In February of this year, I started a writing the following post (which I have edited just now):
Acquittal of Trump Feels like the Beginning of a Dangerous Moment in the U.S.
I actually think that for most of the Trump presidency, the U.S. was in a dangerous situation. Trump is erratic and ignorant. Even if he didn’t start a catastrophe, he could mishandle a situation and create one. But here’s why I single out the recent Senate acquittal. Even if Republicans actively or passively supported Trump, in spite of his egregious acts of corruption, incompetence, and gross unfitness—I believed Republicans still could still redeem these failings and their party, if they stood up to or stopped Trump in a significant way at a critical time. Impeachment and conviction/removal of Trump was one such moment. Up until something like impeachment and removal, I had a small glimmer of hope for Republicans, at least a meaningful number, deep down respected the rule of law and Constitution, and would ultimately put the country ahead of their party. Senate Republicans, joining Democrats, to convict and remove Trump would have shown this.
But this did not happen. This action now suggests to me that Republicans, overall, either do not embrace the rule of law and Constitution or are too weak and craven to meaningfully defend it—which, to me, is another way of sayingthe Republicans, as a party, have essentially stepped away from being a liberal democratic party, and have become an authoritarian one instead. (Continued in the next comment post.)