Trump's 'personality disorder' has infected the Republican Party: conservative
Donald Trump (Photo via AFP)

In his column for the Atlantic, former George W. Bush administration official and longtime conservative commentator Peter Wehner claims that Donald Trump has done irreparable damage to the Republican Party because it has adopted some of his worst characteristics and tactics.

Harkening back to an appearance he made on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" in 2016 where he said the now-former president suffered from a "personality disorder" and that America would be made to "suffer" because of it, Wehner now contends that the GOP is now likewise afflicted.

As he put it, "Trump never found a way to escape the antisocial demons that haunt him. But here’s what turned a personal tragedy into a national calamity: he imprinted his moral pathologies, his will-to-power ethic, on the Republican Party."

Pointing out that the Republican Party he joined stood for law and order and moral values, the columnist claimed the current iteration has thrown it away because of their "... fealty to Trump despite his ceaseless lying and dehumanizing rhetoric, his misogyny and appeals to racism, his bullying and conspiracy theories."

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"Something malicious has occurred since Trump won the nomination in 2016. Six years ago, Republicans jettisoned their previous moral commitments in order to align themselves with the MAGA movement. Today, they have inverted them. Lawmakers, candidates, and those in the right-wing media ecosystem celebrate and imitate Trump’s nihilism, cynicism, and cruelty," he wrote before adding, " what was once considered a bug is now a feature. This is the result of individuals’ and institutions’ accommodation of one moral transgression after another after another. With each moral compromise, the next one—a worse one—becomes easier to accept. Conduct that would have horrified Republicans in the past now causes them, at best, to shrug their shoulders; at worst, they delight in it."

Worse still, he suggested, the Republican Party has grown worse since he lost the 2020 presidential election as a faction "has gotten more radicalized, more aggressive, and more conspiracy-minded."

According to Wehner, it's time for mainstream Republicans to set about destroying the MAGA Republicans and get the party back to its roots.

"It requires defeating Trump Republicans at the polls, but it goes well beyond that. It also means rallying the forces that must rise up to oppose authoritarianism by speaking honestly about the nature of the threat. It means telling the truth about not just Trump but many of his supporters, who remain complicit in a corrupt and corrupting enterprise, one that is inflicting grave injury on our nation and its ideals," he proposed.

"I am not suggesting 'giving up' on individual MAGA supporters, writing them off, throwing them out of polite society—even if I were in a position to do any of those things, which I’m not. I am suggesting that much of MAGA world is authoritarian; that Liz Cheney is right to turn all her political energies to opposing it; and that containing and defeating MAGA—not hoping it will change, not placating its grievances—is now the No. 1 priority for friends of democracy," he wrote before concluding, "Maybe we’ll succeed, maybe we’ll fail, but the mission is unavoidable. And honorable."

You can read his whole piece here -- subscription required.