The Republican party needs to step up

November 1, 2016 — by Ryan Kim

Lack of Trump rejections shows cowardice among the GOP

During his tumultuous presidential campaign, Republican nominee Donald Trump declared his plan to ban Muslim immigration to the U.S., even though America is a nation founded on immigration. Nor did he immediately reject the support of an ex-Ku Klux Klan leader, and only did so because his Party began begging him to. Later he mocked the parents of a Muslim soldier killed in action, while he himself dodged the Vietnam War draft in the late 1960s with a questionable doctor’s note.

However, through all of these and other outrageous statements, many of his Republican supporters essentially stood by him, even if they publicly express that their representative’s views do not reflect those of the Party.

Democrats and voters nationwide held their breath after what seemed to be the last straw for the Republicans: Trump was not only caught on tape saying lewd comments, but since then has been accused by 11 women of sexual assault. Many expected the Party to make a long-overdue disavowment of Trump, who time and time again proved himself to be an inadequate farce of a presidential candidate and human being.

The reprimand never came. At least, not to the extent needed to bring down Trump’s campaign.

A few Republicans began forswearing Trump, only to later run back to him, saying that they had not totally unendorsed their representative candidate. Even Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House and a leading Republican, fell short of a total denouncement of Trump. Fearful of the repercussions of standing up to such a demagogue as Trump, who is known to verbally attack his enemies’ prestige, Republicans scampered back to him, tails between their legs.

This is absolutely unacceptable. This is where we draw the line between a sexual predator and a presidential candidate, an inappropriate and skewed bigot and the leader of the most powerful nation in the world.

Shouldn’t the good of the nation and one’s moral code be prioritized above party lines and personal gain?

It is no secret that many of these politicians are motivated by personal political agendas, and therefore fear the repercussions of opposing Trump. Kevin Zollman, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University, cites politicians’ repeated contradictions of their support for Trump to be primarily caused by an “information cascade,” in which people do not accurately express their private desires in fear that they will be distinguished as the minority or the oddballs.

Essentially, peer pressure and the threat of Trump turning on them are keeping the Republican politicians in line. The Republican Party has evolved into a collection of selfish and self-centered politicians who care more for their own legacies than the future of the country.

Politicians need to realize that more than their personal success is at stake in this election; in a time of rising clashes with Russia and problems in the Middle East, the U.S. needs a strong, respectful and intelligent leader now more than ever.

By now, it’s far too late for Republicans to do what they should have done months ago: denounce Trump. But in the future, Republican leaders need to step up and be the bigger individuals and preserve the fundamentals of the nation rather than their political careers.