Washington Post - 23 September 2021 (or EPUB)
(Sorry about the lack of paragraph lineup.)
First, Donald Trump will be the Republican candidate for president in 2024. The hope and expectation that he would fade in visibility and influence have been delusional. He enjoys mammoth leads in the polls; he is building a massive campaign war chest; and at this moment the Democratic ticket looks vulnerable. Barring health problems, he is running.
Second, Trump and his Republican allies are actively preparing to ensure his
victory by whatever means necessary. Trump’s charges of fraud in the 2020
election are now primarily aimed at establishing the predicate to challenge
future election results that do not go his way. Some Republican candidates
have already begun preparing to declare fraud in 2022, just as Larry Elder tried
meekly to do in the California recall contest.
Meanwhile, the amateurish “stop the steal” efforts of 2020 have given way to
an organized nationwide campaign to ensure that Trump and his supporters
will have the control over state and local election o cials that they lacked in
2020. Those recalcitrant Republican state o cials who effectively saved the
country from calamity by refusing to falsely declare fraud or to “nd” more
votes for Trump are being systematically removed or hounded from o ce.
Republican legislatures are giving themselves greater control over the
election certication process. As of this spring, Republicans have proposed or
passed measures in at least 16 states that would shift certain election
authorities from the purview of the governor, secretary of state or other
executive-branch o cers to the legislature.
Arizona bill atly states that the legislature may “revoke the secretary of
state’s issuance or certication of a presidential elector’s certicate of
election” by a simple majority vote. Some state legislatures seek to impose
criminal penalties on local election o cials alleged to have committed
“technical infractions,” including obstructing the view of poll watchers.
The stage is thus being set for chaos. Imagine weeks of competing mass
protests across multiple states as lawmakers from both parties claim victory
and charge the other with unconstitutional efforts to take power. Partisans on
both sides are likely to be better armed and more willing to inict harm than
they were in 2020. Would governors call out the National Guard?
Would President Biden nationalize the Guard and place it under his control,
invoke the Insurrection Act, and send troops into Pennsylvania or Texas or
Wisconsin to quell violent protests? Deploying federal power in the states
would be decried as tyranny. Biden would nd himself where other presidents
have been — where Andrew Jackson was during the nullication crisis, or
where Abraham Lincoln was after the South seceded — navigating without
rules or precedents, making his own judgments about what constitutional
powers he does and doesn’t have.
Today’s arguments over the libuster will seem quaint in three years if the
American political system enters a crisis for which the Constitution offers no
Most Americans — and all but a handful of politicians — have refused to take
this possibility seriously enough to try to prevent it. As has so often been the
case in other countries where fascist leaders arise, their would-be opponents
are paralyzed in confusion and amazement at this charismatic authoritarian.
They have followed the standard model of appeasement, which always
begins with underestimation. The political and intellectual establishments in
both parties have been underestimating Trump since he emerged on the
scene in 2015.
They underestimated the extent of his popularity and the strength of his hold
on his followers; they underestimated his ability to take control of the
Republican Party; and then they underestimated how far he was willing to go
to retain power.
The fact that he failed to overturn the 2020 election has reassured many that
the American system remains secure, though it easily could have gone the
other way — if Biden had not been safely ahead in all four states where the
vote was close; if Trump had been more competent and more in control of the
decision-makers in his administration, Congress and the states.
As it was, Trump came close to bringing off a coup earlier this year. All that
prevented it was a handful of state o cials with notable courage and
integrity, and the reluctance of two attorneys general and a vice president to
obey orders they deemed inappropriate.
These were not the checks and balances the Framers had in mind when they
designed the Constitution, of course, but Trump has exposed the inadequacy
of those protections. The Founders did not foresee the Trump phenomenon,
in part because they did not foresee national parties. They anticipated the
threat of a demagogue, but not of a national cult of personality. They
assumed that the new republic’s vast expanse and the historic divisions
among the 13 ercely independent states would pose insuperable barriers to
national movements based on party or personality. “Petty” demagogues
might sway their own states, where they were known and had inuence, but
not the whole nation with its diverse populations and divergent interests.
