Beware: The Entire Republican Party Is A Menace, Not Just Trump

One reason I’ve been less angry about the CNN town hall than most other liberals is that I don’t believe Donald Trump is uniquely dangerous. In his first campaign and in his presidency, Trump did harmful things to America that other Republicans and right-wing operatives hadn’t dared to do — but now Trump’s techniques have been absorbed by the GOP and the right. Even at the peak of his power, Trump functioned as a cog in a Republican machine that had been corroding democracy and demonizing enemies for years.

Obviously, Trump made the machine work far more efficiently. But long before he started his first campaign, the Republican machine was doing Trumpian things, though with a bit more caution. Pre-Trump Republicans stopped the Florida recount in 2000 and finagled a corrupt Supreme Court decision that put George W. Bush in the White House; Trump tried to overturn the 2020 election results by force. Pre-Trump Republicans were racist in code; Trump dropped the code. Pre-Trump Republicans enacted restrictions on voting and persuaded millions of Americans that all-but-nonexistent “voter fraud” was widespread; Trump declared that any election he lost was rigged. Pre-Trump Republicans engineered a hostile takeover of the federal courts; Trump merely finished the job.

Republicans were dangerous before Trump. They would have been dangerous even if Trump had never entered politics. Now they’re dangerous in Trumpish as well as non-Trumpish ways, and those dangers will still be there even if Trump drops dead tomorrow.

Which is why I wish more attention could be paid to Republicans other than Trump.

Today, The Washington Post reports that President Biden’s reelection campaign intends to compete for North Carolina and possibly Florida. Pumping money into Florida seems like a waste of time, but Biden lost North Carolina by 1.3 points in 2020, and Barack Obama won it in 2008. The state has a Democratic governor now, and Democrats lost Senate races in 2020 and 2022 by 2 and 3 points, respectively.

In addition, the Republican candidate for governor in 2024 is almost certain to be a divisive hatemonger named Mark Robinson.

Robinson is the kind of Republican I wish would get more attention in the national media. He should be a household name, like Marjorie Taylor Greene. He’s mentioned in the Post story, but only in the 20th and 21st paragraphs, although what readers are told is disturbing enough:

The Republican favorite for the job, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, supports an outright abortion ban and opposes same-sex marriage. He is known for controversial statements, such as calling homosexuality and transgenderism “filth” and calling student survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting “media prostit-tots.” He has boasted of owning a semiautomatic rifle in case the government gets “too big for its britches.”

“In Mark Robinson, you have a very powerful force that will turn out not only the Democratic base, but will sway a lot of independent voters because they’re not going to tolerate particularly a governor candidate who has an AR-15 and is ready to shoot government officials,” said [Governor Roy] Cooper, who is barred by law from seeking a third term in office.

I think the AR-15 line is much less toxic, by U.S. standards, than the other remarks — and there are so many more beyond what the Post is reporting. A few examples:

In strongly worded Facebook posts, he decried a “globalist” conspiracy to “destroy” former President Donald Trump and took aim at Black Panther, the Marvel film whose titular protagonist, as Robinson put it, was “created by an agnostic Jew and put to film by [a] satanic marxist.” He went on to allege, using a Yiddish slur, that the movie “was only created to pull the shekels out of your Schvartze pockets.”

… Raleigh’s News & Observer unearthed an interview in which Robinson spoke with a fringe pastor, Sean Moon, who claimed that the modern incarnation of the four horsemen of the apocalypse includes China, the CIA, Islam and the Rothschild family of “international bankers that rule every single national or federal reserve-type style of central bank in every single country.”

Rather than objecting to the blatantly antisemitic conspiracy theory, Robinson grunted along in agreement. “That’s exactly right,” he said.

Robinson, who is Black, seems to despise Black people:

In various posts over the years he referred to Black people as “muddle headed negroes,” “apes,” and “a monkey.”

“February is Black History Month. I guess the shortest month of the year is all we need to learn about the separate but equal history of a people who have achieved so little,” Robinson wrote in 2014.

… In a 2014 post, he shared a picture of a controversial t-shirt attacking the NAACP civil rights organization that had been sold by a North Carolina Republican politician. The image showed a white man holding a Confederate flag and urinating on the letters “NAACP.”

“I think the shirt was completely unnecessary,” Robinson wrote. “The NAACP has done a fine job of pissing on itself and its legacy for many years now.”

