"Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. . . . Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?"
Cruelty. Recklessness. No sense of decency. Sixty-two years later, that fits Donald Trump like a glove.
Trump, we have learned again and again, has no sense of decency. But what about decent Republicans who are disgusted with their presidential candidate and are willing to put country over party? Are there any of those? The answer is a resounding yes.
Senator Susan Collins is the latest Republican to come out against Trump
(though who knows, there may be more before you read this).
"Donald Trump, in my judgment, would make a perilous world even more dangerous," Collins told CNN's Jamie Gangel. "I worry that his tendency to lash out and his ill-informed comments would cause dangerous events to escalate and possibly spin out of control at a time when our world is beset with conflicts. That is a real problem."
And there's the letter signed by 50 Republican security officials
Fifty of the nation’s most senior Republican national security officials, many of them former top aides or cabinet members for President George W. Bush, have signed a letter declaring that Donald J. Trump “lacks the character, values and experience” to be president and “would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”
Mr. Trump, the officials warn, “would be the most reckless president in American history."
And lest we forget, there's also former Michigan Gov. William Milliken (R), Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), George W. Bush's Treasury secretary Hank Paulson, former Sen. Larry Pressler (R-SD), GOP Donor Meg Whitman, Former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson, former Chris Christie communications director Maria Comella, and Jeb Bush advisor Sally Bradshaw. All these people have not only renounced Trump, they've said they're planning to vote for Hillary. For more names, including the fence riders like our own Senator Jeff Flake, who has made some bold, courageous statements against Trump and his policies but still holds out hope he can support the guy, go to the list on Talking Points Memo
Yes, Virginia, there are decent people in the world. I applaud them for their willingness to take a risky, politically unpopular stand (though the greater longterm risk may be in not knowing when to jump off the Trump train), even while I may disagree with their stands on issues.
I look forward to watching the list grow as Trump continues being Trump.
A few days ago, I wrote about the famous takedown of Senator Joe McCarthy in 1954 by the attorney Joseph Welch, which began McCarthy's downward political slide. Welch said,