Barbarians in Our Midst: The Once and Future Republican Presidential Coup Attempt

The decades-long Republican assault on American democracy crossed a line this past year into an actual coup attempt to overturn the results of a presidential election. Trump’s putsch failed, but the GOP’s long-durational, ongoing radicalization portends future such attempts. The next time, Republicans could learn from Trump’s mistakes, eschew his failed tactics and push harder on the successful and promising ones, thereby creating an even greater menace to American democracy than the 2020 putsch attempt. Those same lessons can show freedom-loving Americans the most likely path of a future, strong, Republican coup attempt and thus help us thwart it. Above all, we will need to focus on a grotesque irony: if the putschists succeed, it will stem mostly from the willingness of a shocking number of key Republican lawmakers, under pressure from their own base, to exploit weaknesses in our antiquated and byzantine presidential election process to subvert the same democracy that elected them.
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