Robinson is also a conspiracy kook:

In 2016, as he watched the summer Olympics, along with being outraged about the Muslim fencer, Robinson was disturbed by the start of the games.

“AND NOW IT’S TIME TO PLAY…………..How many occult symbols can you spot in the Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies!!!!!!!” he wrote.

… Robinson also saw conspiracies behind organizations that provide abortions.

“Planned Parenthood; Doing the devils work, with liberals support, for the New World Order.

#takedownplannedparenthood,” he wrote in 2015.

… Even reality television was evidence of spreading darkness for Robinson.

“I know this may sound paranoid and crazy, but I truly believe that the ‘judgement’ format of these ‘reality’ competition shows ( i.e. American Idol, DWTS, Chopped, etc. ) is sign of things to come in the REALITY of the New World Order,” wrote Robinson in 2015, before adding an ominous hashtag, “#timewilltell”

This man is the lieutenant governor of a swing state. He’s leading in primary polling for governor by 34 points, and he’s slightly ahead of the likely Democratic candidate in one poll. And here’s the key point: Robinson, who’s 54 years old, will be like this long after Trump is out of politics. Maybe Trump persuaded Republicans that a person like Robinson could be politically viable, but decades of ugly speech on the Internet, Fox News, and talk radio are what made people like Trump and Robinson viable. Those forces will exist long after Trump is gone.

And then there’s Mike Flynn. The Hill reports that Trump hopes to give Flynn a job in his administration if he’s elected again.

“I will say, General Flynn, he’s some general. He’s some man. He took abuse like nobody could have handled, and he came out bigger, better, stronger than ever before,” Trump said via phone to the “ReAwaken America” rally at Trump National Doral Miami, according to a Rolling Stone report.

The Hill story gives us a brief rundown on Flynn career since 2017:

Flynn, whom Trump fired early in his administration, pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about speaking with the Russian ambassador, though he later withdrew the plea.

He’s been surrounded by other controversies related to the 2020 transfer of power and prior dealings with foreign entities, and has been tied to QAnon and backed Trump’s claims of widespread election fraud. He was pardoned by Trump as the former president left office.

When Flynn is described this way, the idea that he might return to power seems only moderately unsettling. But Flynn isn’t just a guy who has embraced QAnon, called for a military coup to return Trump to the White House, or argued that America should be a Christian theocracy:

“If we are going to have one nation under God, which we must, we have to have one religion,” he said. “One nation under God and one religion under God, right? All of us, working together.”

He’s also a co-founder of the ReAwaken America tour, a traveling roadshow that peddles raw sewage from feature speakers like these guys:

Charlie Ward, an antisemite who has shared posts praising Adolf Hitler for supposedly “warning us” about Judaism; claiming that “VIRUSES are Man (JEW) made”; and calling 9/11 a Jewish plot. He’s also promoted a book which claims “that the official narrative of the Holocaust cannot be sustained” and shared a video attacking the alleged Jewish media for supposedly lying about the Holocaust.

Ward, who is a QAnon supporter, has also promoted fringe conspiracy theories claiming the Earth is flat, the moon landing was faked, and prominent people including President Joe Biden … are actually “reptilian humanoid hybrids.”

… Scott McKay … has claimed that Jewish people are fakes and have perpetrated 9/11; set up banking systems “in exchange for the child blood sacrifices”; and engineered presidential assassinations, among many other crimes. McKay has also praised Hitler and said he was trying to create “a banking system for the people and the free world.”

Keep in mind that Flynn is doing this independent of Trump. Trump’s son Eric frequently appears on the tour, and Donald Trump, as noted above, phoned in to a Florida ReAwaken rally, but the tour doesn’t depend on Donald Trump for support, and would undoubtedly continue if he died tomorrow. Flynn is only 64, more than a decade younger than Trump. This is a second career for him, and he won’t give it up soon. If he runs for president in 2028, and polls reasonably well, I won’t be surprised.

The menace of modern conservatism doesn’t begin and end with Trump. It may seem hard to believe now, but when Trump is gone from the scene, it’s likely that there’ll barely be a decrease on the toxicity of our politics.

Republished with permission from No More Mister Nice Blog.

Beware: The Entire Republican Party Is A Menace, Not Just Trump

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