Politipress: The GOP is destroying itself

In the latest installment of Politipress, WSPNs Genevieve Morrison discusses the Republican Partys gradual move towards extremism.

Credit: WSPN Staff

In the latest installment of Politipress, WSPN’s Genevieve Morrison discusses the Republican Party’s gradual move towards extremism.

Genevieve Morrison

Jan. 20, 2021, Joe Biden was inaugurated into the presidential office. Donald Trump’s reign was over, or so we thought. Throughout the past few months, the Republican Party has strayed farther and farther from reality, and even though Trump’s official power is gone, remnants of his influence remain. Through wild conspiracies and political extremism, it’s clear that the Republican Party is headed on a downward spiral.

The conspiracy theories spread by far-right Republicans would be laughable if they weren’t so terrifying. QAnon has a range of conspiracy theories, but the main idea is that a group of Satan worshipping pedophiles run the government, media and economy. A study by the Public Religious Research Institute earlier this year revealed that one in four Republicans mostly or completely agree with these theories.

The “moderate Republican” has almost become an oxymoron. Trumpist politicians make it increasingly difficult to exist in the political sphere without outrageous views. When Mike Pence accepted the 2020 election results, he was literally threatened with murder Jan. 6, 2021. He’s not the only blackballed Republican leader, though. Liz Cheney was removed from her leadership position in the party after repeatedly criticizing Trump and rejecting election fraud conspiracies.

This undying commitment that Republicans hold is not loyalty to their beliefs, but the party itself. Cheney is more conservative than the average Republican House member, and she has a voting record of supporting Trumpist legislation. She’s also Republican legend Dick Cheney’s daughter. You would think conservatives would drool over a politician like her. However, since she didn’t blindly adhere to Trump’s insanity, she was ostracized. Both Pence and Cheney’s stories serve as cautionary tales to moderate Republicans that stepping out of line has consequences.

While the “disloyal” Republicans are pushed to the side, extremist figures are pushed to the forefront of the GOP. One of these figures is Marjorie Taylor Greene. Greene is a popular pro-life, anti-immigration conspiracy theorist. Since her election to the House of Representatives in 2020, Greene has been known for a wide range of inane behaviors, from supporting election fraud conspiracies to having a screaming match with Democrat abortion rights activists outside of the Capitol. Most recently, she tweeted a Go-Fund-Me link to the legal defense of Kyle Rittenhouse, a man accused of shooting and killing two people at a Black Lives Matter protest last summer.

Greene represents the new generation of Republican lawmakers, people with huge delusions and little respect for democracy.

The extremists maintain their influence by covering all their bases. While the party splinters into factions in Congress, they appeal to the voters at home. Tucker Carlson is gaining increasing influence. Fox News anchor and extremist, he is known for spreading bigoted ideas such as the “great replacement” theory that non-white immigrants are on a mission to replace the white American population. The Republican Party is seriously considering him as a potential presidential candidate. Several party leaders have supported him, essentially saying the nomination is his if he wants it. Luckily for us, he doesn’t, but that doesn’t change the message: if you spread alt-right dogma and breathe, you can have the Republican nomination.

Moderate GOP politicians ignore these characters, regarding them as crazy but harmless characters, until it’s too late. The outrageousness of their behavior and beliefs can lure you into a false sense of security, but these people have an unparalleled amount of influence. As was the case with Trump, these new figures will soon undoubtedly prove their danger, if they haven’t already.

After all, their followers are not just crazy people, but they’re crazy people with guns and plans to use them. The study by the Public Religion Research Institute revealed that 28% of Republicans agree that “because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country.” This means that 28% of Republicans are gearing up for a revolution. That’s frightening. Plus, we’ve learned from a certain president that insanity is not to be underestimated.

Don’t get me wrong, I would not mourn the downfall of the GOP. However, what we are faced with is not the end of the party, but the genesis of something worse. By casting out the moderate demographic, Republicans cut off their ties to reality. If this trend continues into the coming years, the party will hold the same amount of power, with more dangerous beliefs. Conservatism is no longer just politics. It’s a threat to our country.