The Latest: Trump contrasts Puerto Rico with Katrina (copy)

President Donald Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, listens to questions from reporters as he walks to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Tuesday.

Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

Democrats don’t need to warn Americans and GOP leaders about the dangers of a Donald Trump presidency. Several credible Republican journalists and commentators are doing it for them.

David Frum, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, conservative political commentator and an editor at the Atlantic, has written frequently about the perils of the Trump presidency. In the March issue of the Atlantic, he wrote, “The Trump presidency will corrode public integrity and the rule of law – and also do untold damage to American global leadership, the Western alliance, and democratic norms around the world. The damage has already begun, and it will not be soon or easily undone.”

Frum ends by saying, “We are living through the most dangerous challenge to the free government of the United States that anyone alive has encountered.”

Kathleen Parker, a Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative journalist, wrote in the Washington Post on July 4, “Bizarre. Absurd. Ridiculous. Embarrassing. Trump. Or America’s first toddler president. Take your pick.”

She was referring to the doctored clip Trump tweeted of himself taking down a wrestler, with the CNN logo photo-shopped onto his face. She concluded that our stature as a nation is threatened by his immature rants. “We look like fools because our president so convincingly plays one.”

Before the election, in 2015, George Will, another Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative columnist, observed in the Washington Post, “It is perhaps quixotic to try to distract Trump’s supporters with facts, which their leader, who is no stickler for dignity, considers beneath him.”

This May, he wrote in the Washington Post that Trump has a “dangerous disability” and is “not capable of sequential thought, which is dangerous to a president.”

“What is most alarming… is not that Trump has entered his eighth decade unscathed by even elementary knowledge about the nation’s history.” The most dangerous thing, he said, “… is that he does not know what it is to know something.”

He went on to cite Trump stating that Andrew Jackson was angry about the Civil War “that began 16 years after Jackson’s death.” Trump made it even worse when he declared, “People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War?”

Will responds, seemingly trying not to laugh, that library shelves are groaning under the weight of books that explain why and how the Civil War started in answer to all the questions that have been asked about it.

Kurt Bardella, who worked many years for Republican members of Congress, was a spokesman for Breitbart News and is CEO of the communications firm Endeavor Strategies, on Sept. 7 told USA Today, “I worked for Republicans and Breitbart. Trump made me see what’s wrong with the GOP.” He elaborated, “… it took the reality of the Trump administration to force me to confront some of the ugly realities about the GOP that, for years, I completely ignored because that was my team.”

In an Aug. 19, 2016, column for The Hill, Bardella said Breitbart, under Steven Bannon, became Trump’s propaganda machine. He said he would vote for Hillary Clinton because, “Donald Trump is dangerous for America and is surrounding himself with a team that will empower him to leave a lasting mark on the political discourse in this country. Whether he wins this election or not, he is building an organization that ensures that this personal brand of nihilism continues to have a platform.”

Charles Sykes, a longtime conservative talk show host on WTMJ in Milwaukee and editor of Right Wisconsin, admitted in a Sept. 21 article for Newsweek, that it was painful to write, “I realized that conservatives had created an alternate reality bubble – one that I had helped shape.”

He noted that Republicans were blinded by “crackpots and bigots in their midst” and “Somehow a movement based on real ideas – such as economic freedom and limited government – had devolved into a tribe that valued neither principle nor truth.”

He echoed what many Americans are thinking about the cowardly Republican leaders in Congress who refuse to act against a president who is, according to a growing number of their fellow Republicans, a danger to our nation, “By failing to push back against the racist birther-conspiracy theory – among other harmful, batty ideas – conservatives failed a moral and intellectual test with significant implications for the future.”

These are only some of the many prominent Republicans who are frightened of the damage this president is doing and will continue to do to our nation if GOP leaders don’t act soon. Longtime, serious observers of the political scene who care about our country are warning them of the danger of an out-of-control, ethics-free president.

Are they listening?

Pat Nash has lived in the Baraboo area, off and on, for more than 30 years. Contact her at patnash5149@gmail.com.