0527 GMT May 26, 2022
Trump has a lot of loyal followers who will do anything he asks of him. They make up more than 70 percent of the Republican Party. They believe, without a shred of evidence (even the judges he nominated to the bench consistently ruled against his election fraud claims) that he was robbed of victory in the 2020 elections. Many of his followers believe the QAnon absurdity that the Democrats are a pedophilic, cannibalistic, Satanic cult. They have abandoned reason and believe bizarre conspiracies. Many of them are armed and violent.
The Republican Party, which was once a real, though infuriatingly conservative and militaristic party, has now been transformed into a fascist death cult that rejects science and reason. Republicans are a party united by their belief in white supremacy, misogyny, hatred of immigrants, unlimited military spending, hostility toward science and expertise, and willingness to strangle democracy, and shrink the size of government.
One would think that such a party would have no chance to win an election, but right now their prospects look strong in 2022 and perhaps even in 2024 when Trump seems to be intent upon running again. The American people are either too stupid, too racist, or too ignorant to recognize how dangerous Republican victories would be. Democracy depends on an informed and intelligent citizenry that can make wise decisions. That is not the case in the US, which is why I consider this country a failed democracy. It is actually more of a plutocracy than a democracy. So, I guess anything is possible in 2022 and 2024, even a Trump victory, though it’s hard to imagine the American people sinking to such a depth. It was also hard to imagine the educated and cultured Germans embracing Naziism in the 1930s.
It can happen here too. There is also some evidence that Trump’s grip on the party is slipping a bit. The Republican gubernatorial victory last November in Virginia signaled to Republicans that they might stand a better chance in 2024 with a more moderate candidate rather than a rabid Donald Trump. There is also still the possibility that Trump will be indicted before 2024 for some of the multiple crimes he has committed, including inciting an insurrection on January 6, 2021. These could also steer party stalwarts to cut loose from Trump, who remains extremely unpopular in much of the country.
*Peter Kuznick is professor of history and director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at the American University.