Trump: Malice For All, Charity To None

Donald Trump and the Politics of Being an Asshole 

Despite the feeble NeverTrump effort, Trump found a home for his vileness within the Republican Party. In fact, Trump’s ascent was made possible by the GOP he has taken over. For years, Republican leaders and elected officials have suggested that Obama was essentially destroying the nation. (Obamacare was death panels, his stimulus produced no new jobs, and he was—take your pick—either a tyrannical, power-grabbing chief executive or a feckless leader doing nothing to stop the nation’s enemies.) GOPers trafficked in hyperbole to win the votes of tea partiers. They played footsie with birtherism and did not challenge the racism and conspiracy theories infecting large swaths of the right. When Mitt Romney ran for president in 2012, he enthusiastically accepted Trump’s endorsement, at a time when Trump was going full-birther. House GOPers were Benghazi maniacs, fueling the darkest notions on the right. On key issues, most notably climate change, Republicans delivered the message that facts and expert opinions don’t matter. They legitimized brinkmanship with government shutdowns and debt-ceiling fights.