Charles M. Blow, writing an opinion piece in The New York Times, has an interesting premise: Republicans are a problem. He starts by lamenting Liz Cheney’s primary defeat because she would not bow down to “The Big Lie.”
However, her loss does crystallize something for us that many had already known: that the bar to clear in the modern Republican Party isn’t being sufficiently conservative but rather being sufficiently obedient to Donald Trump and his quest to deny and destroy democracy.
We must stop thinking it hyperbolic to say that the Republican Party itself is now a threat to our democracy. I understand the queasiness about labeling many of our fellow Americans in that way. I understand that it sounds extreme and overreaching.
But how else are we to describe what we are seeing?
First off, are you just seeing this play out now? Wait, here’s the revelation Mr. Blow has finally experienced…
We have to stop saying that all these people are duped and led astray, that they are somehow under the spell of Trump and programmed by Fox News.
Propaganda and disinformation are real and insidious, but I believe that to a large degree, Republicans’ radicalization is willful.
Republicans have searched for multiple election cycles for the right vehicle and packaging for their white nationalism, religious nationalism, nativism, craven capitalism and sexism.
There was a time when they believed that it would need to be packaged in politeness — compassionate conservatism — and the party would eventually recommend a more moderate approach intended to branch out and broaden its appeal — in its autopsy after Mitt Romney’s 2012 loss.
But Trump offered them an alternative, and they took it: Instead of running away from their bigotries, intolerances and oppression, they would run headlong into them. They would unapologetically embrace them.
This, to many Republicans, felt good. They no longer needed to hide. They could live their truths, no matter how reprehensible. They could come out of the closet, wrapped in their cruelty.
But the only way to make this strategy work and viable, since neither party dominates American life, was to back a strategy of minority rule and to disavow democracy.
I’m so happy this man concluded that Republicans don’t want democracy as if this is some new-fangled thing he just figured out.
Republicans want fascism. And nothing will change their minds. Rape allegations, fraud, tax evasion, lying, stealing confidential information, and general mob mentality, are always spun that Republicans are right and everyone else is wrong.
It’s a cult.
Liz Cheney refused to drink the spiked Kool-aid and paid the political price for being right in her convictions (this one time).