We haven’t heard much from John Danforth since he left the U.S. Senate.
The highly respected former lawmaker — who also happens to be an Episcopal minister — has weighed in heavily against the president of the United States.
Sen. Danforth is urging the Republican Party — to which he is a member — to toss aside the principles espoused by Donald John Trump Sr., who he described as “this hateful man” who promotes division and disunity in the nation he governs.
One must accept that political figures from opposing parties are going to criticize those in high office. Danforth’s critique, which he offered in an essay published in the Washington Post, is another of a stunning array of criticism coming from politicians within the president’s own party.
It makes me ponder whether Trump actually is seen by Republicans as one of their own. Or is he a major-league anomaly, a political freak who elected president by a series of flukes that no one saw coming?
Danforth has laid down an important marker for his fellow Republicans. He writes of Trump: “He stands in opposition to the founding principle of our party — that of a united country.”
Look back just a few days to the rhetoric he has spouted. He talked of “many sides” being responsible for the violence in Charlottesville. He doubled down a few days later by declaring that “both sides” were at fault and that “both sides” had “good people” clashing in the Virginia community, which brings to mind the question: What kind of “good person” marches with Klansmen, Nazis and white supremacists?
Such language from the president drives huge wedges between groups of Americans, which is what I believe Sen. Danforth seeks to underscore in his essay.