The battle against ‘authoritarian’ Trumpism may not end with Trump’s presidency
Proud Boys rally in Washington, DC (screengrab).

The Lincoln Project and other Never Trump conservatives were hoping that the 2020 election would bring a blue tsunami so massive that Trumpism would be repudiated across the board, but it didn't work out that way. Although President-elect Joe Biden enjoyed a decisive victory — winning 306 electoral votes and defeating Trump by more than 7 million in the popular vote — the Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives will be smaller in 2021. And it remains to be seen whether Democrats or Republicans will be the majority in the U.S. Senate in 2021. Moreover, Trump's MAGA base is still fired up. Reed Galen, co-founder of the Lincoln Project, discusses the future of Trumpism in an op-ed published by the Washington Post this week — and he warns that the battle against Trumpism will not end when Trump leaves the White House on January 20.

"While President Trump will leave office as a failed, one-term president, the fight against Trumpism is just beginning," Galen explains. "A year ago, The Lincoln Project launched with two stated goals. First, Defeat Donald Trump at the ballot box. Second, ensure Trumpism failed alongside him. We are proud to have been a part of the broad and deep coalition that helped elect Joe Biden and Kamala D. Harris to the White House. Trumpism, however, is far from extinction."

Galen adds that since the election, "much of the Republican Party" has decided to "turn fully against American democracy" and keep Trump in the White House even though he clearly lost the election.

"Trump's allies and abettors, including more than 100 lawmakers and 18 Republican state attorneys general, tried to poison our political system in the service of a personality cult," Galen writes. "Theirs is a veneration driven not by high ideals but by fear, resentment and a transparent desire to maintain power for its own sake. Even now, many Republicans in Congress continue to try, by ludicrous and quixotic means, to overturn the will of more than 80 million voters. This week, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) privately warned Republicans not to disrupt the official opening of electoral votes on January 6."

Trumpism, Galen laments, is alive and well "despite Biden's clear and overwhelming victory"—and that was evident when the Proud Boys recently "rampaged in Downtown Washington, reminding us that violence is their next iteration."

"Trump's camp followers, such as Stephen K. Bannon, Alex Jones, Fox News, OAN, Newsmax and many others, will not stop actively injecting disinformation into the country's air supply," Galen stresses. "They are highly skilled, and we must not underestimate their ability to pull us apart and keep us divided. Trump's helpmates have called for honorable public officials to be beheaded, drawn and quartered and taken outside to be shot. They are living proof of what former President Ronald Reagan said: 'Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction."

A wide variety of Trump critics rallied around Biden this year, from veteran conservatives like George Will, Carly Fiorina, Bill Kristol, Mona Charen and Cindy McCain to self-described "democratic socialists" like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — all of whom agreed that Trump's presidency has been a disaster. And Galen wraps up his op-ed by emphasizing that in 2021, Democrats and Never Trumpers will need to join forces and remain vigilant against Trumpism, policy differences and all.

"Those of us who voted for Biden and Harris must remember that our coalition is our best offense and defense," Galen writes. "Though we will not agree on everything, we must march forward together against the forces of authoritarianism."