The thrust of Mr. Sumner’s piece is that Republicans are embracing Trump out of desperation, because they have run out of governing ideas.
Mr. Sumner’s thesis is wrong. Those who remain in the Republican Party have one big idea:
America is for White People—Especially White People Who are Male, Homophobic, Misogynistic, and Embrace White Christian Nationalism
What we are witnessing right now is the last spasm of the old America.
In one way, the embrace of the Big Lie is shocking, but, in a more fundamental way, it’s much of a muchness. The same people who now embrace the Big Lie about the 2020 election also thought that the 2008 and 2012 elections were illegitimate, because, in their fevered minds, a Black man with an Hawaiian birth certificate was actually born in Kenya.
The old America went to the polls in large numbers in 2016, and in even larger numbers in 2020. But the reaction it elicited from the new America was even larger.
We may talk of gerrymandering. We may talk of $1.9 trillion relief packages. We may speak of Senate parliamentarians. But the big picture, from 30,000 feet up, is that America is changing fundamentally.
The only surprise is that the counterrevolution, though doomed by demographics, has not been even stronger and even more violent.
Things will get better. But before they get better, they will probably get a little worse.