To quote you, Charlie Sykes, “The obvious question here is: why? Trump frequently boasts about (apocryphal) polls that show him supported by 95% of GOP voters? So, presumably, he would win all of these primaries handily? Right? Wouldn’t a series of big primary wins be a good thing? So what is he afraid of?
But Trump’s confidence (or lack of it) seems besides the point.
We should never cancel elections.”
Your quote, then, is about the GOP maneuver to have Trump the only choice for Republican voters.
“Admittedly, there has been a good deal of overwrought rhetoric about threats to democracy in the Trump era, but… canceling elections is quite literally about as undemocratic as you can get. It is almost a caricature of the whole democracy dies in darkness thing…”
You go on to quote Walsh: “The new class of party bosses won’t allow challenges, won’t allow dissent, won’t allow other voices. Apparently even Republicans voters can’t be trusted enough to choose a presidential candidate.”
So, as a sometime paltry contributor to the Bulwark and a reader of How The Right Lost Its Mind, I would like to answer the why. Authoritarianism justifies itself by using its authority to declare itself always right. Simple. It’s not that the party bosses don’t trust their base; they ignore their base as people and see them only as fodder for their political ends.
I just this second went to Amazon for something and saw this:
” the therapeutic statists oppose anything, including empirical knowledge, that impedes the expression of social and cultural guilt in an effort to raise the self-esteem of designated victims.”- a brief Amazon blurb on Paul Edward Gottfried Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt: Toward a Secular Theocracy.
What would Gottfried mean by “including empirical knowledge”? Think Charles Murray: all those IQ tests can’t be wrong, right? If we would only follow the empirical knowledge offered, we would see that the old hierarchy of Christian White males worked so well. The way people like Murray and Gottfried and Wm. Barr think is that the dominance of Western Europe aka Christian White males has always been the natural state of man, witness the Greeks and Romans, clearly the direct forerunners of Mike Pence – same type of people, really. Black were not allowed to vote for good reason – look, they vote Democratic now. See?
So given this end goal that I’ve projected onto these figures (excluding Trump who has no elevated notion of White Christian supremacy), you can see the why: it’s authoritarianism born of a sense of entitlement based on ethnic identity like Modi in India and so many others. And you can see that what is exceptional about America is the idea, not the people. We’re just like everyone else.
(sent to him)