Our Opinion: It isn't enough for GOP officials to sit on sidelines this presidential election

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Gov. Charlie Baker says he won't vote for Donald Trump or attend his coronation as GOP standard-bearer, which is admirable. But that's too little and it comes too late.

That the belligerent Mr. Trump, whose knowledge of government and policy is alarmingly lacking, will be the Republican Party's presidential candidate has put GOP officials across the nation in a bind. ("Baker, no Trump fan, faces tough choice," Eagle, May 8.) They are forced to distance themselves from their party's presumptive leader so as not to be associated with his ignorance and bigotry.

This mess, however, is largely of their own making. Last December at an Eagle editorial board meeting, Gov. Baker was peeved by a question of whether or not he would back Mr. Trump, saying that he was tired of the question and it was too early to ask it.

Actually, it was apparent then that Mr. Trump was on his way to a likely victory, but GOP establishment figures were in denial and hoping the party would somehow be rescued. It was up to them to launch that rescue but they waited too far long to fight back. It wasn't too early in December but it is too late now.

We wouldn't expect Gov. Baker or other top GOP officials to support presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, but it isn't enough for them to sit on the sidelines. Whatever one thinks of Mrs. Clinton, she has not demeaned entire blocs of Americans based on their race or religion. Mr. Trump's divisive brand of politics must be fought by all, including Republicans who care about their nation.


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