I heard Joe Scarborough say that the Republican Party is no more than a party of “grievance and gesture” now. It is that, but it is much more too.
Much like the Southern Redeemers in the 1870’s who, with gun cocked and hangman’s noose in hand, imposed a white supremacist minority regime on the South for nearly a century, Trump’s Republican Party has become the enemy of democracy, democratic institutions, and majority rule. By its actions on January 6 – another day that will live in infamy – it has demonstrated that is has absolutely no hesitation to combine the propaganda of the Big Lie (rigged elections) with the propaganda of weapons to overturn a free and fair election and install an unelected, illegitimate government.
Over the full length of the 20th century, the danger of a fascist takeover was never a serious threat. But as we enter the 3rd decade of the 21st century, thanks to the evolution of the Republican Party in an extremist direction, a sharply polarized electorate, a systematic assault on truth and reality, and the formation of a mass base that has drank the Kool Aid of white supremacy and other noxious ideologies, it has become much more palpable, no longer a subject for academic or parlor discussion.
In this hyper charged political environment, the challenge facing the democratic majority isn’t what you might think — the drama of clashes in the street with Trump’s hooligans — but quite the opposite — the seemingly mundane tasks of assisting the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats in their/our efforts to expand voting rights, address (in a big way) the interlocking crises that grip the country, and isolate with compelling arguments Trump and the political bloc who with barely a blink of an eye will lay waste to our democracy and everything we hold dear.