A look how a guy who was something….
Has become just Lost along with his Republican party…..
Many other journalists have written about Graham and Trump. Most of them have focused on the personal relationship between the two men. They examine the ways in which Graham’s evolution was distinctive.
I’m not interested in what’s distinctive about Graham. I’m interested in what isn’t. How does his story illuminate what happened to the whole Republican party? How did the poison work?
We need to answer these questions because the authoritarian threat is bigger than one man. Donald Trump’s ascent to the presidency destroyed the myth that the United States was immune to despotism. Our institutions and the people who run them are vulnerable. We have to confront these vulnerabilities and learn how to deal with them before our democracy is threatened again.
So why focus on Graham?
First, because he was a central player in the Republican party’s capitulation to Trump. And second, because he talked constantly. He produced an enormous trove of interviews, speeches, press briefings, and social media posts. Through these records, we can see how he changed, week to week and month to month. We can watch the poison work.
It’s a slow death. The surrender to despotism doesn’t happen all at once. It advances in stages: a step, a rationalization. Another step, another rationalization. The deeper you go, the more you need to justify. You say what you need to say. You believe what you need to believe.
So let’s go back to the beginning. Let’s see who Lindsey Graham was before he drank the poison….
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