Our democracy is in grave danger. Not from an outside enemy. From within -- the Republican Party. This is a tweet shared on MSNBC today. MAGA, of course, is Trump's slogan: Make America Great Again.
If only Republican leaders were behind the party's anti-democracy movement, there wouldn't be as much reason for concern. Or, panic. But two-thirds of Republicans wrongly believe Biden wasn't elected legitimately.
Trump's Big Lie that the election was stolen from him has infected the minds of a clear majority of Republicans. This has made agreeing with the Big Lie a prerequisite for Republican candidates who want to win an election by garnering the support of their fellow GOP members.
Which means every Republican candidate for local, state, or national office should have to answer four questions put forth by Representative Eric Slalwell (D - California) on Chris Hayes' MSNBC show today. I've fiddled with the wording of a couple of the questions to make them clearer.
(1) Do you acknowledge that Joe Biden is the legitimately-elected president?
(2) Do you disavow QAnon?
(3) Do you agree that the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote in your state in 2024 should get all of that state's electoral votes? (unless the state is one that splits electoral votes)
(4) Do you disavow violence following an election by supporters of the losing candidate?
These questions also should be asked of every candidate running for a non-partisan office, like Mayor of Salem or the Salem City Council. Republican candidates shouldn't be able to ignore the questions just because the ballot don't have a "R" after their name.
On January 1 the New York Times editorial board published "Every Day Is Jan. 6 now." I learned about it on today's Chris Hayes MSNBC show. The movement, of course, is the Trump-addled portion of the Republican Party, which as noted before, is a clear majority of the GOP.
Here's some additional quotes from the editorial.
Jan. 6 is not in the past; it is every day.
It is regular citizens who threaten election officials and other public servants, who ask, “When can we use the guns?” and who vow to murder politicians who dare to vote their conscience. It is Republican lawmakers scrambling to make it harder for people to vote and easier to subvert their will if they do. It is Donald Trump who continues to stoke the flames of conflict with his rampant lies and limitless resentments and whose twisted version of reality still dominates one of the nation’s two major political parties.
In short, the Republic faces an existential threat from a movement that is openly contemptuous of democracy and has shown that it is willing to use violence to achieve its ends. No self-governing society can survive such a threat by denying that it exists. Rather, survival depends on looking back and forward at the same time.
...A healthy, functioning political party faces its electoral losses by assessing what went wrong and redoubling its efforts to appeal to more voters the next time. The Republican Party, like authoritarian movements the world over, has shown itself recently to be incapable of doing this. Party leaders’ rhetoric suggests they see it as the only legitimate governing power and thus portrays anyone else’s victory as the result of fraud — hence the foundational falsehood that spurred the Jan. 6 attack, that Joe Biden didn’t win the election.
Note what's said in the last paragraph above. Read it again. Let it sink into your consciousness.
The Republican Party, like authoritarian movements the world over...