Yesterday I spoke with a former Republican member of Congress whom I’ve known for years.
Me: What do you think of your party’s nominee for president?
He: Trump is a maniac. He’s a clear and present danger to America.
Me: Have you said publicly that you won’t vote for him?
He (sheepishly): No.
Me: Why not?
He: I’m a coward.
Me: What do you mean?
He: I live in a state with a lot of Trump voters. Most Republican officials do.
Me: But you’re a former official. You're not running for Congress again. What are you afraid of?
He: I hate to admit it, but I’m afraid of them. Some of those Trumpistas are out of their fu*king minds.
Me: You mean you’re afraid for your own physical safety?
He: All it takes is one of them, you know.
Me: Wait a minute. Isn’t this how dictators and fascists have come to power in other nations? Respected leaders don’t dare take a stand.
He: At least I’m no Giuliani or Gingrich or Pence. I’m not a Trump enabler.
Me: I’ll give you that.
He: Let me tell you something. Most current and former Republican members of Congress are exactly like me. I talk with them. They think Trump is deplorable. And they think Giuliani and Gingrich are almost as bad. But they’re not gonna speak out. Some don’t want to end their political careers. Most don’t want to risk their lives. The Trump crowd is just too dangerous. Trump has whipped them up into a g*ddamn frenzy.