What I love about the Republican Party and its acolytes, sycophants, and blind followers is that they are consistent, history is irrelevant, and they are always holding the fort against the barbarians at the gate. These Know Nothings in the 1830s were right there with the Ostend Manifesto and they were right there with the Catholics in the 19th Century, and especially with the Irish 1850s.
Their clarion call in the post-Civil War period was Rum, Romanism and Rebellion, but they seemed to find other targets along the way, especially Jews and the Unions. Not all of them were bad and compared to the Southern Democratic bigots, their racism was tolerable and they were seen as decently progressive in a white man’s burden and white privilege rationalization. In fact, many were. Of course, their high water level in toleration, innovation and character came with the accidental presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, who became symbolic of the Progressive Era; you know clean air and water, pure food and drugs, etc.
The Republicans quickly had enough of TR and the next hundred years was marked by such Republican luminaries as Taft (received 23% in his re-election bid) and then Harding (Teapot Dome scandals adultery and incompetence) Coolidge (do nothing), Hoover, the Depression, the Eisenhower Administration (no growth 3 million jobs in eight years, three recessions the Suez Crisis and the Hungarian Revolution, which he basically ignored). Not all the problems of American can be placed on their doorstep, but wait!
We were offered Nixon (I am not a crook, secret plan to end the Vietnam War and Watergate), Gerald Ford, who knew nothing, but knew much more than the brain dead, functional illiterate Trump, Reagan, whose 2nd term was a disaster, as we started our road to debt and the shift of wealth from the middle class to the rich, the Savings & Loan Disaster with Bush 41 (who lost re-election with 37%, the 2nd lowest number since John Quincy Adams), Bush 43, a stupid, unprepared nobody, the author of an unending war, more de-regulated, predator capitalism, in the Reagan tradition, the Derivative Bubble and the greatest economic implosion since 1929. Wow, and he was actually re-elected. Well his 2nd term was in the disastrous tradition of the 2nd terms of Eisenhower (the 1958 Recession, then the worst since 1929), and Reagan.
But, what have we today? One could say of Eisenhower, Ford, Reagan, Bush 41 and even Bush 43 that they were not criminals, they kept their lies and half-truths to acceptable levels of political discourse, and they didn’t have careers as sexual predators, serial adulterers, con men, and endemic liars. They actually served in the military, weren’t draft-dodgers, but Bush 43’s military career was certainly questionable. Even Nixon was in the service as was Truman, JFK, LBJ and Carter.
What can be said of Herr Trump, that hasn’t been repeated a million times? Instead of repeating all the truisms about this unhinged brigand and Barking Cur, I’ll say, he is worse that the legend, and is, by far, the worst person elected to national office in the world since Hitler in 1932. I think that sums him up and his band of deaf, blind, dumb, and bigoted supporters, who couldn’t care less if he shot someone on 5th Avenue. But, what if he shot that person’s wife, girlfriend, child or husband? Would they feel the same way?