The end of days are upon us. Sound a little too dramatic? Not if you’re a conservative Republican like David French, who recently wrote in the National Review that Christians can only really pray and repent as Trump’s campaign descends into a civil war with his own party. Crisis can mean “a turning” in the original Greek, and to truly learn from the implosion going on in the final weeks of the GOP’s 2016 campaign, the truth has to be acknowledged. According to French.

Evangelicals are even dividing along gender after the Trump video release last Friday; with female leaders openly denouncing Trump’s recorded comments, while (some) male leaders remain grimly silent. The RNC is divided among Trump supporters furious with Ryan for cutting local campaigns loose, and NeverTrump’ers furious with Ryan for not having done so earlier. Ryan is being attacked from all sides, in other words, including Steve Bannon. Who apparently is out to destroy the affable Speaker of the House. Not to mention Trump himself.

But there’s a problem with this moral hurricane swamping the Republican party: Trump’s lewdness – whether predatory or simply boastful is beside the point – is covering over a simple key fact.

The real divide is ideological. Not moral. Yes, Trump is unskilled in hiding his scandals. Unlike JFK or FDR, to name two titans in the hallowed halls of former presidents. As a fallen man himself, the splendidly bombastic Conrad Black in an article for NR, lists some of the rather lewd actions and words of past presidents. Including JFK, an intern, an aide, and a swimming pool. You can read the article to fill in the details.

The problem with Trump is his style, his needless boasting, his publicity seeking. That is not an excuse for any possible sexual assault he may have committed. But how many among the powerful political elites – Democrat and Republican – can claim innocence in this matter? We no longer allow a discrete media to look beyond a president’s sins. If Trump is to be cast out for that video – and it sure looks like he will – how many more should join him in the wilderness? How many powerful politicians should face charges for unwanted advances that meet the definition of sexual assault? How many will? Because this method of extreme opp research will not go away. It will be used, over and over.

But beyond the moral hypocrisy, there is the ideological divide. It’s about the money more than the sex. With his populist economic policies and hard line on immigration, Trump is a threat to the Washington DC establishment. GOP members have many of them been more afraid of a Trump victory than a loss. But they now realize they may have handed Hillary a landslide victory, and given away the Senate. And maybe, just maybe, the House. And no one in Washington likes giving up power. So things have gotten really nasty, because of the money. The morals – the character issue – are a convenient reason to rage against Trump without being unseemly.

How do we know about Masada? Because of 2 women who hid with 5 children in the underground aqueducts, and lived to tell the awful story of the mass suicide to Josephus. As a conservative, it is not heresy to say that DC has seen enough of male rutting – whether crass like Trump, or carefully sensitive like Paul Ryan or Ben Sasse. The changing demographics of America do not portend well for conservatives. But America is not a basket of statistics. It is a set of values and a group of ideas that have lasted over 200 years. It is up to evangelicals, constitutionalists, and fiscal conservatives to protect both those values and those ideas from the current flames of dispute. Like the women of Masada.

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