43 Senate Republicans fear primary challenges more than eroding the democracy they supposedly serve and emboldening future American autocrats. That’s the only explanation I can imagine — other than having drunk the Kool-Aid like Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and Ron Johnson — for acquitting Donald Trump after he perpetrated the “big lie” of a stolen election for two months, after he learned from his daily intelligence briefing that many of the “stop the steal” rally-goers had expressed violent plans and intentions, after he then still urged his most devoted followers to march to the Capitol Building and “fight like hell” to prevent Congress from certifying the election results, after a sworn statement from Congresswoman Herrera Beutler that he had responded to Kevin McCarthy’s pleas to call off the rioters by saying the people breaking into McCarthy’s office cared more about the stolen election than he did.
As frustrating as Trump’s acquittal is, I’m much more concerned about future elections. Evidently, a president has to lead the insurrection from the front lines before enough Senators will break party lines to convict him or her. Authoritarians like Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, and Josh Hawley are paying attention. Voters must pay attention, too.