Michael Steele: GOP is 'convulsing with conspiracy theories' — and it's a 'death trap' for democracy
Michael Steele (MSNBC)

On Tuesday, writing for MSNBC, former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele laid into his longtime party, calling its recent behavior a "death trap for American democracy."

"Addressing a reunion of Civil War soldiers in 1875, President Ulysses S. Grant predicted that the dividing line in the nation's next great conflict 'will not be Mason's or Dixon's, but between patriotism and intelligence on one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other,'" wrote Steele, a frequent critic of the direction of the party. "A century and a half later, a once proud Republican Party is convulsing with conspiracy theories and lies about the 2020 election while desperately trying to recast the insurrection of Jan. 6 as nothing more than a tourist event."

The GOP ought to have abandoned Trump after he crashed and burned in 2020, noted Steele — but instead they're doubling down on his false claims that the election was stolen from him.

"Since his exile to the modern-day Elba of Mar-a-Lago, the disgraced former president's mantle of lies and divisiveness has been trumpeted by elected GOP apostates of Republicanism and the conservative ideals that animate its principles," wrote Steele. "Willing to speak truth only in whispers and behind closed doors, they have taken a jackhammer to the very foundation of our democracy as they persist in promoting the 'big lie.'" And, he wrote, they even purged Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from leadership in favor of a less conservative Republican because she wouldn't defend those falsehoods.

"Defeating ambition and ignorance with patriotism and intelligence will require us to follow Lincoln's advice to engage one another and our nation around core principles for a successful American democracy like pluralism and civic responsibility; or the rule of law and Constitutional order, so as to make converts to truth and justice day by day, neighbor by neighbor, conversation by conversation," concluded Steele. "Yeah, we have some work to do; otherwise, this does not end well — for any of us."

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