Politics Opinion

America's dilemma: 147 lawmakers still support a delusional madman

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(Cartoon by Mark David / @MDavidCartoons)

Where do the disunited states of America go now, with 147 Republican lawmakers still supporting a delusional madman who incited an insurrection?

Will traditional Republicans, presumably including the 113 Republicans who refused to follow President Donald Trump’s bidding in the Capitol on 6 January, reclaim the party?

Or has the GOP become the Trump cult of lies and anything goes in the name of power?

Common sense and logic suggest that the loss of Senate control caused by the Georgia result and the overwhelming defeat in the Presidential Election after just one term demonstrate Trump is now unelectable.

But many of the 74 million who voted for Trump in the November Election are rusted-on disciples of the cult leader.

Exit polls in 2016 show that 66 per cent of White males without degrees voted for Trump. White supremacists worship him.

In essence, he appeals to the same section of the population courted by Senator Pauline Hanson in Australia.

To the Liberal Party’s credit, it disendorsed Hanson in 1996. But despite the lack of a major party machine, she attracted 23 per cent of the Queensland vote in 1998 before fading away to be no more than an occasional headline grabber.

Trump, on the other hand, has received the full backing of the GOP which is now in his thrall.

Despite White House resignations and widespread condemnation of Trump’s appalling behaviour, those 147 lawmakers are still beholden to him.

If Trump announces he will run again in 2024, do the traditional Republicans cede their party to him?

And will that open the door to Democrats controlling Congress for several years?

Or do the traditionalists renounce Trumpism and find someone sane as a candidate for 2024?

The intriguing possibility is that if the party takes this course, might Trump stand as an “independent” Republican and split the Right-wing vote?

There again, what is Republicanism?

A decade ago, the party was seduced by the extreme Right Tea Party, backed by people such as the Koch brothers and became win-at-all-costs non-negotiators, rejecting the basic necessity in politics of pragmatism and compromise.

And then the six-time bankrupt, genital-grabbing, racist, charity-diddling and non-taxpaying liar defeated the party’s 2015 candidates.

Where to now, indeed?

Steve Bishop is a journalist and author. You can read more from Steve at stevebishop.net

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