A person can be forgiven for having voted for President Donald Trump. Yet, history will not be kind to those who continue to support his persistent violation of democratic norms and common decency. No pardon is applicable.
In the first case, the plea of not having known might bear some weight. But subsequent developments leave any continued endorsement in the realm of political blindness. The evidence is abounding, the implications astonishing and the outcome in increasing clarity. Anti-democratic measures have disastrous political and cultural consequences. In its silence, the Republican Party is now complicit.
For all the significant differences between the two parties, this moment in our shared history does not call for partisanship. Rather, it is a test of loyalty to the institutions we hold in common and define us as a people. Trump’s behavior is erratic and incoherent, mean-spirited and divisive, destructive of what we hold dear. To deny this is to forfeit moral authority.
To put the point unambiguously, the institutions and norms that have so egregiously been transgressed are those that have made democratic and republican government enduring. The issue is far greater than character flaws. Civil order is at stake — “testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and dedicated, can long endure.” (Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address)
Eugene Clemens Elizabethtown