At stake in the election to the House of Representatives and Senate was not just the future of federal legislation on health care, taxes and other policy matters, important as they were, but whether American voters will reward a campaign based on divisiveness and dishonesty, it said in an editorial.
“The President of the US, campaigning on behalf of the Republican Party, is, in effect, betting heavily that voters can be swayed by appeals to their worst instincts: anger, hatred and fear,” it said.
“He has delivered this divisive message in his own voice from his own bully pulpit.”
The Post accused Trump of trying not to soothe a troubled populace but to exploit its anxiety.
“It certainly is a bold gambit. His first goal, albeit unstated, is to finalize his capture of the Republican Party by showing that his incendiary brand of politics works.
“Conversely, his second, and broader objective, is to demonstrate that his opponents’ insistence upon more decent political discourse does not work.
“That is where the voters, and their sense of integrity, come in. They have an opportunity to reject those politicians who support, or even countenance, Trump’s deeply cynical campaign. They have an opportunity to reward those – of either party – who stand up against it.”