Analysis: The GOP's devotion to Trump threatens to destroy American democracy
May 04, 2021 2 mins, 48 secs
Mitt Romney, a former Republican presidential nominee, received from activists in Utah over the weekend, after voting to convict Trump over his abuses of power in two separate impeachment trials.

The former President retains an extraordinary ability to dictate the beliefs of his followers and the orthodoxy of the GOP on a daily basis.

"The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!" Trump decreed in a statement Monday, literally reversing the facts about last November's free and fair election that he lost.

Cheney may well be sacrificing her own political career as one of the few GOP lawmakers with the guts to speak truth about Trump's anti-democratic attacks.

If anything the former President wields even more control of his party now than he did over the last five years , a fact made more remarkable by the social media silence enforced by bans from major social media platforms.

And there are very clear signs that Trump's assault on American democracy is working.

And even if Trump doesn't try to reclaim the White House in 2024, his pernicious influence will mean that the idea that the last election was stolen will remain a false article of faith for Republicans going forward.

A flurry of recent developments prove Trump's power in the GOP and his undiminished threat to trust in the electoral system, and show that the fight for American democracy merely entered a new phase when he left office.

A slew of Republican state legislatures have passed laws making it more difficult for Democrats, and especially Black voters, to cast ballots.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who at first said Trump bore responsibility for the January 6 riot, quickly visited the former President at his Mar-a-Lago resort and is anchoring his effort to win back the House for Republicans next year on the former President and his movement.

Any idea that the GOP will shed its fealty to Trump was exposed as a pipe dream by the poor showing of Marine veteran Michael Wood, who ran in a special election for a House seat in Texas at the weekend on an anti-Trump platform and lost badly in a jungle primary with only 3% or the vote.

"There is a sickness in our party that must be acknowledged and addressed," Wood wrote in a message to voters after his defeat.

"We are too much a cult of personality and a vehicle for the grievances of Donald Trump.

It just astounds me."

The electoral impact of Trump's dominance over his party will be tested next year as Republicans have a historically good chance of overhauling the thin Democratic majority in the House, since new Presidents often get a rebuke.

Since most mid-terms, especially House races, are heavily influenced by base turnout, the GOP may profit from Trump's continuing ability to inspire the party's most loyal voters.

But it is less clear that a slate of pro-Trump, Capitol insurrection denialists will help Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's bid to reclaim control of the Senate -- or that this message carried by Trump or anyone else is a winning one in 2024.

After all, the former President managed to lose control of the House, the Senate and the White House with an approach that electrified the GOP base but alienated many suburban voters and those horrified with his handling of the pandemic.

Former Arizona Sen.


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