In 1861, Abraham Lincoln, as newly elected President and head of the Republican Party, swore an oath of office to defend the Constitution of the United States. President Lincoln then led the country into a war to uphold the Constitution and preserve the Union, honoring the oath as he had sworn to do. In 2021, after losing the presidential election, Donald Trump, having sworn the same oath as President Lincoln, set his mob of insurrectionists on a course to prevent Congress from carrying out its Constitutionally appointed task to certify the election of the person legally elected by the American voters. This mob intended to hunt down and kill members of the U. S. Congress and the Vice President. Make no mistake, that was clearly and unequivocally a crime of treason against the United States of America.
Donald Trump was rightly impeached for that crime by the House of Representative and for his complete failure to uphold the U.S. Constitution. His culpability is undeniable. Remarkably, even after committing crimes against the nation, he somehow retains a large number of followers within the Republican ranks. And because these followers dominate local Republican political organizations at the state and grassroots levels, Republican Representatives and Senators were forced to choose between having the courage to uphold the Constitution they are sworn to defend or be obedient to their misguided constituents. By and large, they chose appeasement over conviction. For this failure to discharge the essential duty of their offices, they should be universally scorned and never elected to public office again.
Beyond all of this, there is a greater concern – the Deity-like devotion that a MAJORITY of the GOP still holds for the neo-fascism of Donald Trump. Its not like he ever did anything for them; he didn’t bring back jobs for people in dying industry sectors, nor did he get much of the Wall constructed, nor did he stop any abortions, and even with a disastrous package of harmful tariffs, he was unable to stop China’s industrial dominance. His lack of concern and understanding resulted in a disastrous Covid-19 non- response that has led to more deaths than any other country.
One promise he did keep was to make it acceptable to be a racist and/or a misogynist. No mainstream politician in over 40 years has said it was okay to be a racist. Trump did. Make America Great Again (MAGA) succeeded as intended in being taken symbolically as Make America Racist Again. As hard as is to acknowledge the reality, the truth is that he tapped into the huge but unacknowledged racist core (possibly even the majority) of the GOP voters which carried him to the nomination. And because of targeted strategies in key states and the closet full of skeletons in Hillary Clinton’s overconfident world, he lost the popular vote but garnered enough electoral votes to carry him to the Presidency in 2016.
After Trump won the Presidency, he bullied and blackmailed members of the GOP organization into submission or replaced them with his ‘true believers’. As an absolute fascist ruler of the GOP, he installed grassroots and State level party apparatchiks who are completely loyal to him, rather than to the party or citizens. They then locked-in the next level of Trump-loving loyal MAGA followers. This core of today’s Republican party will not permit criticism of their Emperor-Deity — even though they KNOW he attempted to destroy our democracy. Although he has shown himself to be dishonest, incompetent, narcissistic, and totally uncaring for the people who voted for him, a large base of voters is still in Trump’s thrall. Why?
Could it possibly be because Trump’s base voters know he is the only leader who allows them to be their true bigoted selves? It appears to be so — that his people reject the reality that we live in a multicultural and diverse country. Instead, they want no part of a world in which all differences are accepted; a society where people of all genders/races/colors/religions/sexual orientations are treated with equality, dignity, and respect.
It’s true that the Republican Party is hemorrhaging voters who are unwilling to buy into unmasked Trumpist fascism. But the core of Trump loyalists – 10s of millions of voters and thousands of elected officials – no longer support the concept of American Democracy. And nothing being done today is addressing the lingering but real danger to the Republic.