What is the future of the GOP?
Republicans in the Senate and traditionally-
defined conservatives all thought they could control Donald Trump. The GOP consistently defended his anti-democratic, authoritarian leanings to further their own policy agendas. They wanted corporate tax cuts, conservative judges and to maintain white power. They succeeded at the last part, but at a steep cost.
Trump runs the show now. He may be out of office, yet he’s not taking a final bow. He owns the party.
The high price of this gamble may lead to the death of the GOP as we know it.
Republicans are now the party of social Darwinism, right-wing libertarian fantasies of self-reliance and the proponents of the “evils” of big government. Look no further than Texas for proof of what that brings. The deregulation there has been a disaster, exemplified by the state's utilities unable to withstand unusual winter weather.
Polls show President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package is overwhelmingly popular with the American people, but that isn’t stopping Republicans from trying to tear it down. They no longer care about the country or governing.
They are ripping themselves apart with constant infighting. It’s quite the spectacle to see Mitch McConnell’s grim face, as he maintains the lie that the Biden administration is making it easier for the GOP to unify, and the wild look in Kevin McCarthy’s eyes, when Liz Cheney opposes Trump. It is enough to tell anyone this is hardly unity.
All eyes are now on the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential race, where it appears -- barring any legal troubles -- Trump may try to throw his hat back in the ring. His new line is much like his old ones -- back to the election being stolen and a democratic “witch hunt,” vis-á-vis his taxes.
For the midterms, the GOP has ramped up voter suppression and gerrymandering. They know it is the only way to win, by cheating.
How can a party survive on a rail-thin line? It can’t, but a new sinister one could replace it. And who is to say it won’t.
We have witnessed and looked on in horror at what we saw unfolding in front of us in real time over the last four years. We wondered how far they were going to push it. Every time we thought they wouldn’t enable Trump any longer, they did. Trump proved an authoritarian can win the presidency in America. The GOP has leaned that way for many years.
Although it may be cause for celebration that this right-wing fascist-leaning party is dwindling, don’t pop the cork on those champagne bottles yet.
Without any moderates remaining, and with the GOP completely obliterated, another more dangerous party could possibly emerge. This time, it may not be led by Trump, but a younger, more energetic and smarter version of him.
As Zeynep Tufekci of The Atlantic notes: “The situation is a perfect setup, in other words, for a talented politician to run on Trumpism in 2024. A person without the eager Twitter fingers and greedy hotel chains, someone with a penchant for governing rather than golf. A norm-subverting strongman who can create a durable majority and keep his coalition together to win more elections.”
And there is no guarantee that person isn’t already being groomed to take over. We may not know who it is. It may not be any of the politicians with whom we are familiar.
Remember, Trump was groomed for this role by the Kremlin. According to ex-KGB spy Yuri Shvets, he was cultivated as a Russian asset over a period of 40 years.
Who is to say there isn’t another? Maybe not by the Russians this time, but perhaps China?
What can we do? Carry on our efforts to resist and fight to stop voter suppression. We must continue to encourage progressive candidates and stay involved in our democracy.
We are unsure what occurred while we were “sleeping” internationally over the past four years. We do know the world moved on without us. They are happy to have America back in the hands of a functioning and capable government. We do need to prove ourselves and immediately correct the damage caused by the previous regime. Joe Biden knows that, and he has taken all the necessary preliminary steps in that direction.
That being said, if we are honest, we don’t know who or what is coming in place of an almost dead party. We DO know it may not be good, and we might not see it coming.
The good news is that we have an administration more than capable of handling the multitude of crises we face here and globally. We have a strong leader who knows how to deal with this GOP. He is showing no signs of acquiescing to them.
The bad news is the other shoe has yet to drop. Who will be this other player in place of the Republican Party as we know it?
Sometimes, it’s better to dance with the devil you know.