The GOP’s extremism problem predates Trump and it will outlast him

The GOP’s extremism problem predates Trump and it will outlast him

David Lurie writes:

There’s an old adage that politics has no tolerance for losers. But since 2016, the Republican Party has proven otherwise.

Whatever the outcome of the 2024 election, Donald Trump will have realized one unprecedented achievement: Maintaining control over one of the nation’s two major political parties despite a remarkably consistent record of leading the GOP into loss after loss.

The possibility that the nation’s democratic institutions could operate to send a candidate back to the White House who not only openly opposes democracy but also has a six year streak of electoral underperformance is a product of two realities. First, the United States’ political system has long vested near complete control of its democratic process solely to its two major political parties; and, second, one of those parties, the GOP, has now definitively surrendered itself to extremism.

As the repeated electoral losses of the Trump-led party demonstrates, the extremism that now dominates the GOP has never been widely popular with the American people. But the GOP long ago discarded the structural protections that allowed it to overcome a previous extremist takeover of the party in the wake of an electoral debacle.

Therefore, even if Trump loses in November, the GOP will almost certainly continue to be controlled by the same extremist factions, and the accompanying danger to the nation’s democratic system likely will remain ongoing and grave for the foreseeable future. [Continue reading…]

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