On Wednesday's edition of MSNBC's "The ReidOut," conservative analyst Charlie Sykes warned that former President Donald Trump's brand of conspiracy theories and attacks on democracy have metastasized into the entire Republican Party, from the bottom up.
Sykes, a longtime Trump critic who has repeatedly called out the modern GOP's double standards, said that there is no longer much safe harbor for any Republicans who want to govern reasonably, or engage constructively with their right-wing constituents.
"We've both been in talk radio and there were some real gems, so we know they're out there," said anchor Joy Reid. "Could you have ever imagined that the people who used to call in on the radio are now the mainstream — not just the base of the party, they're the candidates. Your thoughts?"
"What a strange and wild ride," said Sykes. "It is like your crazy uncle that you kept in the basement has now suddenly appeared and is running the show ... it's almost as if we've gone post-Trump here, where the craziness has morphed into this mass psychosis where it's not just a few scattered anecdotes anymore, it is state after state where you are seeing, you know, some of the most extreme election deniers, not people running on some conservative or right-wing agenda, but people who have embraced the most bizarre conspiracies."
Among the factors inflaming things further, Sykes noted, are Trump increasingly endorsing the QAnon movement directly and calling into a D.C. jail rally for the high-level January 6 offenders. Meanwhile, he argued, Republican primary voters are consistently choosing "complete kooks" over "reasonably rational Republicans" — something that most recently happened this week in New Hampshire, where voters chose an election denier to run for Senate over Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's preferred candidate.
"If this is really an existential threat, we ought to act like it. But it is bizarre," said Sykes. "I've been pessimistic for some time. I've been amazed over and over again how the craziest voices have become dominant, and unfortunately it's getting worse."
Charlie Sykes says the GOP is now run by "your crazy uncle" www.youtube.com