DO YOU remember when Donald Trump crudely mocked the disability of a New York Times reporter, and then lied about having done so?
No? That’s just as the Republican candidate might hope. Now that he is nearing the Republican nomination, he says he will become more “presidential.” After winning the New York primary, he referred to “Senator Cruz” instead of “Lyin’ Ted.” You can expect multitudes of office-seekers and sycophants to follow Chris Christie’s craven path to believing, or pretending to believe, in a presidential Trump.
So it is important to remember.
Remember that Mr. Trump said that Mexicans crossing the border are rapists, though “some, I assume, are good people.”
Remember that Mr. Trump falsely claimed that thousands of American Muslims had celebrated the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11.
Remember that Mr. Trump insulted Carly Fiorina for her appearance: “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?”
Remember, now that Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly has sought to make peace with Mr. Trump, that he insinuated that she had asked him a tough question because she was menstruating: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
Remember that he called her a bimbo, sick, overrated and crazy.
Remember that Mr. Trump lashed out at Ms. Kelly in the first place because she had recited some of the other names he has used for women he disliked: “ ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs’ and ‘disgusting animals.’ . . . You once told a contestant on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees.”
Remember that Mr. Trump, who never served in the armed forces, said that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was “not a war hero.” Mr. McCain, after being shot down over North Vietnam, endured 5½ years of torture and solitary confinement as he repeatedly refused offers of liberation unless all of his fellow prisoners would also be freed. “I like people who weren’t captured,” Mr. Trump said.
Remember how Mr. Trump threatened a Chicago family who donated to a PAC opposing his candidacy: “They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!”
Remember that Mr. Trump threatened and disparaged not just reporters who angered him but freedom of the press overall with a vow to “open up” the libel laws.
Remember that Mr. Trump vowed to ban Muslims from entering the country, though he never explained how he would enforce this edict.
Remember that Mr. Trump promised to round up 11 million undocumented immigrants and deport them, in what would be the largest forced population movement since Pol Pot’s genocide of the Cambodian people, though he never explained how he would go about doing so.
Remember that he cited “Operation Wetback” as a humane model for such a roundup.
Remember that Mr. Trump promised to order American soldiers and intelligence officers to torture their prisoners.
Remember that Mr. Trump, unlike virtually every scientist in the world, is “not a great believer in man-made climate change.”
Remember Mr. Trump’s answer when asked whether there are racial disparities in law enforcement: “I’ve read where there are and I’ve read where there aren’t. I mean, I’ve read both. And, you know, I have no opinion on that.”
Remember that Mr. Trump said he would like to punch a protester in the face.
Remember that Mr. Trump waxed nostalgic for “the old days,” when protesters would be “carried out on stretchers.”
Remember that Mr. Trump said he would consider paying the legal fees for supporters who attacked protesters at his rally.
Remember that Mr. Trump defended his campaign manager after the campaign manager roughly grabbed a reporter and then denied having touched her and called her “delusional” when she complained.
Remember that Mr. Trump threatened to “spill the beans” on Mr. Cruz’s wife to retaliate for an independent PAC ad that angered him.
Remember that Mr. Trump lied about President Obama’s birth certificate. Remember that he lied about Mr. Obama planning to admit 200,000 Syrian refugees. Remember that he lied about President George W. Bush trying to silence him because he supposedly opposed the Iraq War. Remember that he lied about the unemployment rate, the cost of building a border wall, the amount he could save by changing Medicare’s drug plan and many other things.
Remember that Mr. Trump vowed to kill the innocent children of suspected terrorists.
“Winning is the antidote to a lot of things,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said earlier this year. As Mr. Trump marches toward 1,237 delegates, others will emulate that amoral embrace.
So remember. Winning is not an antidote to bigotry, violence, ignorance, insults and lies.