As IndieDems previously noted, by late last year Donald Trump and his Republican minions had turned American politics into a racist, xenophobic, conspiracy-mongering cesspool. We summed it up with these words:
It is the Republican Party that has thrown overboard the basic moral, democratic, and religious values that have guided the country for 240 years. It’s the Republican Party that has adopted lies and extremism as a normal way of life and become a replica of the fascist parties that spread so much evil in the 1930s and 40s.
Trump’s words and deeds over the past several weeks, and Republicans’ response to him, have further clarified the extent of the degradation of the Republican Party. Republicans, more than ever, have become moral outliers compared to all politicians that came before. Eight years of Trump’s leadership, guided by his from-the-gutter morality, has so warped Republicans’ hearts and minds, they are off the scale of any previous measure of a group’s moral sensibility.
New York Times columnist Frank Bruni summed it up cogently, labeling it The G.O.P.’s Nasty New Religion: Republicans inhabit “an inverted ethical universe, one where nastiness is toughness and bullying is boldness. One where contempt is strength.” Most Trump voters regard his penchant for insults as proof that he’s uniquely “strong and honest enough” to say out loud what other politicians want but don’t have the nerve to. Trump, in their minds, is not a vulgar, indecent, bullying lout. He’s an authentic and unbowed hero.
Another voice in the rising chorus is columnist Jessica Grose: “The Republican Party has undergone a fundamental shift, swapping a fixation on character and morality and so-called Family Values for a celebration of belligerence, violence, and, yes, toxic masculinity.”
IndieDems believes Grose came up with a term even better than toxic masculinity to describe Republicans: “toxic immaturity.”
A New Vocabulary
“Extremist” is still the best definition of the Republican Party’s ideology under Trump. But the new level of pure nastiness and personal insults requires these words: Lout. Oaf. Bully. Knave. Brute. Thug. Deceitful. Scoundrel. Rapscallion. Scalawag.
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