Such checks and balances as the Framers put in place, therefore, depended
on the separation of the three branches of government, each of which, they
believed, would zealously guard its own power and prerogatives.
The Framers did not establish safeguards against the possibility that national-
party solidarity would transcend state boundaries because they did not
imagine such a thing was possible. Nor did they foresee that members of
Congress, and perhaps members of the judicial branch, too, would refuse to
check the power of a president from their own party.
In recent decades, however, party loyalty has superseded branch loyalty, and
never more so than in the Trump era. As the two Trump impeachments
showed, if members of Congress are willing to defend or ignore the
president’s actions simply because he is their party leader, then conviction
and removal become all but impossible.
In such circumstances, the Framers left no other check against usurpation by
the executive — except (small-r) republican virtue.
Critics and supporters alike have consistently failed to recognize what a
unique gure Trump is in American history. Because his followers share
fundamentally conservative views, many see Trump as merely the
continuation, and perhaps the logical culmination, of the Reagan Revolution.
This is a mistake: Although most Trump supporters are or have become
Republicans, they hold a set of beliefs that were not necessarily shared by all
Republicans. Some Trump supporters are former Democrats and
independents. In fact, the passions that animate the Trump movement are as
old as the republic and have found a home in both parties at one time or
Suspicion of and hostility toward the federal government; racial hatred and
fear; a concern that modern, secular society undermines religion and
traditional morality; economic anxiety in an age of rapid technological change;
class tensions, with subtle condescension on one side and resentment on the
other; distrust of the broader world, especially Europe, and its insidious
inuence in subverting American freedom — such views and attitudes have
been part of the fabric of U.S. politics since the anti-Federalists, the Whiskey
Rebellion and Thomas Jefferson.
The Democratic Party was the home of white supremacists until they jumped
to George Wallace in 1968 and later to the Republicans.
Liberals and Democrats in particular need to distinguish between their
ongoing battle with Republican policies and the challenge posed by Trump
and his followers. One can be fought through the processes of the
constitutional system; the other is an assault on the Constitution itself.
What makes the Trump movement historically unique is not its passions and
paranoias. It is the fact that for millions of Americans, Trump himself is the
response to their fears and resentments. This is a stronger bond between
leader and followers than anything seen before in U.S. political movements.
Although the Founders feared the rise of a king or a Caesar, for two centuries
Americans proved relatively immune to unwavering hero-worship of
Their men on horseback — Theodore Roosevelt, Grant, even Washington —
were not regarded as infallible. This was true of great populist leaders as well.
William Jennings Bryan a century ago was venerated because he advanced
certain ideas and policies, but he did not enjoy unquestioning loyalty from his
followers. Even Reagan was criticized by conservatives for selling out
conservative principles, for decit spending, for his equivocal stance on
abortion, for being “soft” on the Soviet Union.
Trump is different, which is one reason the political system has struggled to
understand, much less contain, him. The American liberal worldview tends to
search for material and economic explanations for everything, and no doubt a
good number of Trump supporters have grounds to complain about their lot in
But their bond with Trump has little to do with economics or other material
concerns. They believe the U.S. government and society have been captured
by socialists, minority groups and sexual deviants. They see the Republican
Party establishment as corrupt and weak — “losers,” to use Trump’s word,
unable to challenge the reigning liberal hegemony. They view Trump as
strong and deant, willing to take on the establishment, Democrats, RINOs,
liberal media, antifa, the Squad, Big Tech and the “Mitch McConnell
His charismatic leadership has given millions of Americans a feeling of
purpose and empowerment, a new sense of identity.
While Trump’s critics see him as too narcissistic to be any kind of leader, his
supporters admire his unapologetic, militant selshness. Unlike
establishment Republicans, Trump speaks without embarrassment on behalf
of an aggrieved segment of Americans, not exclusively White, who feel they
have been taking it on the chin for too long. And that is all he needs to do.
