What Shall It Profit?

In the summer of 2016, I watched various Republicans fall in line behind Trump, despite having denounced him during the primaries as being ignorant, immoral, and unfit to be president.

That fall, I watched Republicans withdraw their support of Trump after the Access Hollywood tape — and then renew their support days later.

This past year, I watched Republicans, the same ones who once castigated President Obama for allegedly diminishing U.S. standing in the world, shrug off the obvious damage Trump has done and continues to do to our relationships with traditional allies and strategic partners.

I watched Republicans do nothing as Trump’s manifest unfitness brings us ever closer to a nuclear war.

I watched Republicans, who once claimed to be deficit hawks, gleefully pass tax relief for the rich at a projected cost of a $1.3 trillion increase in that same deficit.

I watched Republicans, the same ones who castigated President Obama as being weak on national defense, attack and undermine investigations of Russian interference in our elections.

I watched Republicans call for investigations into allegations that donations to the Clinton Foundation may have influenced Clinton’s actions as Secretary of State while turning a blind eye to Trump and his family’s profiting openly from his presidency.

In December, I watched the Republican National Committee cave in to Trump by contributing to the Senate campaign of a man credibly accused of child molesting.

These last two weeks, I watched Republicans, who claim to be so moral that they can sit in judgment on the rest of us, lie to protect Trump from the consequences of his most recent racist outburst.

Throughout the last year, I have watched Republicans stand silent, over and over, while Trump attacks the institutions that make democracy possible: the courts, the free press, career diplomats, career civil servants, the separation of powers. And I have watched them join Trump in attacking an even more important foundation of democracy: the belief that facts matter.

I have watched Republicans justify their behavior by pointing to their agenda: lowering taxes on the wealthy, gutting social programs for the poor, and removing the governmental barriers that protect workers, the environment, and consumers.

I have watched — and been sickened.

Republicans who control the Congress have sworn to “preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution of the United States of America. They have broken that oath. Agenda is all; nothing else matters.

The Bible verse I learned during my Southern Baptist upbringing comes back to me. “For what shall it profit a man, that he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36.

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