'Authoritarian' GOP candidates employ 'apocalyptic' rhetoric heading into 2024: analysis
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Canyon Moon Ranch festival grounds on Jan. 15, 2022, in Florence, Arizona. - Mario Tama/Getty Images North America/TNS

A new analysis by the Washington Post has found that Republican presidential candidates, led by former President Donald Trump, are employing "dark" and "apocalyptic" rhetoric about the state of the nation heading into the 2024 campaign.

Among other things, the report cites statements by former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who claimed that "Joe Biden and the Democrats are destroying our people’s patriotism and swapping it out for dangerous self-loathing."

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who hasn't yet declared his candidacy but is widely expected to run for president soon, recently declared that his state is a sanctuary from Democratic-led "dystopia, where people’s rights were curtailed and their livelihoods were destroyed."

Neither of those candidates have matched the apocalyptic fury of former President Donald Trump, who has flat-out stated that America will cease to exist should he not be returned to the White House next year.

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"This is it — either they win or we win," Trump said recently. "And if they win, we no longer have a country."

Democratic strategist Joe Trippi tells the Post that this deeply dark rhetoric shows the GOP has turned into an "authoritarian party" where candidates feel the need to "intensify the rhetoric to get the same response, and so it’s a downward spiral.”

Longtime GOP pollster Frank Luntz echoed a similar sentiment and said it marked a significant contrast to the days of former President Ronald Reagan.

“Pessimism and negativity breeds more pessimism and negativity,” he said. “You get darker and darker and go deeper and deeper into a hole, and you cannot emerge.”