There was a time when political analysts wondered what would happen when
Trump failed to “deliver” for his constituents. But the most important thing
Trump delivers is himself. His egomania is part of his appeal. In his professed
victimization by the media and the “elites,” his followers see their own
victimization. That is why attacks on Trump by the elites only strengthen his
bond with his followers. That is why millions of Trump supporters have even
been willing to risk death as part of their show of solidarity: When Trump’s
enemies cited his mishandling of the pandemic to discredit him, their answer
was to reject the pandemic told a reporter.
Because the Trump movement is less about policies than about Trump
himself, it has undermined the normal role of American political parties, which
is to absorb new political and ideological movements into the mainstream.
Bryan never became president, but some of his populist policies were
adopted by both political parties. Sen. Bernie Sanders’s supporters might not
have wanted Biden for president, but having lost the nomination battle they
could work on getting Biden to pursue their agenda. Liberal democracy
requires acceptance of adverse electoral results, a willingness to
countenance the temporary rule of those with whom we disagree.
As historian Richard Hofstadter observed, it requires that people “endure error
in the interest of social peace.” Part of that willingness stems from the belief
that the democratic system makes it possible to work, even in opposition, to
correct the ruling party’s errors and overreach. Movements based on ideas
and policies can also quickly shift their allegiances. Today, the progressives’
ag-bearer might be Sanders, but tomorrow it could be Sen. Elizabeth Warren
or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or someone else.
One Trump supporter didn’t go to the hospital after developing covid-19
symptoms because he didn’t want to contribute to the liberal case against
Trump. “I’m not going to add to the numbers,” he
For a movement built around a cult of personality, these adjustments are not
possible. For Trump supporters, the “error” is that Trump was cheated out of
reelection by what he has told them is an oppressive, communist, Democrat
regime writes one conservative intellectual.
The government, as one Trump supporter put it, “is monopolized by a Regime
that believes [Trump voters] are beneath representation, and will observe no
limits to keep them [from] getting it." If so, the intellectual posits, what choice
do they have but to view the government as the enemy and to become “
While the defeat of a sitting president normally leads to a struggle to claim the
party’s mantle, so far no Republican has been able to challenge Trump’s grip
on Republican voters: not Sen. Josh Hawley, not Sen. Tom Cotton, not Tucker
Carlson, not Gov. Ron DeSantis.
It is still all about Trump. The fact that he is not in o ce means that the United
States is “a territory controlled by enemy tribes,” The Trump movement might
not have begun as an insurrection, but it became one after its leader claimed
he had been cheated out of reelection. For Trump supporters, the events of
Jan. 6 were not an embarrassing debacle but a patriotic effort to save the
nation, by violent action if necessary. As one 56-year-old Michigan woman
explained: “We weren’t there to steal things. We weren’t there to do damage.
We were just there to overthrow the government.”
The banal normalcy of the great majority of Trump’s supporters, including
those who went to the Capitol on Jan. 6, has befuddled many observers.
Although private militia groups and white supremacists played a part in the
attack, 90 percent of those arrested or charged had no ties to such groups.
The majority were middle-class and middle-aged; 40 percent were business
owners or white-collar workers. They came mostly from purple, not red,
Most Trump supporters are good parents, good neighbors and solid members
of their communities. Their bigotry, for the most part, is typical white
American bigotry, perhaps with an added measure of resentment and a less
ltered mode of expression since Trump arrived on the scene. But these are
normal people in the sense that they think and act as people have for
centuries. They put their trust in family, tribe, religion and race. Although
zealous in defense of their own rights and freedoms, they are less concerned
about the rights and freedoms of those who are not like them.
That, too, is not unusual. What is unnatural is to value the rights of others who
are unlike you as much as you value your own.
