It is not often that you will see me agreeing with Andrew Sullivan. So take note when I do. He has a long-form piece at New York Magazine ominously titled “Democracies end when they are too democratic. And right now, America is a breeding ground for tyranny.” The whole thing is about the threat of Trumpism and the very real prospect of Trump assuming the presidency. If you don’t have time to read the whole thing, you should at least read the conclusion (see below). Read it and shudder.
Republicans desperately trying to use the long-standing rules of their own nominating process to thwart this monster deserve our passionate support, not our disdain. This is not the moment to remind them that they partly brought this on themselves. This is a moment to offer solidarity, especially as the odds are increasingly stacked against them. Ted Cruz and John Kasich face their decisive battle in Indiana on May 3. But they need to fight on, with any tactic at hand, all the way to the bitter end. The Republican delegates who are trying to protect their party from the whims of an outsider demagogue are, at this moment, doing what they ought to be doing to prevent civil and racial unrest, an international conflict, and a constitutional crisis. These GOP elites have every right to deploy whatever rules or procedural roadblocks they can muster, and they should refuse to be intimidated.
And if they fail in Indiana or Cleveland, as they likely will, they need, quite simply, to disown their party’s candidate. They should resist any temptation to loyally back the nominee or to sit this election out. They must take the fight to Trump at every opportunity, unite with Democrats and Independents against him, and be prepared to sacrifice one election in order to save their party and their country.
For Trump is not just a wacky politician of the far right, or a riveting television spectacle, or a Twitter phenom and bizarre working-class hero. He is not just another candidate to be parsed and analyzed by TV pundits in the same breath as all the others. In terms of our liberal democracy and constitutional order, Trump is an extinction-level event. It’s long past time we started treating him as such.
The language is rough throughout this essay. Also, I don’t agree with him on every detail, so caveat lector. But in the main, I am afraid he is right about the threat that Trump poses to our constitutional order. I hope I’m wrong. I really do. You can read the rest here.