The GOP goes slumming

The Republican Party, once an honorable political force that brought us Lincoln and Eisenhower, has been taken over by a slumlord.

With his recent tweet calling “Never-Trump” Republicans “human scum,” the current occupant of the White House has proven that he hasn’t strayed far from his roots as a slumlord and the son of a slumlord.

His behavior toward the party that has somehow come to embrace him has all the elements of a building takeover that will end with rats being brought in and decent people thrown out.

In fact, those were the very tactics reportedly used by slumlord Donald J. Trump in the 1980s to remove rent-stabilized tenants from a building he purchased facing New York’s Central Park so that he could tear the structure down and replace it with luxury condos.

His remaking of the formerly Grand Old Party follows the playbook for removing unwanted tenants from a formerly grand old building:

It starts benignly enough when a rich man buys a rundown but structurally sound apartment complex. It’s fully occupied with tenants who are for the most part decent, hardworking folks, who pay their rent on time and don’t make waves.

Some of the tenants are happy at first. They hope the rich new owner will put some fresh paint on the walls, maybe upgrade the HVAC system and fix that long-broken elevator.

They are elated when he puts his own name on the building. Surely, they think, the man’s pride in himself and his family will lead him to make much-needed upgrades.

They’re even happy when he announces that his first improvement to the property will be a fence to keep out the people from a nearby housing project. The tenants haven’t really had a problem with the residents of the project, but they believe the owner when he tells them the place is crime-ridden and full of drugs, so they happily attend the groundbreaking for the new fence.

However, the fence never gets built, because what he’s really planning is to evict them all and tear the building to the ground.

So he turns off the heat in winter, raises the rent so that some people can no longer afford it, and brings in his family as squatters.

He’s not worried about the fate of the tenants. To him they’re just “human scum,” probably just as bad as those people over in the project that he was going to wall out.

Eventually, the building, which never had a rodent problem before, becomes overrun with roaches and rats. It is rumored they were brought in by the new owner, and the tenant association’s attempts to reach him and beg for an exterminator are fruitless. He’s no longer taking their calls.

The few holdout tenants, who really believed the new owner would make their lives better, finally take what’s left of their belongings and their dignity and run for their lives.

So it will be with the Republican Party, unless the decent people who still claim allegiance to it band together and stop Trump before he burns the party to the ground.

Once a slumlord, always a slumlord.

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