Trump the Don (caricature by DonkeyHotey)
Trump the Don (caricature by DonkeyHotey)

The following is from today’s column by Teri Kanefield, in response to a question from a reader. You can sign up for Kanefield’s column on her blog site.


Q: Will Trump ever be stopped?
I think the question is whether what Trump has unleashed can be contained. The answer is that it will be difficult, and will take time.

Before the Senate trial, I pointed out that either the Senate Republicans will vote to deprive Trump of the right to hold future office after the insurrection, or the party will close ranks around Trump and harden into a far-right White nationalist party.

They are closing ranks around Trump.

This poll came out today:

The value of this poll isn’t what it tells us about 2024. The value is that it offers a snapshot of the Republican Party as it stands now.

Much can change, but what we have right now is the party closing ranks. They’re going full-in fascist, anti-democracy and anti-truth.

Fascist parties usually represent about 1/3 of the population. Hitler came to power with about 1/3 of the vote. Not coincidentally, political psychologists tell us that about 1/3 of the population has an anti-democratic, authoritarian disposition.

I’ve said before: Authoritarians have always been with us. They wanted slavery. They wanted Jim Crowe. They erupted with rage when the Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education. Now they have their own party (and lots of power).

This is why I always say “shrink and harden,” and not just harden.

At the same time, they are vastly outnumbered, so if the remaining Americans come together, their power (and the threat they pose) can be contained. However, they’ll remain dangerous.

Their shrinking numbers will make it harder to win national elections, but most of their power is now local. The solution is for people to get more involved in local politics and vote in every election at every level. Make sure Qanon people don’t get onto your local school boards.

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