Mary Jo Melone: If you renounce Donald Trump, you disown what the GOP stands for

opinion (Large)

Reporters call what Mac Stipanovich did in his stay-home-or-vote-for-Hillary column a case of burying the lede.

In this case, the lede was buried so deep, it was good as underwater.

The May 4 Context Florida column, in which Stipanovich begged GOP voters to reject Donald Trump, contained 14 paragraphs. The most important sentence was in the 11th. In case you missed it, Stipanovich wrote, “We spawned Donald Trump; now we must stop him.”

Give the guy a point for honesty.

Then subtract it.

He didn’t say a word about how the GOP — and Stipanovich is no bystander in the cosmic crisis now pending — spawned their presumptive presidential nominee.

Among other names hurled at Trump, Stipanovich called him “a bore, a bully, a carnival barker.” Has Mac not listened to the gang of conservative talk radio hosts that the GOP has long relied on to keep its voters in constant ferment?

He called Trump a “nativist and ultranationalist.” The GOP has been railing against humane immigration reform since forever. So Trump plans to build a wall on the border; the GOP’s last presidential candidate told the undocumented to “self-deport.”

That’s executive-suite talk for “get the hell out.” Mac called Trump a racist. Really? Which party produced the Willie Horton ad? Which beloved GOP figure ran against welfare queens?

Mac called Trump a misogynist. Which party denies equal pay for women, supports entities that want to make it hard for us to get birth control, and nearly impossible to obtain abortion? He called Trump an “anti-intellectual.” Which party refuses to accept the scientifically established reality of climate change?

Trump “appeals to our fears, preys on our anxieties and exploits our ignorance,” Stipanovich said. No, Trump’s message is just the perfectly honed product of the divide-and-resent politics the GOP has practiced since the civil-rights era. Calling him names is tantamount to using the stick the GOP sharpened to beat him. Trump didn’t start this, Mac. Your party did.

Your party has built its strength partly on people who favor the Bible over the Constitution, so here’s a bit from Proverbs. “He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind.”

And here’s a piece of advice. If you are heading to the convention this summer, Mac, you’d do well to leave the banners and balloons at home. Bring a coat. The forecast calls for it to be mighty chilly in Cleveland.


Mary Jo Melone, a former columnist with the Tampa Bay Times, is a writer in Tampa. Column courtesy of Context Florida.

Mary Jo Melone

Veteran columnist Mary Jo Melone is a freelance writer and an alumna of the St. Petersburg Times.


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