It started with the Gracchi brothers in 133 BC who disregarded the governmental norms of the day that called for Roman senators and representatives to treat each other with decorum, courtesy, and respect . What incrementally progressed over the next century was a trashing of civility, starting with insults, then mob action, assaults, assassinations and ultimately civil war. A steady decline in republican government over 130 years was followed by the Roman Empire under emperors, some good and some horrible.
I have long feared the golden age of US history that we inherited has from the time of Bush / Gore steadily undergone a similar slide. Had the 2020 election been closer, we may today be experiencing mob action, military intervention, and be at the cusp of civil war. I don’t know that the outcome in the courts attested as much to the strength of our institutions as the sober assessments of politicians that Trump and a political party couldn’t get away with stealing the election given such a clear result.
At least not this time.
Over the next few years, will Donald Trump continue to hold the support of close to half of the electorate or will he, like the populist Joe McCarthy, become almost universally disdained?
As a first precaution, will we have sense enough to amend the Constitution to eliminate the power of state legislatures to appoint representatives to the Electoral College?