Tuesday, November 17, 2020

A Broken And Dangerous Republican Party...

Continuing the march to discredit what is NOW a party of personality and authoritarian cultism. The present GOP under trump's destructive ant democratic Trumpism.

 The Los Angeles Times The Republican Party’s refusal to write a platform for 2020 was a watershed moment. Instead of issuing a traditional document, GOP leaders put out a memo essentially saying that their only goal was Donald Trump’s reelection. That move revealed the current Republican Party to be completely untethered from the one that governed during the Reagan and Bush administrations.

The post-election drama shows this break even more starkly. Trump has refused to concede the race, falsely claiming the election is rife with fraud. Republicans in Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and other GOP officeholders have overwhelmingly gone along with this, refusing to acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden’s clear victory and supporting Trump’s baseless legal challenges. The few prominent Republicans who have called on Trump to admit defeat, for the most part, have “former” in their titles.

One could argue that these two camps represent different factions of the Republican Party, motivated by different ideological visions for the party or representing different interest groups competing for influence. But that’s not exactly right. In some ways, it makes more sense to see these as almost completely different Republican parties. The Republican Party of 2012 — the one that nominated Mitt Romney for president and recommended moderation and an embrace of immigrants after his loss — bears staggeringly little similarity to the Republican Party of 2020.

The GOP of the Reagan/Bush era, ranging from 1980 to 2008, broadly embraced economic conservatism (low taxes, reduced business regulation) and international engagement (robust trade, willingness to use force abroad) as governing philosophies. It also was generally a party that embraced democratic values —acknowledging the legitimacy of its opponents, demonstrating some forbearance in the use of its powers, supporting democratic elections, and so forth.


The GOP after the Obama administration was a very different entity. As a recent study from the V-Dem Institute found, the party itself hasn’t shifted much ideologically in recent years, but it has become far more illiberal. It has become less committed to pluralism and minority rights, while becoming more likely to demonize its opponents and encourage political violence. It is populist in its orientation, seeing virtually all conventions and traditions as inherently suspect. And its primary goal is the advancement of its leader.

What changed? There’s a good case to be made that race was at the center of this shift. White Americans, and especially white Republicans, increasingly identify themselves as belonging to a particular racial group, and many see that white identity as being under threat. Barack Obama’s presidency, as he suggests in his new memoir, magnified that threat in many conservative voters’ minds. The Democratic Party’s candidates weren’t just offering a different idea for governance; they were threatening the place of whites in the social order. Suddenly, the old rules of political engagement — which were fine for debating taxes and spending — weren’t good enough. When whites are told they are no longer the top racial group, it becomes a no-holds-barred competition, and good governance and democratic values get cast to the side.

Ayup. Frightened white people petrified that their white priviledge was slipping away from them. And trump, a flaming racist himself, knew just how to fan the flames of division and hatred, and that is exactly what he and his sycophant supporters and cultists did. The rest is history.

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