I never thought I’d be singing the praises of Mitt Romney but I doff my hat to him for having the courage to succinctly and eloquently articulate to his Republican party and to the American people why Donald Trump is a danger to us all.
Trump is a scary person. Any bully who disregards common courtesy and civility, “rules of the playground,” is frightening and I recall as a child learning to avoid them. For persons like him have severe boundary problems and will stop at nothing to get what they want. We have watched the rest of the Republican candidates this year cower before him, fearful to challenge him, knowing he would respond with painfully personal insults. Now that it is too late, two of the candidates have come out swinging; but it is apparently too little too late for base of the Republican Party has been enthralled by this psychopath and will not listen to the carefully reasoned argument of someone like Romney.
But Romney displayed statesmanship yesterday. He knew that he was opening himself up to ridicule and sure enough Trump delivered. Romney often looked very foolish and inept in 2012 when campaigning took him out of the comfort of the corporate boardroom and exposed a social and occasional verbal awkwardness. But Romney appears to have a spiritual valor that most of his party does not have and dared to make the only formal, carefully reasoned explanation of why Trump is so dangerous. It makes me think of the famous line from W. B. Yeats, “The best lack all conviction and the worst are full of passionate intensity.” (“When love begins to sicken and decay/It useth an enforced ceremony/There are no tricks in plain and simple faith/But hollow men, like horses hot at hand/Make gallant show, and promise of their mettle.” Shakespeare)
Being raised in the American South, as a fundamentalist Baptist, I have a faint residual disregard for the Mormon faith. But, in fairness to myself, it is faint! But Romney demonstrated real faith yesterday in that he “put some skin in the game” and risked his ego. I don’t care if he is a snake-handler or a Rastafarian, that is more courage than I’ve seen in any American politician this year, including those who are obnoxiously, ostentatiously “Christian.”