Many of the conservatives and Republicans appalled by Donald Trump’s presidency clutched a hope through the bewildering years: Someday this would all be over and politics would return to normal.
But normal has not returned. Those elected Republicans who stood for legality when Trump tried to overturn the 2020 election found themselves party pariahs in 2021, on their way to being out of politics altogether in 2022.
And it’s not just a few politicians who have been displaced by the Trump era. Millions of voters have been too. “Never Trump is not a political party. It is a dinner party”: That jibe was heard a lot in 2017 and 2018. It has not been heard much since. In 2018, Democratic candidates won districts that had loyally voted Republican for 30, 40, 50 years, including those once held by Eric Cantor, Newt Gingrich, and George H. W. Bush.
The anti-Trump Republicans did not return home in 2020. Now, in 2021, their former party seems much more eager to welcome anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers than to win them back. [Continue reading…]