Former U.S. Senator Jack Danforth, R-Missouri, says his party has a bleak future if voters think it’s anything like Republican President Donald Trump. A Washington Post editorial by Danforth calls Trump the most divisive president in U.S. history. Danforth says there hasn’t been a more divisive person in national politics since former Alabama Democratic Governor George Wallace – a supporter of segregation.
Danforth, who is considered to be one of the founders of Missouri’s modern day Republican Party, wants Republicans to separate themselves from Trump and help to unite the country.
“We cannot let Donald Trump define the Republican Party,” says Danforth. “We are not like him. We cannot let the public image of our party be confused with the image of Donald Trump. We have to insist that he is very different from what Republicans have been and what we are.”
Danforth tells Missourinet his message is not meant to divide the party.
“I think that holding the country together is not just a Republican problem, but it’s something that all of us have to work on,” says Danforth. “We have to try to recognize that we are all one nation indivisible. I think that this is much beyond the Republican Party, but the ‘Divider-In-Chief’ right now in America is Donald Trump.”
Danforth says Trump’s failures to unite the country is what inspired him to speak out. He cites Trump’s refusal to unequivocally condemn the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis for their actions during a recent rally in Virginia.
“Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Reagan and Presidents Bush have been uniters. Now comes Trump, and he is exactly the opposite,” he says.
Danforth says he agrees with many of Trump’s policies about taxes, government regulations and the president’s choice of Neil Gorsuch for U.S. Supreme Court justice.
Danforth served in the U.S. Senate from 1977-1995.