Picture this: It’s November 4th 2020, the day after the election, and Donald Trump has been defeated – Joe Biden will become the next President in January. Around the US, millions of people celebrate – Trump has been defeated and America has the opportunity to try to regroup and rebuild. The nightmare is over. Except, it isn’t; not really.

Yes, if Trump loses the upcoming election it will indeed be a cause for celebration. The national electorate will have removed the most dangerous man ever elected to public office in America and we can only hope Biden will bring an end to the reckless, illegal, and authoritarian politics that have come to define the Trump White House. But like everything else in life: there are no easy fixes. The problem with the Republican party runs much deeper than Donald Trump.

While it’s easy to think of Trump as being fundamentally different to anything that has come before him, he is merely an aberration in terms of behaviour and personality.

Where Republicans of the past used a dog whistle for their racism, Trump uses a megaphone. While others within the party take care to wrap themselves up in Christianity and use the words of scripture to carefully position themselves as people of faith and virtue, Trump is far more comfortable embracing the fake and performative nature of their faux religion.

Donald Trump has changed what we consider possible for a president. But he was able to do it because he has the support of the Senate and those at the heart of power in the Republican party. Trump has of course used these past 4 years to greatly benefit his own personal and business interests, but Mitch McConnell and the GOP have used his term to repress rightsappoint judges who will do their bidding, and give tax breaks to the super rich, all while turning a blind eye to treason and saving Trump from Impeachment.

As Trump’s polling numbers have shrunk, it has been suggested that McConnell – and by extension the GOP – may turn focus to simply focus on keeping Trump’s numbers high enough to make sure the Senate remains in Republican control. Therein lies the problem with considering Trump the only show in town: when Trump does leave, be it this November or 2024, an evil spell will not magically be lifted from over the Republican party.

No, their fight to preserve their power and to continue spreading their hate will last way beyond Trump. We know this because it predates Trump.

Trump has shown the Republican party that racism, hate, and division are policies that can yield success when embraced openly. Perhaps the message will have to change without a salesman like Trump to push his particular style of bigotry, but as the GOP embraces QAnon candidates, don’t expect to see Republicans leaders resembling Dwight D. Eisenhower any time soon.

The Republican party currently represents the very worst aspects of humanity in which hate, greed, and fear reign supreme. Trump may lose the election in November, but the soul of the party was lost long ago. And as America continues to move away from a mainly white voting base, to one filled with black and Latino voters, expect voter suppression to be the building block to GOP campaigns for years to come. This nightmare didn’t start with Trump, and it certainly won’t end when he leaves office.

For more on the Republican party and the upcoming election, checkout our episode on the Never Trump Movement, featuring guest Adam H. Johnson.

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