Donald Trump, whose steady stream of racism and xenophobia has kept him perched on top of the Republican presidential field, said Monday that the federal government should ban all Muslims from entering the United States "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."
This, while a natural fit for Trump's platform—which includes, but is not limited to, "rounding up" and deporting 11 million people, barring refugees fleeing war and death from entering the country, and killing the families of suspected terrorists—is also entirely batshit.
And at least a handful of his fellow Republican presidential hopefuls seem to agree that it makes him unfit to occupy the highest office in the country.
Jeb Bush took to Twitter to call Trump, correctly, "unhinged." Lindsey Graham called him, also correctly, "downright dangerous." John Kasich responded, again correctly, that Trump was "entirely unsuited" for the presidency. Chris Christie said it was "the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don't know what they're talking about." (Other candidates distanced themselves from Trump's comment, but in much weaker terms.)
Now here's something fun to remember: Bush, Graham, Kasich, and Christie have each pledged to support their party's nominee, whomever it may be. Even if it's, say, Donald Trump.
The loyalty oath was actually the first point of order during August's Fox News Republican presidential debate.
Seriously, it was the first question.
"Is there anyone on stage, and can I see hands, who is unwilling tonight to pledge your support to the eventual nominee of the Republican party and pledge to not run an independent campaign against that person?" Bret Baier asked. "Again, we’re looking for you to raise your hand now—raise your hand now if you won’t make that pledge tonight."
The only person to raise his hand was Donald Trump.
Each of the candidates on the ballot in South Carolina and Virginia have signed some version of this loyalty oath, the Republican National Committee has asked for it in writing, and Chris Christie even signed one live, on-air.
So has this particular expression of Trump's bigotry changed anything? The candidates won't say.
In response to a request from Yahoo News about the pledges, only Mike Huckabee's campaign responded, saying that he believed "any Republican in this race is better than [Hillary Clinton]."
Either the rest of the candidates haven't made up their mind or they just won't go on the record as breaking with their national committee. But, if they mean what they say when they call Trump "dangerous" and "unhinged," the question of whether or not Trump would have their vote is one they should have to answer.
The Republican National Committee used the loyalty pledge to try to rein in Trump at a moment when it viewed his lead in the polls as a passing fever dream. They may have overestimated their base.