As it happens, however, that is what the American experiment in republican
democracy requires. It is what the Framers meant by “republican virtue,” a
love of freedom not only for oneself but also as an abstract, universal good; a
love of self-government as an ideal; a commitment to abide by the laws
passed by legitimate democratic processes; and a healthy fear of and
vigilance against tyranny of any kind. Even James Madison, who framed the
Constitution on the assumption that people would always pursue their selsh
interests, nevertheless argued that it was “chimerical” to believe that any
form of government could “secure liberty and happiness without any virtue in
Al Gore and his supporters displayed republican virtue when they abided by
the Supreme Court’s judgment in 2000 despite the partisan nature of the
justices’ decision. (Whether the court itself displayed republican virtue is
The events of Jan. 6, on the other hand, proved that Trump and his most die-
hard supporters are prepared to defy constitutional and democratic norms,
just as revolutionary movements have in the past. While it might be shocking
to learn that normal, decent Americans can support a violent assault on the
Capitol, it shows that Americans as a people are not as exceptional as their
founding principles and institutions.
Europeans who joined fascist movements in the 1920s and 1930s were also
from the middle classes. No doubt many of them were good parents and
neighbors, too. People do things as part of a mass movement that they would
not do as individuals, especially if they are convinced that others are out to
destroy their way of life.
It would be foolish to imagine that the violence of Jan. 6 was an aberration
that will not be repeated. Because Trump supporters see those events as a
patriotic defense of the nation, there is every reason to expect more such
episodes. Trump has returned to the explosive rhetoric of that day, insisting
that he won in a “landslide,” that the “radical left Democrat communist party”
stole the presidency in the “most corrupt, dishonest, and unfair election in the
history of our country” and that they have to give it back.
He has targeted for defeat those Republicans who voted for his impeachment
— or criticized him for his role in the riot. Already, there have been threats to
bomb polling sites, kidnap o cials and attack state capitols. “You and your
family will be killed very slowly,” the wife of Georgia’s top election o cial was
texted earlier this year.
They told police o cers that they had fought for their country before and
were ghting for it again. insists “there is no way they win elections without
cheating. Trump tells them, so today “we have no choice. We have to ght” to
restore “our American birthright.”
Nor can one assume that the Three Percenters and Oath Keepers would
again play a subordinate role when the next riot unfolds.
Looking ahead to 2022 and 2024, Trump
There’s no way.” So, if the results come in showing another Democratic
victory, Trump’s supporters will know what to do. Just as “generations of
patriots” gave “their sweat, their blood and even their very lives” to build
Veterans who assaulted the Capitol
Opinion | Our constitutional crisis is already here
Where does the Republican Party stand in all this? The party gave birth to and
nurtured this movement; it bears full responsibility for establishing the
conditions in which Trump could capture the loyalty of 90 percent of
hundreds of conservative court appointments, including three Supreme Court
justices; tax cuts; immigration restrictions; and deep reductions in regulations
on business. Yet Trump’s triumph also had elements of a hostile takeover.
The movement’s passion was for Trump, not the party. GOP primary voters
chose Trump over the various avors of establishment Republicanism (Jeb
Bush, Marco Rubio), and after Trump’s election they continued to regard
establishment Republicans as enemies. Longtime party heroes like Paul Ryan
were cast into oblivion for disparaging Trump. Even staunch supporters such
as Jeff Sessions eventually became villains when they would not do as Trump
demanded. Those who survived had a di cult balancing act: to use Trump’s
appeal to pass the Republican agenda while also controlling Trump’s
excesses, which they worried could ultimately threaten the party’s interests.
Republican leaders were more than happy to ride Trump’s coattails if it meant
getting paid off with
That plan seemed plausible in 2017. Unlike other insurgent leaders, Trump
had not spent time in the political wilderness building a party and surrounding
himself with loyalists. He had to choose from an existing pool of Republican
o cials, who varied in their willingness to do his bidding. The GOP
establishment hoped that the presence of “adults” would restrain him,
protecting their traditional agenda and, in their view, the country’s interests,
from his worst instincts.
This was a miscalculation. Trump’s grip on his supporters left no room for an
alternative power center in the party. One by one, the “adults” resigned or
were run off. The dissent and contrary opinions that exist in every party — the
Northeast moderate Republicans in Reagan’s day; the progressives in today’s
Democratic Party — disappeared from Trump’s Republican Party. The only
real issue was Trump himself, and on that there could be no dissent. Those
who disapproved of Trump could either keep silent or leave.
