Opinion | How Trump transformed the Republican Party into the anti-democracy party

The political divide in America has shifted. It is now not liberal vs. conservative, however as an alternative pro-democracy vs. anti-democracy. This pivot places liberals and a few conventional conservatives on the similar facet — and towards the present Republican Party.

The political divide in America has shifted. It is now not liberal vs. conservative, however as an alternative pro-democracy vs. anti-democracy.

While “conservative” has at all times meant various things to completely different folks, the modern GOP has marketed itself as the party of small authorities, backing lowered spending, states’ rights, a powerful nationwide protection and a stance towards authoritarian regimes, respect for traditions and norms, and a reverence for the rule of legislation and so-called conventional household values.

That mannequin went out the window when Republicans embraced Donald Trump regardless of revelations that his personal attorney paid off a porn star who claimed that she had an affair with Trump quickly after his third spouse gave start. Any pretense of being the party of small authorities evaporated when the deficit ballooned underneath Trump. Trump’s refusal to face as much as tyrants like Russia’s Vladimir Putin, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman undercuts the concept that Republicans are the party of sturdy nationwide protection.

Last week, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward and different Republican leaders sued in federal court in Texas looking for a judicial order empowering Vice President Mike Pence to reject electors despatched to Congress by swing states. The purpose of the lawsuit was to present Pence the authority at hand himself and Trump a second time period in workplace Wednesday, when Congress formally counts the electoral votes confirmed by the Electoral College final month. The order these Republicans search contradicts the plain language of the Constitution, which states that the president of the Senate (the vp) “shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be Counted.” (Emphasis added.)

In different phrases, the party that when decried judicial activism is main efforts to get the courts to swing the election and sees no downside with asking a federal choose to grant the vp the energy at hand the election to his personal party.

Not surprisingly, a federal judge — Trump appointee Jeremy Kernodle — rejected the lawsuit on the grounds that the plaintiffs lacked standing. But whereas the lawsuit was legally specious, its intent was clear — Gohmert, an elected member of Congress, was making an attempt to remove the proper of the American folks to vote for the subsequent president.

Trump continues claiming — without evidence — that there was widespread fraud in the election, a declare that has been rejected by courts in 60 lawsuits. Over the weekend, Trump took the determined step of literally begging Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” 11,780 votes. Raffensperger refused, as there are not any votes to seek out.

After having failed repeatedly in court docket, the Republicans have now turned to a different doomed plan. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said he will challenge the electors from the swing states. Hawley might be joined by a number of Republican representatives and other senators. This try, too, will fail. To succeed, Hawley not solely wants a majority of senators behind him — he additionally wants the Democratic-held House to go alongside, which is not going to occur.

If a want to empower Republican members of Congress and the Republican vp to ignore the election and choose the subsequent president sounds authoritarian, it is as a result of it’s, in the purest sense of the phrase. While none of those gambits will succeed, these antics will additional radicalize the Republican base.

Parties evolve. A key second in the Democratic Party’s shift from the party of the Confederacy to the party that embraces racial variety was President Lyndon B. Johnson signing of the Civil Rights Act. A key second in the Republican Party’s shift from the party of Lincoln to the party that features the Proud Boys and white nationalists was the so-called Southern strategy, an enchantment to rural white Southerners utilizing racially charged wedge points like affirmative motion.

And now, one other shift is happening as quite a few Republican leaders reject the democratic course of.

Authoritarianism has a substantial amount of enchantment. There is not any gridlock and no must compromise. Change can occur shortly. It guarantees limitless energy and wealth to the ruling group. Democracy, in distinction, requires compromise. It requires sharing energy with folks we dislike and disagree with.

Now, because of the present political shift, a not insignificant variety of those that embrace conventional conservative values really feel they haven’t any place in the Republican Party — which is why outstanding conservatives like former Reps. Paul Mitchell, David Jolly and Joe Walsh, George Will, William Kristol, Jennifer Rubin and Michael Steele have both left the party or supported Democratic candidates in the 2020 election.

Liberals and conventional conservatives who worth the rule of legislation over no matter enchantment the Republican Party nonetheless holds should now take part opposition to a party that has rejected each democratic and conservative values.

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