Rising star in Virginia GOP resigns from party in disgust over Trump’s racism


Virginia GOP activist Kyle McDaniel can "no longer stomach" his erstwhile party after Trump’s behavior.

Donald Trump’s racist tirade about Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries has done more than humiliate himself and his allies. It is draining young talent and engagement from the Republican Party.

Just ask Kyle McDaniel, a 28-year-old GOP activist and rising star from Virginia who served on party committees in northern Virginia and was seriously discussed as a candidate for public office.

But now, McDaniel has fallen out with the GOP over Trump, in a scorching letter condemning his party’s inability to stand up to racism.

"I can no longer tacitly endorse or defend the prevailing views held by a majority of members of the Republican Party," McDaniel wrote. "I have, on more occasions than I care to recall, been forced to ‘bite my tongue’ when in conversation with other party leaders about the issues of the day."

"I cannot in good faith continue to do that," he added.

McDaniel went on to describe other behavior from his fellow Republicans that made him uncomfortable:

I held my tongue when Fredy Burgos called Muslims "savages" and Islam a "death cult created by Satan", claimed that interracial adoption and marriage is a threat to western culture, claimed that calling refugees "human" "is a stretch", characterized Catholics as worshipers of false idols, and claimed that Methodists are "humanists" doomed to hell. I held my tongue when members of the SCC defended white nationalists and neo-Nazis rallying in Charlottesville under the auspices of "the right" and promptly shut down any attempt to address that stain on our reputation under the argument that it may cost votes. I held my tongue earlier this month when the outgoing Fairfax County GOP chairman fervently attacked a colleague on our committee for raising concerns about Fredy's continued commentary.

The incidents that disgusted McDaniel are not isolated. The Virginia GOP has, in recent years, taken a hard turn to the white supremacist right, with their most recent gubernatorial candidate fundraising off of Confederste symbols and one of their congressmen posing for a photo-op with the organizer of the neo-Nazi riots in Charlottesville.

But the absolute last straw for McDaniel was Trump’s racist characterization of Haiti.

"I have been to Haiti's slums, twice, and worked along side those who have to call it home; my wife and I are considering adopting a Haitian child," he said.

To McDaniel's mind, "there is no rationalization of the President's comments" that excuse his vile bigotry.

McDaniel is the latest in a long line of longtime Republican allies to leave the party in recent weeks and months. Trump has increasingly made it harder for many economic conservatives to freely associate with the White House, with many of his advisers resigning in protest of his description of the Charlottesville white supremacists as "very fine people."

And Republicans themselves admit that Trump has become "a drag on the ticket" — one reason so many of them are choosing to retire.

It is rapidly becoming impossible for the GOP to hold together its traditional coalition. Trump has poisoned the brand beyond anything salvageable.