of the Republican support is rather a combination of several issues.
One key element, which explains the high number of security experts among the rebellious Republican, is Trump’s erratic foreign policy.
He defended (beyond defense) Putin and its invasion of Crimea; asked the Russian President to hack Hillary’s email (even though he later said it was a joke); he wants to check whether NATO members have paid their contribution to the Organization before sending troops to help them, should they be under attack.
As the letter quotes,
He has alarmed our closest allies with his erratic behavior.
Trump did not do much better on immigration. He promised to build a wall on the border with Mexico and make Mexican pay for it. He attacked illegal immigrants and recently also legal ones for coming to America and ruin the labor market. He wants to stop immigration from countries “compromised” by terrorism and ban it completely for Muslims.
While these are all valid reasons for Republicans not to stand by Trump, the defining factor and root cause is Trump’s temperament itself.
Trump has declared to have a “great” temperament, but reality disproves his statement. And his fellow Republicans know it.
He had frequent outburst against Hillary Clinton as well against a crying baby in his audience. His declarations are often defamatory and always incendiary. He repeatedly attacked the Khan’s family, and all Muslim women with them. And his overall attitude toward women is questionable, to say the least.
Most importantly, no one seems to know what the next day will bring, as Trump changes his mind and contradicts his own statements overnight. Just a few days ago, he claimed to have witnessed an American plane carrying million of dollars to Iran, just to withdraw his declaration in a matter of hours.
He lies, as pointed out in the letter,
He is unable or unwilling to separate truth from falsehood.He does not encourage conflicting views. He lacks self-control and acts impetuously. He cannot tolerate personal criticism.
And Trump himself confirmed his inability to accept criticism by brushing off the letter as the rant of some power-thirsty politicians. Truth is that if he does not change the course of his campaign, he will not make to the Oval Office. His lead over Hillary Clinton has disappeared and she is now ahead in all the available polls.
Paul Manafort’s, Trump’s campaign manager, wants to pivot the campaign more toward political topics. But even if he succeeds in changing the course of the campaign, it could still be too little and too late for the Republicans.