• Sona Chaturvedi

GOP Must Choose Democracy or Die

Photo Credit: The Atlantic

Malcolm Gladwell had it right when he said there is a tipping point for everything.

That moment has arrived for the GOP. They need to decide if they will continue to lean toward authoritarianism or choose to govern for the people, or at the very least for their constituents. There is no in-between.

Republicans have gone so far into the weeds of white supremacy -- associating themselves with terrorism, conspiracy theories, the NRA and gun violence -- that there is almost no coming back.

I won’t pretend I care all that much about the need for GOP reform as a lifelong Democrat. That being said, I do believe in democracy, and we need to have at least a two-party system to avoid falling into a dictatorship on either side.

The current GOP doesn’t govern. They block legislation and encourage racism, fear, resentment and every other white grievance they can concoct. They use religion, hegemony, lies, money and lack of education to control their ignorant flock.

They know they have to cheat to win elections. Why? Because the people, except for their most ardent supporters, do not trust them or even like them. Gov. Brian Kemp in Georgia is making it as difficult as possible for his citizens to vote. He isn’t even allowing access to water in voting lines. These tactics are so desperate, they’re akin to asking for a deflated life preserver when drowning. This will only make Georgians more determined. President Joe Biden, in a strongly worded news conference Thursday, said Republicans’ efforts to restrict voting in state legislatures following Donald Trump’s defeat is sick. “I’m convinced that we’ll be able to stop this, because it is the most pernicious thing, reminiscent of Jim Crow laws that disenfranchised Black voters in the south after the Civil War,” he emphatically stated.

It can’t sustain itself. It’s already imploding in front of us.

The infighting has reached a fever pitch within the right wing. There appears to be no end in sight.

With Donald Trump’s presidency over, “competing factions are emerging among TrumpWorld characters, who are now in open conflict with each other. From MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's beef with Fox News to former Parler CEO John Matze's clashing with his former employer, longtime allies in the MAGA movement are now turning against each other,” according to Zachary Petrizzo of Salon.

This isn’t surprising given the consistent backstabbing we saw throughout Trump’s tenure.

The problem for the GOP is even Fox “news” can’t keep up with the battle within the party, and neither can the conspiracy theorists. The dates and scenarios keep changing as to when Trump the “legitimate” president will make his triumphant return. They have become increasingly disillusioned.

This is not meant to say a percentage of Americans aren’t remaining loyal to the conservative platform, but they are fractured. Some have gone deeper into even darker corners of the web.

The GOP is using all the obstruction tactics that have worked in the past, and their relentless efforts to discredit the administration are ongoing. That’s simply the past. America changed and it won’t work. Joe Biden is doing everything in his power to stop them. Parties and factions of parties can outlive their usefulness. It’s happened before with the decline of the Whigs, the Dixiecrats and others. The GOP no longer has a winning combination. They have no Reagan-like figure waiting in the wings.

Republicans that try to address the issue and speak up are few and far between. Ben Sasse (R-NE) Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Liz Cheney (R-WY) have all tried. They are met with disdain, from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Someone in that party has to, at some point, stand for something or die with nothing. Ben Sasse said so himself. In a standoff between the Constitution and madness, the GOP has to pick the side of the Constitution.

Who will that be? Will they be welcome into the deluded corner the GOP lives in?

Let’s say a moderate candidate does emerge with noble intentions. Will they have voter support from the base? Can they stand up to Trumpism?

If not, will a large percentage of America ever trust Republicans again?

Look only to history in any country to answer that question. The rise of authoritarian-like techniques inevitably fail. It may take some time, but in the end they usually burn.

Maybe they need all that water they are keeping from the residents of Georgia to put out the fire?