In its fundamental drive to make the rich richer, the GOP has embraced and enabled Trump’s fascist-style fear mongering. It has excused, even applauded, when he’s insulted allies and been suckered by tyrants. It ignores his unctuous dictator envy, whether he is talking about Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Rodrigo Duterte, or the Salmans of Saudi Arabia.
We’ve seen many times the way fragile democratic institutions can be used to destroy democracy. History is full of precedents. Both Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini first came to power through the electoral process. But we don’t have to grasp at such old and extreme examples. There are cautionary ones all around us in the present. From Venezuela and Nicaragua to Turkey and Egypt to Russia and the Philippines we’ve seen presidents use their initial popularity to tear apart the institutions that might have checked their power. Already we see concerted efforts to disenfranchise Trump’s likely political opponents, and his own direct attack on due process of law.