Analysis: The GOP's devotion to Trump threatens to destroy American democracy

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With its cultish devotion to Donald Trump, the majority of the Republican Party is choosing a wannabe-autocrat over the political system that made the United States the world's most powerful nation and its dominant democracy.
(CNN)

The ex-President is showing that he doesn't have to be in the Oval Office to damage faith in US elections and to trash truth, as his movement based on lies and personal homage takes an increasingly firm grip of the Republican Party. The widespread mistrust he continues to foster in the fairness of the US political system among millions of voters poses grave risks to democracy itself.

Trump, using his bond with the conservative grassroots, has effectively made fealty to his false claims of a fraudulent election last year the price of entry for any Republican candidate in any race. Under his influence, one of America's two great political parties has effectively shed its belief in democracy -- a dereliction that is massively significant for the country's future.

As he seeks personal revenge, Trump is also mobilizing to try to destroy the political viability of any GOP office holders who tell the truth about the Capitol insurrection he inspired like Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

He is celebrating the boos that Sen. Mitt Romney, a former Republican presidential nominee, received from activists in Utah over the weekend, after voting to convict Trump over his abuses of power in two separate impeachment trials.

The former President retains an extraordinary ability to dictate the beliefs of his followers and the orthodoxy of the GOP on a daily basis.

"The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!" Trump decreed in a statement Monday, literally reversing the facts about last November's free and fair election that he lost.

Cheney may well be sacrificing her own political career as one of the few GOP lawmakers with the guts to speak truth about Trump's anti-democratic attacks. A new effort is underway among the ex-President's acolytes in Congress to strip her of her No. 3 position in the House only three months after she comfortably retained it in a secret ballot election.…
Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN
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