The takeover extended beyond the level of political leadership. Modern
political parties are an ecosystem of interest groups, lobby organizations, job
seekers, campaign donors and intellectuals. All have a stake in the party’s
viability; all ultimately depend on being roughly aligned with wherever the
party is at a given moment; and so all had to make their peace with Trump,
too. Conservative publications that once opposed him as unt for the
presidency had to reverse course or lose readership and funding. Pundits had
to adjust to the demands of their pro-Trump audiences — and were rewarded
handsomely when they did. Donors who had opposed Trump during the
primaries fell into line, if only to preserve some inuence on the issues that
mattered to them. Advocacy organizations that had previously seen their role
as holding the Republican Party to certain principles, and thus often dissented
from the party leadership, either became advocates for Trump or lost clout. It
was no surprise that elected o cials feared taking on the Trump movement
and that Republican job seekers either kept silent about their views or made
show-trial-like apologies for past criticism. Ambition is a powerful antidote to
Perhaps American conservatism was never comfortable with the American
experiment in liberal democracy, but certainly since Trump took over their
party, many conservatives have revealed a hostility to core American beliefs.
More revealing was the behavior of Republican elder statesmen, former
secretaries of state in their 80s or 90s who had no further ambitions for high
o ce and seemingly nothing to lose by speaking out. Despite their known
abhorrence of everything Trump stood for, these old lions refused to criticize
him. They were unwilling to come out against a Republican Party to which
they had devoted their professional lives, even when the party was led by
someone they detested. Whatever they thought about Trump, moreover,
Republican elders disliked Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the Democrats
more. Again, this is not so unusual.
German conservatives accommodated Adolf Hitler in large part because they
opposed the socialists more than they opposed the Nazis, who, after all,
shared many of their basic prejudices. As for conservative intellectuals, even
those who had spent years arguing that Woodrow Wilson was a tyrant
because he created the Federal Reserve and supported child labor laws
seemed to have no concerns about whether Trump was a would-be despot.
They not only came to Trump’s defense but fashioned political doctrines to
justify his rule, lling in the wide gaps of his nonexistent ideology with an
appeal to “conservative nationalism” and conservative populism.
All this has left few dissenting voices within the Republican ecosystem. The
Republican Party today is a zombie party. Its leaders go through the motions
of governing in pursuit of traditional Republican goals, wrestling over
infrastructure spending and foreign policy, even as real power in the party has
leached away to Trump. From the uneasy and sometimes contentious
partnership during Trump’s four years in o ce, the party’s main if not sole
purpose today is as the willing enabler of Trump’s efforts to game the
electoral system to ensure his return to power.
With the party rmly under his thumb, Trump is now ghting the Biden
administration on separate fronts. One is normal, legitimate political
competition, where Republicans criticize Biden’s policies, feed and ght the
culture wars, and in general behave like a typical hostile opposition.
The other front is outside the bounds of constitutional and democratic
competition and into the realm of illegal or extralegal efforts to undermine the
electoral process. The two are intimately related, because the Republican
Party has used its institutional power in the political sphere to shield Trump
and his followers from the consequences of their illegal and extralegal
activities in the lead-up to Jan. 6. Thus, Reps. Kevin McCarthy and Elise
Stefanik, in their roles as party leaders, run interference for the Trump
movement in the sphere of legitimate politics, while Republicans in lesser
positions cheer on the Jan. 6 perpetrators, turning them into martyrs and
heroes, and encouraging illegal acts in the future.
This pincer assault has several advantages. Republican politicians and would-
be policymakers can play the role of the legitimate opposition. They can
rediscover their hawkish internationalist foreign policy (suspended during the
Trump years) and their decit-minded economics (also suspended during the
Trump years). They can go on the mainstream Sunday shows and critique the
Biden administration on issues such as Afghanistan. They can pretend that
Trump is no longer part of the equation. Biden is the president, after all, and
his administration is not exactly without faults.
