Boot wrote of his hope that Trump’s “outrageous” bid to overturn the 2020 election would be “the last gasp of a pathetic presidency in its dying days” but also of his worry “it might represent only a middle chapter in the Republican Party’s transformation” into an authoritarian party.
Boot, a vocal critic of Trump, noted how even before Trump’s arrival on the political stage, “Republicans had shown their willingness to use any means necessary to exercise power” — citing the 2000 election as just one example.
But Trump had “turbocharged the Republican revolt against democracy” and “produced a party platform whose only tenet is fealty to the supreme leader and his nebulous agenda.”
The GOP has in recent years become the party of conspiracy theorists and right-wing extremists, said Boot, noting how instead of trying to appeal to moderate voters, Republicans had now just turned to suppressing them.
And if Trump did run in 2024, Boot cautioned, then prominent Republicans “will do nothing to check his authoritarian impulses.” “Much of the GOP has already decided that achieving its policy preferences is more important than preserving America’s democracy,” he added.