Examples of this extreme run the gamut, from two majority-Republican states enacting draconian abortion bans, to New Hampshire voters electing an election denialist as the GOP candidate for the US Senate, to GOP governors treating Latinos like nothing of the past. President Donald Trump’s ominous warning of “big trouble” for the country if he is impeached.
In all these ways and more, over the past seven days, the country has witnessed a parade of Republican bigotry.
After enacting new bans on nearly all abortions, Republicans in Indiana and West Virginia are saying that a woman’s uterus becomes state property from the moment of conception, except in some exceptional circumstances. For example, under the West Virginia law that went into effect on Friday, a woman who wants to terminate a pregnancy after rape is allowed to have an abortion. within the first eight weeks, but only if she reports the rape to the police within 48 hours of the planned procedure.
Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott are trying to one-up each other by moving Latino migrants to far-flung blue-state locations to score political points. As volunteers waited at the main bus station in Washington DC for migrants to arrive from Texas, Abbott’s team, without prior warning, sent the bus to a location near Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence.
To avoid the cruelty Olympics, DeSantis chartered two planes to transport Latino migrants from Texas, and at least some of the migrants were misled into thinking they were being taken to Boston, where they would be offered jobs and housing. Instead, they were dropped off miles from that city on Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts and a popular vacation destination for thousands of people each summer.
If Abbott or DeSantis considered these Latino men, women and children human, they would have notified local authorities to meet them there. the migrants But today’s GOP is about celebrating cruelty.
Then there was Trump, who many GOP voters expect to be the 2024 White House nominee, saying in a radio interview Thursday that he would be criminal if he were charged with a crime for keeping classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home after he left office. House, “I think you’d have problems like we’ve never seen before in this country.”
Before January 6, 2021, that kind of language could be dismissed as excessive rhetoric. But after Trump supporters staged a “Stop the Robbery” attack that day, including a massacre that saw hundreds of people overrun the US Capitol, his reckless words could upset his base if they judge him to seek revenge.
In a separate but equally ominous message, Trump on Tuesday appeared to embrace the dangerous conspiracy movement QAnon by reposting an image of himself wearing a Q lapel pin overlaid with the words “The Storm is Coming” on social media. For QAnon adherents, “The Storm” is code language for a time when Trump will regain power and even punish and execute his opponents.
The GOP’s extreme week didn’t stop there. Election denier Dan Bolduc clinched the New Hampshire GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in Tuesday’s primary. Bolduc’s views on how the 2020 election was “rigged” were so outlandish that GOP New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu called Bolduc a conspiracy theorist. (Bolduce responded by calling Sununu “a Chinese Communist sympathizer.”)
After the primaries, Bolduc dropped his election denial, realizing in due course after “doing a lot of research” on the issue, “unfortunately, President (Joe) Biden is the legitimate president of this country.”
All of the above happened literally last week. But since the rise of MAGA, the GOP has moved in that direction. In fact, Biden warned this month in an impassioned speech at Independence Hall in Philadelphia that the wing of the GOP he calls “MAGA Republicans” has embraced “an extremism that threatens the foundations of our republic.”
“Equality and democracy are under attack,” said Biden.
According to recent polls, Americans are thankfully paying attention. In May, a Fox News poll had the GOP ahead of Democrats by 7 points when asked if voters want to control Congress. A few months later, a new Fox News poll found that Democrats now hold a 3-point lead on the same question.
These midterm elections are the likes of which this country has never faced. It’s not just about which political party will win; it is a matter of democracy prevailing. Fortunately, voters — at least for now — can still decide our future through elections. The stakes couldn’t be higher.