Trump could be the new Hoover pulling down the GOP
Republican party leaders may have worried that Donald Trump would not only lose the general election for the presidency, but would so poison the image of the party as to cause Republican candidates for Congress and for state and local offices to also lose. Now they seem to be trying to patch things up, in order to present an image of unity before the general elections this fall.His statement about not defending the Baltic states as required by NATO was like an invitation for Russia to invade. No wonder the Russians are helping him out by their cyber attacks on the Democrats. Besides being a 360-degree jerk, his irresponsible and ill-informed statements are a threat to national security for the US and its allies.
Regardless of how that attempt at patching up an image turns out, Trump's candidacy could be not only a current political setback for Republicans, but an enduring affliction in future elections.
For decades after Republican President Herbert Hoover was demonized because the Great Depression of the 1930s began on his watch, Democrats warned repeatedly, in a series of later presidential elections, that a vote for the Republican candidate was a vote to return to the days of Herbert Hoover.
It was 20 years before another Republican was elected president. As late as the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan was called by the Democrats' Speaker of the House, "Hoover with a smile." When a high official of the Reagan administration appeared before Congress to explain the administration's policy, a Democratic Senator said, "That's Hoover talk, man!"
Actually, it was a policy proposal the opposite of that of the Hoover administration, but who in politics worries about the truth? The point is that Hoover was still being used as a bogeyman, more than 40 years after he left office, and nearly two decades after he was dead. Trump's image could easily play a very similar role.
The political damage of Donald Trump to the Republican party is completely overshadowed by the damage he can do to the country and to the world, with his unending reckless and irresponsible statements. Just this week, Trump blithely remarked that South Korea should be left to its own defenses.
Whatever the merits or demerits of that as a policy, announcing it to the whole world in advance risks encouraging North Korea to invade South Korea -- as it did back in 1950, after careless words by a high American official left the impression that South Korea was not included in the American defense perimeter against the Communists in the Pacific.