Growing up, my parents and grandparents belonged to a Republican Party where science, knowledge, an effort to treat others decently and with respect, and a level of decorum were the norm. Indeed, it was expected. While not members of country clubs, in retrospect, their economic position made them the equivalent of the so-called “country club” Republicans. One simply did not associate with a certain kid of people: uncouth, uneducated, and hateful people. Now, such people make up the GOP base. My parents and grandparents have all passed away, but they would be horrified to see today’s GOP lead by a lying carnival barker fixated on bringing out the worse elements of society and making them mainstream. While the GOP continues to be the party of Christian values, its policies and, now, legitimizing of open hatred of others makes it the antithesis of such values. Nowhere is this ugly reality more visible than at a Trump rally. Whether they like it or not, when my Republican “friends” continue to refuse to flee the GOP, they tell the world that they are part of this ugliness.
This is more familiar-sounding than I can say (with the exception of the country club part), with a particular emphasis on the use of racial and ethnic slurs. It was drilled into me early that the use of those slurs betrayed ignorance, low class, lack of education, that people like us do not use them. To this day, the users of those words immediately and irrevocably go down a drawer in my mental file-cabinet.
I uphold, too, that Trump’s squalor is so overt and destructive that — Yes — it implicates the character of his supporters. We are past the time when one can plead ignorance; everybody knows now who and what Donald Trump is.