Republicans are generally supportive of the ideals of democracy in the abstract, and easily state they will fight to the end to protect that democracy as outlined in the Constitution. However, in the real world, daily application of democratic principals, becomes fuzzy around the edges.
I would like to paraphrase what I had heard from a long time GOP operative, “We always thought racism in the party was an outlier, something that could be discounted. We discovered it was actually a central tenet of our party, and we had been fooling ourselves all along.” In principal, the concepts of our collective liberties as defined in our democracy are agreeable to a Republican, but in practice, the application of the ideals erode out of necessity. A little Authoritarianism is A OK. Bending the rules just a little is fine, so long as it meets our party’s goals.
The GOP’s collective beliefs shouldn’t be carelessly attributable to a lack of education, they’re formed in the GOP’s leadership and talking-head gate keepers whom bypass necessary critical thought in complicated problems and reduce those problems to simple solutions. Easily digested, magic solutions, that relieve the followers of navigating difficult, large social solutions to large societal difficulties.
“Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”
“Antifa/BLM terrorists should all be in jail.”
The concept of government of, by, and for the people only extends to a theoretical, simple, small government to service state’s needs, which are also, only applicable when aligning with an idealized, Jeffersonian-like version of America that never existed. The fact is, we love our social programs. because they are ours, collectively formed and maintained by us in our government of, for, and by the people. We love them because we find them useful for ourselves and our society. As a society, we continually push towards a more fair, equitable, just, and inclusive society because that is our nature and this government was wisely formed to facilitate exactly that. It is common sense to our industrious, human selves. We imagine and see the fruits of those commendable goals.
The government is ours. It literally is us. It is not against us, except how we may be against ourselves, and how we may vote against our own best interests as directed by the promised magicky simple answers to complex issues. This is why the current GOP is ill-equipped to govern a democratic society. This GOP is more perfect as the perpetually aggrieved minority party in minority rule. To rule vicariously through the judiciary, in a war of cultural morality, without the responsibility of management, suits their limited abilities and limited concerns just fine. If however, they can manage to be the minority party in rule, well then, some things are going to have to change in accord with the unassailable power they inelegantly wield. We aren’t at all sure how to do this, but we are certain which parties must rightfully suffer to obtain our own “more perfect union.”
A little Authoritarianism is okay.
I type this because, this is why Donald Trump perfectly suits the GOP at this point in that party’s existence. The GOP didn’t succumb to the power of Donald Trump. Donald Trump is the GOP. He is in fact, their true god. The RNC platform for this election cycle, stated exactly that.
I also type this as a prelude to some truly dreadful polling numbers gathered by PNAS. Numbers used to formulate some frightening theories by political scientist Larry Bartels which you can read here. This paper is titled:
Ethnic antagonism erodes Republicans’ commitment to democracy
These are, of course, theories based on polled data, still needs peer review, but the polling itself is serious cause for concern.
A little over 50% of GOP polled believe the “traditional” way of American life is disappearing, and force may have to be used to save it. Now listen, this may just be a theory at this point, but a concept like this is not…is not naturally occurring to anyone. My human self knows this to be true.
A plurality believe the law will have to be taken into the hands of the GOP true believers.
A plurality believe a strong leader has to bend the rules on occasion in order to ensure the proper results. So we are all aware, are you listening….Donald Trump can never make bad decisions. He literally cannot do wrong because there will always, ultimately, be a higher calling. Okay?
74 fucking percent believe it is hard to trust the results of an election because it is perceived some of the electorate will receive a handout.