Time to cut bait on Trump

Republicans should walk back their support before it’s too late

Last week, Donald Trump lashed out at the parents of a deceased American soldier who dared question his competency. The continuing attack on the Muslim Gold Star family is just the latest round of inflammatory and xenophobic comments to come from the 70-year-old celebrity businessman over the course of his campaign for president of the United States. His campaign for president of the United States.

We had to emphasize those words because it’s just so unbelievable, even a year into his candidacy, that the star of a reality TV show is vying for the highest office in the land. Truly, it’s astounding. Because, really, after what we’ve heard from Trump, and especially after last week, the guy makes Ronald Reagan seem like Albert Einstein.

Put more bluntly, Donald Trump is not a smart man. He’s revealed this to us time and time again as he’s evaded questions from the media and the public and tanked on knowledge about foreign and domestic policy. Let’s be real about the latest example of just how unequipped this man is to lead our nation: It was ignorance when Trump said that Russia wouldn’t invade Ukraine—not a gaffe.

Furthermore, the propagandists claiming he’s such a brilliant businessman are ignoring the thousands of businesspeople the billionaire has stiffed over the years. He’s used delaying and bullying tactics to avoid paying his debts to hardworking small-business owners, including plumbers, painters and cabinet makers.

It’s pathetic that Americans have bought into his rhetoric about being a refreshing alternative to the establishment. Trump is a disgrace to all Republicans and his rise to prominence could well sound a death knell for the GOP.

The question is: What is it going to take for the party’s major players to disavow him? Trump doubled down this week on his revolting attack on Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of that slain Army captain. In response, Vietnam veteran Sen. John McCain and House Speaker Paul Ryan condemned his comments. They have not, however, pulled their endorsements for the candidate. Trump is also supported by none other than North State Congressman Doug LaMalfa, who has issued no statements either denouncing Trump or his recent comments related to the Gold Star family.

Meanwhile, other prominent Republicans have gone so far as to endorse Hillary Clinton. On Tuesday, Meg Whitman, a onetime candidate for governor of California, encouraged other members of her party to reject Trump’s nomination. Whitman is a Silicon Valley insider and power broker, and she has pledged to contribute to and raise money for the Clinton campaign. Her support of the Democratic nominee should signal to other Republicans that the GOP is plunging into dangerous waters.

At this point, there’s only one way to truly unify the party: Cut bait on the demagogue and begin anew.