The only good thing about the Donald Trump presidential campaign, which racked up two more wins Saturday, is that it surfaces all the ugliness that the Republican leadership wraps in a velvet cloak and pretends is high fashion. The most recent example is Trump’s showy unwillingness to disavow former KKK leader David Duke, which he eventually did with a laughably unbelievable excuse.
This allowed the GOP leadership to give a demonstration of controlled panic at the idea of a Trump presidency. “If a person wants to be the nominee of the Republican Party, there can be no evasion and no games,” Speaker of the House (and failed vice presidential candidate) Paul Ryan said. “They must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry. This party does not prey on people’s prejudices. We appeal to their highest ideals.”
Of course, this assertion is hysterical coming from the party of voter suppression, birtherism, and speeches to white supremacists. But it’s especially hypocritical when it comes to anti-gay bigotry. The GOP has made homophobia a pillar of its electoral strategy. Given the choice between people’s prejudices and their highest ideals, Republican leaders have chosen prejudices every time.
Here are five examples of just how much bigotry is part of the Republican fabric.