Wineke: Paul Ryan, Tommy Thompson are disappointing

I am sure that neither Paul Ryan nor Tommy Thompson will lose any sleep over the fact that I am disappointed in them.

But I am disappointed, probably because they are shattering my naive belief that it is possible to think highly of people with whom I disagree.

Now they're both -- in Thompson's words -- on the "Trump Train."

I guess I can forgive, somewhat forgive, Thompson's going to a Republican meeting recently, pounding his fist in the air and proclaiming that he is all aboard. I don't know what was really going through his mind, but he and I are about the same age, and not all that many people even know who we once were.

For the record, Thompson was once governor of Wisconsin, and a pretty good governor at that, to be honest. I was nowhere within his league of accomplishment, but people often recognized me on the street. I miss that.

But, Thompson, honest to God, you are not on the Trump Train. You just aren't. It is embarrassing to those who really like you to see you doing something so pathetic.

I'm not so forgiving of Ryan.

He's a very likable guy and, I understand, a very decent guy. But Ryan has real power in this country, and he's using it to make it acceptable to support someone whose election as president would be catastrophic for this country.

And he knows it.

What we're talking about here is the soul of this country.

We can have all sorts of disagreements about policy. We can disagree on immigration policy, on tax policy, on abortion/women's rights policy, on defense policy. Those disagreements can be vehement.

What we cannot do is make unpopular groups the scapegoats for all that ails our land. What we cannot do is to look at Syrian refugees and see terrorists. What we cannot do is make a white supremacist head of the campaign of a major political party. What we cannot do is campaign for the office of president of the United States by pledging to commit war crimes.

These are not questions of what we should do. These are questions of who we are.

I do get it that Republicans who refuse to get on the Trump Train may be risking their political futures.

But the price of leadership is to lead.

City Life

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