Explaining Behavior of Seemingly Crazy Republicans

One can understand why so many Republicans promote, or at least entertain, or at least look benignly on the Big Lie that our election processes are hopelessly flawed and that the election was stolen from Trump. The reason is that (i) it gives them cover for corrupting and contorting election processes sufficiently so they can gain control both houses of Congress in the 2022 elections and the presidency in the 2024 election, even though a majority of people wouldn’t want that to happen, and (ii) they lack sufficient character and courage to hew to the truth and uphold American democracy if it means that doing so would diminish their chances of gaining power.

That doesn’t quite explain why so many Republicans cast phony doubts on Covid vaccine and why prominent GOP governors like DeSantis (Florida) and Abbott (Texas) ban, or try to ban, mask mandates in schools and other venues, even though their efforts ensure increased spreading of the virus, more hospitalizations, and more deaths. One would think that their crazy tactics would be politically counter-productive. Why do they pursue them? I think the answer is that successfully corrupting and contorting the election process requires sowing confusion and stimulating distrust in government. The more confusion and distrust in government there is, the more likely they are to succeed in gaining power. Their seemingly crazy behavior makes perfect sense.