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Here’s why Republicans stand by Trump even though they know he’s dangerous and repugnant


Because he’s giving them every wet dream they’ve had for decades.

Make no mistake: Trump is in the process of making this country more conservative and reactionary than it’s ever been. He is scheming to:

  • ban all forms of abortion
  • reverse gay rights, including the rights to serve in the military and to get married
  • end legal immigration of dark-skinned people
  • eliminate, as much as possible, all corporate taxes
  • allow companies to maximize their use of fossil fuels
  • rescue the coal industry
  • crush the burgeoning alternative-energy industry
  • intimidate a free, inquiring media
  • muzzle government employees from whistle-blowing
  • delegitimize the Congress, which is a co-equal branch of government
  • pack the courts with reactionary judges
  • end workers’ unions
  • form alliances with dictatorships and end America’s partnerships with Western democracies
  • prevent the Palestinians from ever having their own nation
  • promote his family in order to increase their wealth and power
  • cause Americans to doubt the truth and reality of science
  • elevate rightwing evangelical Christianity to become the equivalent of a State religion
  • end public schools and replace them with private, for-profit schools
  • suppress millions of dark-skinned and poor people from voting in U.S. elections
  • destroy the Democratic Party and all other competing political parties
  • make his presidency a dictatorship and extend it beyond a second term—health permitting

This explains everything. There are no longer any mysteries. Trump, aided by Republicans (or maybe it’s the other way around), have decided to go for the gold: after years of beating around the bush, of talking about what they want but not getting it, of incremental approaches, they’ve made the ultimate decision: Grab all the chips.

Because this is the right moment. If they’d waited any longer, the mood of the country might have shifted leftward. Trump’s Teflon might have become scarred enough for even Republicans to sicken of him and his greedy family of grifters. The Courts might have blocked further progress toward the right. Growing evidence of global warming might have caused even Texans and South Carolinians to worry. More and more kids and young adults coming out of the closet might have prompted even evangelicals to love, rather than hate, these members of their own families.

Sometimes, when you’re playing for high stakes, you just have a feeling it’s time to put all your chips on the table. The risk is enormous—but so is the potential reward. With Trump in the White House starting in 2017, and both Houses of Congress under Republican control, Republican overlords realized this was it: no more dithering, no more playing games with Democrats, no more kicking the can down the road. The time had come: Crush everything in their path, using every extra-Constitutional means. The media be damned; the public be damned; elections be damned.

This is what revolutions look like, and that is what Trump is doing. The only difference between a revolution and a civil war is that in the latter case large segments of the population take up arms against each other. We have not reached that point…yet. Nor, in the Republican master plan, will we. Their strategy is to make the opposition party so exhausted, so feeble in its attempts to fight back, so demoralized, that effective opposition will evaporate. Democrats and anti-Trump independents may whine, complain and scream bloody murder, but to no avail. Republicans will march through and over them.

This is what’s happening at this very moment in the United States Senate. While Democrats lay out, with articulate precision, the crimes and evil of Trump, Republicans play with them, like cats with mice. Let the mice have their precious moments of illusory freedom. The cats know they can strike and destroy at any moment. The game is pleasant, which is why they allow it to continue. When it becomes tiresome, the claws will rend.

Is there no way of stopping it, of rescuing America? Or are we doomed? The entire world seems to be backsliding into authoritarian regimes, presidencies-for-life, absolute dictatorships. Two centuries of Enlightenment seem to be slipping away. Reason, democracy, freedom, equality—all the great foundation-stones of Western political thought—seem to be crumbling; Donald Trump is only the outward manifestation in one country of this worldwide phenomenon.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has just moved its Doomsday Clock to “100 Seconds to Midnight,” closer to midnight than ever before in its 73-year history. The group cites three mounting threats to the continued survival of humankind:

  1. the worsening nuclear threat
  2. lack of meaningful action on climate change
  3. rise of cyber-enabled disinformation campaigns

Any one of these threats could bring the world “closer to catastrophe in seconds.” Any two of them, in combination, could cause “an absolutely unacceptable state of world affairs.” All three of them, together, have resulted in the gravest threat to the continuation of the world in history.

And what of Donald Trump? With his bungling of foreign policy and dangerous “Space Force,” he has increased the likelihood of nuclear war. With his absolute denial of the science behind climate change—forced upon him by the fossil fuel industry and his ignorant backers in the evangelical community—he is single-handedly preventing meaningful action to slow down global warming. And with his embrace and encouragement of disinformation, he is undermining the public’s capacity to formulate rational responses to any of the challenges facing us. For all these reasons, therefore, Donald Trump constitutes the single gravest threat to Earth.

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