Editorial: Will losing both houses of Congress and the presidency help Republicans regain their sanity?

Is Trumpism the heart of the Republican Party?

Image compiled by the Ally. Photo of Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore is licensed under Creative Commons license CC PDM 1.0. Image of man carrying a Confederate flag through the halls of Congress courtesy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. All other images, Brian Bahouth/the Ally

We hear that Trump supporters are living in a separate reality. They are not. There is one set of true facts, and Trump foot soldiers are acting on years of lies and misinformation in service to a traitorous, self-serving president. 

If you listen to the President of the United States, the election is yet to be decided. From behind a podium adorned with the presidential seal, Donald Trump says that the vote tallies are fake, despite the rulings of more than 30 courts. The election has been stolen.

The President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief is telling you that the way in which we choose our leaders has been rigged. The core of our democratic process has been compromised. 

If you spend lavish amounts of money on body armor and a helmet and high-capacity firearms and desert boots and gloves without fingertips and expensive shooting glasses with yellow-tinted lenses and bayonet-style knives and belts and lots of extra ammunition and a taser and several handguns and night-vision goggles and handcuffs and patches, lots of patches, you may find an emergent reason to use all that pricey gear when the Commander-in-Chief tells you the election results are fraudulent and the election for president, and apparently every other elective seat in the nation, has been stolen. 

Are these play soldiers the heart of the Republican Party or a loud fringe element?

Like Nevada Assemblywoman Annie Black, thousands of Trump supporters found themselves standing at the barricade in front of the US Capitol when their fellow Trump supporters breached the barrier.

Which way are you going to go? A staunch Trump advocate, Black chose not to attack the Capitol. But a barbarian hoard vandalized and terrorized the seat of the United States government, festooned it with Trump banners, and no wonder. This obtuse insurrection has been in the making for years.

Trump is a serial daytime TV liar and veteran character assassin who has a long and sordid history of fueling conspiracy theories. Social media, Fox News, the New York Post and other outlets have helped create Trump’s alternate world of lies. 

The President is perhaps the world’s most noted climate change denier. He was a leading proponent of the discredited Birther Movement that alleged Barack Obama was born in Kenya and not a legitimate president. Trump also questioned the eligibility of Marco Rubio to run for president. The list of conspiracies Trump has either advocated for or obliquely endorsed is long, including that the 2020 election was fixed.

The problem is and has been, people believe him.  The militia movement, white nationalism, and exotic conspiracy theories have flourished since the election of Barack Obama, and more so since Trump’s election.

If large numbers of American citizens, Nevadans, are capable of believing that Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey are having babies murdered in order to harvest the adrenaline in their blood, which is then sent to Wuhan China for processing into some elixir for Hillary, Oprah and other famous Democrats, it would be easy to persuade these same people – and potentially others – that the election was rigged or that anything is possible.

An alarming aspect of the problem is that these Trump militants and roughians are not limited to few gullible, innately angry citizens parroting conspiracy theories at the state Legislature. Nevada’s Republican leaders have joined the fold. Washoe County Commissioner Jeanne Herman voted against certification of the county’s election results, the only Washoe County commissioner to do so. 

And the fruit of Trump lies is beyond ripe in Nye County, Nevada.

Following the Capitol siege, the Central Committee of the Nye County Republican Party published an embarrassing piece of propaganda written by party chair Chris Zimmerman. Zimmerman is delusional and he votes.

“Let me be clear: Trump will be president for another four years,” Zimmerman wrote in the post on the Nye County GOP website. “Biden will not be president. Yes, I know those are shocking words in these crazy days.” 

It appears that Zimmerman and apparently Nye County Republicans have been totally swept away with lies and nonsense. They’re not alone. From Zimmerman’s perspective, Trump is a keen thinker and way ahead of his enemies.  

“We do well to remember that for more than four years Donald Trump has been five steps ahead of everyone in every attempt to derail him, impeach him, or confound him. For example, he announced on election night in the early hours of the morning that he ‘didn’t want a dump of ballots at 4AM.’ What happened in just a few short hours at almost exactly 4 AM? A huge ballot dump took place which showed that he already knew that it was going to take place. That was a public word to the enemies of our country that he was on to them.”

On the same day, we saw a Confederate flag paraded around inside the US Capitol, Confederate flags flew in Carson City. Is a nostalgic yearning for the Confederacy a plank in the Republican platform? Are sedition and oblique racism Republican Party values? 

Several Republican lawmakers, to include Nevada congressman Mark Amodei, have quietly condemned the attack on the Capitol. A few Republicans have asked Trump to resign. But when asked if he thinks the President is responsible for the attack, Amodei did not respond. Apparently, Amodei is standing by his man and his ideology.  

Noted militiaman Corey Lequieu told the Ally that it was the intention of the people who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2014 to start a second American Revolution. Letters Lequieu received for participating in the takeover show that some Americans share this vision. For another week, those citizens have a sympathetic and nurturing president in Donald Trump.

As such, Trump is a threat to our Democracy and Republic. He is a president who has used the powers of his office to lie and foment sedition in service to his political ambitions. In a few days he will no longer be president. Hopefully, he will be variously sued and otherwise prosecuted for inciting the attack on the Capitol and casting unfounded aspersions about voting systems. But what about his followers and the direction of the Republican Party? That remains to be seen. 

For now, Trump has helped Democrats gain control of both houses of Congress and the presidency. Maybe that will be a lesson for Republicans moving forward.