Should-Read: Suppression of Black votes is an old American tradition. Suspicion of the wrong kind of non-Black votes is not. Yet that seems to be where the increasing numbers of Trumpublicans are going: it seems to be a central European or Latin American idea, not an American one: Jonathan Chait: Conservatives and the Cult of Trump: "Senator Orrin Hatch declared in December, 'We’re going to make this the greatest presidency that we’ve seen, not only in generations, but maybe ever'...

...At a meeting of the Republican National Committee earlier this month, at least one member went so far as to suggest Trump has surpassed their most sacred icon: “Reagan was my all-time favorite in my lifetime,” said Iowa Republican National Committeeman Steve Scheffler. “At least until now.”... Republican elites... opposed Trump during the primary... [for] different reasons.... But a central rationale for conservative opposition was the belief that Trump would deviate from conservative policy... "a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strong-man overtones.... Donald Trump is a menace to American conservatism." The key phrase here is the last one, “menace to American conservatism.” It is distinct from, say, a menace to the republic.... Conservatives could imagine Trump as an American Perón, catering to the masses with a populist agenda while sidelining the conservative elite. What did not especially trouble them was the prospect of Trump as an American Pinochet....

The idea that Trump’s anti-democratic qualities per se would alienate him from his party is a fantasy that rests upon a deep misunderstanding of conservatism. The Republican Party is attracted to anti-democratic means, so long as they’re used for the correct ends. Look at North Carolina.... Or look at Pennsylvania.... Against this chilling backdrop, the president’s frequently stated intent to make federal law enforcement a weapon to protect his party and investigate his opponents hardly even registers. Indeed, Trump’s routine authoritarian bluster nestles comfortably into a party where panic about unfriendly demographic changes has curdled into deep suspicion of the principle of majority rule...

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