The first question is why would Trump pretend to be so ignorant of American history that he refused to pass judgment on the Ku Klux Klan before receiving additional information? What kind of facts could possibly mitigate a century of sins committed by a violent hate group whose racist crimes terrorized Americans and placed a shameful blot on this nation’s history?
Sunday’s distressing performance is just the latest in a string of incidents that suggest to critics that Donald Trump is using bigotry to fuel his controversial campaign. The most explicit of all examples was his December proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States. Mika Brzezinski, my “Morning Joe” co-host, called that political promise “frightening” and our debate with Trump got so heated that I eventually hung up on the candidate during the interview.
The day I hung up on Donald Trump, I asked on air, “Is this what Germany looked like in 1933?” Later, I warned Republicans that Trump’s rhetoric could lead to a brokered convention where “the party will kill itself.” But it looks like I overestimated primary voters in the early GOP contests. A brokered convention is now just the fantasy of Republican elites and Marco Rubio fans. The harsher reality is that the next GOP nominee will be a man who refused to condemn the Ku Klux Klan and one of its most infamous grand wizards when telling the ugly truth wouldn’t have cost him a single vote.
So is this how the party of Abraham Lincoln dies?