Yet whatever the legitimacy of Republican critiques of Biden, there is a
fundamental disingenuousness to it all. It is a dodge. Republicans focus on
China and critical race theory and avoid any mention of Trump, even as the
party works to x the next election in his favor. The left hand professes to
know nothing of what the right hand is doing.
Even Trump opponents play along. Republicans such as Sens. Mitt Romney
and Ben Sasse have condemned the events of Jan. 6, criticized Trump and
even voted for his impeachment, but in other respects they continue to act as
good Republicans and conservatives. On issues such as the libuster,
Romney and others insist on preserving “regular order” and conducting
political and legislative business as usual, even though they know that
Trump’s lieutenants in their party are working to subvert the next presidential
The result is that even these anti-Trump Republicans are enabling the
insurrection. Revolutionary movements usually operate outside a society’s
But the Trump movement also enjoys unprecedented inuence within those
structures. It dominates the coverage on several cable news networks,
numerous conservative magazines, hundreds of talk radio stations and all
kinds of online platforms. It has access to nancing from rich individuals and
the Republican National Committee’s donor pool. And, not least, it controls
one of the country’s two national parties. All that is reason enough to expect
another challenge, for what movement would fail to take advantage of such
favorable circumstances to make a play for power?
Today, we are in a time of hope and illusion. The same people who said that
Trump wouldn’t try to overturn the last election now say we have nothing to
worry about with the next one. Republicans have been playing this game for
ve years, rst pooh-poohing concerns about Trump’s intentions, or about the
likelihood of their being realized, and then going silent, or worse, when what
they insisted was improbable came to pass. These days, even the anti-Trump
media constantly looks for signs that Trump’s inuence might be fading and
that drastic measures might not be necessary.
The world will look very different in 14 months if, as seems likely, the
Republican zombie party wins control of the House. At that point, with the
political winds clearly blowing in his favor, Trump is all but certain to announce
his candidacy, and social media constraints on his speech are likely to be
lifted, since Facebook and Twitter would have a hard time justifying censoring
his campaign. With his megaphone back, Trump would once again dominate
news coverage, as outlets prove unable to resist covering him around the
clock if only for nancial reasons.
But this time, Trump would have advantages that he lacked in 2016 and 2020,
including more loyal o cials in state and local governments; the Republicans
in Congress; and the backing of GOP donors, think tanks and journals of
opinion. And he will have the Trump movement, including many who are
armed and ready to be activated, again. Who is going to stop him then? On its
current trajectory, the 2024 Republican Party will make the 2020 Republican
Party seem positively deant.
Those who criticize Biden and the Democrats for not doing enough to prevent
this disaster are not being fair. There is not much they can do without
Republican cooperation, especially if they lose control of either chamber in
2022. It has become fashionable to write off any possibility that a handful of
Republicans might rise up to save the day. This preemptive capitulation has
certainly served well those Republicans who might otherwise be held to
account for their cowardice. How nice for them that everyone has decided to
focus re on Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.
Yet it is largely upon these Republicans that the fate of the republic rests.
Seven Republican senators voted to convict Trump for inciting an insurrection
and attempting to overturn a free and fair election: Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy,
Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Romney, Sasse and Patrick J. Toomey. It was
a brave vote, a display of republican virtue, especially for the ve who are not
retiring in 2022. All have faced angry backlashes — Romney was booed and
called a traitor at the Utah Republican convention; Burr and Cassidy were
unanimously censured by their state parties.
Yet as much credit as they deserve for taking this stand, it was almost entirely
symbolic. When it comes to concrete action that might prevent a debacle in
2024, they have balked.
Specically, they have refused to work with Democrats to pass legislation
limiting state legislatures’ ability to overturn the results of future elections, to
ensure that the federal government continues to have some say when states
try to limit voting rights, to provide federal protection to state and local
election workers who face threats, and in general to make clear to the nation
that a bipartisan majority in the Senate opposes the subversion of the popular
It can’t be because they think they have a future in a Trump-dominated party.
