In a recent excerpt from his biography of Mitt Romney (“Romney: A Reckoning”), McKay Coppins reveals that the reason Romney was the only Senate Republican to vote for Donald Trump’s impeachment was that the others were too afraid for the safety of themselves and their families. Romney ended up spending $5,000/day for his own security detail. Most appalling to me was the story of the two poll workers, Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Shaye Moss, who were subject to threats of violence after being falsely accused of vote tampering by Rudy Giuliani.
While we should probably not be surprised at fear being used as a tactic by pathological bullies like Trump, what is surprising to me is how readily his sycophants follow suit. I am reminded of Timothy Snyder’s observation in his book, “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century,” that, historically, much of a tyrant’s power is freely provided by his followers in an obvious attempt to please their leader. How else to explain the cruel words of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who wants Joe Biden’s impeachment inquiry to be “long and excruciatingly painful”? Or the words of Senate candidate Kari Lake, who says that she and fellow National Rifle Association members will protect Trump? And Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., who says Gen. Mark Milley should be “hung,” mirroring Trump’s call for Milley’s execution for treason?
While words are bad enough, actions are worse. Trump pleasers are found among Republican legislators who are trying to make voting more difficult. Lone wolves, like Patrick Crusius, who, in an alleged show of support for Trump’s immigration policies, killed 20 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and paramilitaries, like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, allegedly in support of Trump.
Now that we know what Trump and his sycophants have in store for us, let’s make sure they don’t win in 2024.
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