buruma169_Win McNameeGetty Images_UScapitolprotest Win McNamee/Getty Images

Trump’s Götterdämmerung

Without Trump’s bizarre but effective grip on the party, Republicans may well face a period of vicious infighting, which could conceivably tear their party apart. If so, they richly deserve it.

NEW YORK – Anyone who was surprised by the mayhem in Washington, DC has not been paying attention for the last four years. The grotesque scenes around the Capitol on January 6 were indeed shocking: wild-eyed thugs with neo-Nazi flags and Trump banners smashing their way into the House of Representatives and the Senate, while mobs roared “USA” and “Stop the Steal” and others took selfies to show their moment of glory to their grandchildren one day.

But the most disgusting spectacle of all was that of Trump himself inciting his frenzied followers to march on the Capitol to overturn the election and fight the “evil” enemies who had supposedly robbed him of his victory.

It was shocking, but not surprising. Anyone could have seen this coming from that moment in 2016, during the second presidential debate, when Trump was asked whether he would accept the result of the coming election. He replied that this would depend on the result. In other words, he would accept only his own victory. Any other outcome would be illegitimate. It was clear then that he would not abide by the basic rules of liberal democracy.

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