Even if they manage to get reelected, what kind of government would they be
serving in? They can’t be under any illusion about what a second Trump term
would mean. Trump’s disdain for the rule of law is clear. His exoneration from
the charges leveled in his impeachment trials — the only o cial, legal
response to his actions — practically ensures that he would wield power even
more aggressively. His experience with unreliable subordinates in his rst
term is likely to guide personnel decisions in a second. Only total loyalists
would serve at the head of the Justice Department, FBI, CIA, National
Security Agency and the Pentagon. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs will not
be someone likely to place his or her own judgment above that of their civilian
commander in chief.
Nor would a Republican Senate fail to conrm Trump loyalists. In such a
world, with Trump and his lieutenants in charge of all the levers of state
power, including its growing capacity for surveillance, opposing Trump would
become increasingly risky for Republicans and Democrats alike.
A Trump victory is likely to mean at least the temporary suspension of
American democracy as we have known it.
We are already in a constitutional crisis. The destruction of democracy might
not come until November 2024, but critical steps in that direction are
happening now. In a little more than a year, it may become impossible to pass
legislation to protect the electoral process in 2024. Now it is impossible only
because anti-Trump Republicans, and even some Democrats, refuse to tinker
with the libuster. It is impossible because, despite all that has happened,
some people still wish to be good Republicans even as they oppose Trump.
These decisions will not wear well as the nation tumbles into full-blown crisis.
One wonders whether modern American politicians, in either party, have it in
them to make such bold moves, whether they have the insight to see where
events are going and the courage to do whatever is necessary to save the
democratic system. If that means political suicide for this handful of
Republicans, wouldn’t it be better to go out ghting for democracy than to
slink off quietly into the night?
It is not impossible for politicians to make such a leap. The Republican Party
itself was formed in the 1850s by politicians who abandoned their previous
party — former Whigs, former Democrats and former members of the Liberty
and Free Soil parties. While Whig and Democratic party stalwarts such as
Henry Clay and Stephen Douglas juggled and compromised, doing their best
to ensure that the issue of slavery did not destroy their great parties, others
decided that the parties had become an obstacle to justice and a threat to the
nation’s continued viability.
Romney & Co. don’t have to abandon their party. They can fashion
themselves as Constitutional Republicans who, in the present emergency, are
willing to form a national unity coalition in the Senate for the sole purpose of
saving the republic. Their cooperation with Democrats could be strictly limited
to matters relating to the Constitution and elections. Or they might strive for a
temporary governing consensus on a host of critical issues: government
spending, defense, immigration and even the persistent covid-19 pandemic,
effectively setting aside the usual battles to focus on the more vital and
immediate need to preserve the United States.
It takes two, of course, to form a national unity coalition, and Democrats can
make it harder or easier for anti-Trump Republicans to join. Some profess to
see no distinction between the threat posed by Trump and the threat posed
by the GOP. They prefer to use Trump as a weapon in the ongoing political
battle, and not only as a way of discrediting and defeating today’s Republican
Party but to paint all GOP policies for the past 30 years as nothing more than
precursors to Trumpism. bad history is no cure for what ails the nation.
Although today’s Trump-controlled Republican Party does need to be fought
and defeated, this kind of opportunistic partisanship and conspiracy-
mongering, in addition to being
Senate Democrats were wise to cut down their once-massive voting rights
wish list and get behind the smaller compromise measure unveiled last week
by Manchin and Sen. Amy Klobuchar. But they have yet to attract any votes
from their Republican colleagues for the measure. Heading into the next
election, it is vital to protect election workers, same-day registration and early
voting. It will also still be necessary to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights
Advancement Act, which directly addresses the state legislatures’ electoral
power grab. Other battles — such as making Election Day a federal holiday
and banning partisan gerrymandering — might better be postponed. Efforts to
prevent a debacle in 2024 cannot. Democrats need to give anti-Trump
Republicans a chance to do the right thing.
The bottom line is for the people to regain their original, moral principles, which have intentionally been watered out over the past generations by our press, TV, and other media owned by the Illuminati/Bilderberger Group, corrupting our morals by making misbehavior acceptable to our society. Only in this way shall we conquer this oncoming wave of evil.
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