How I Was Astonished by the Transformation of Republicans and the Republican Party

Growing up, and after growing up, I was so indoctrinated in American exceptionalism, in thinking how proud most Americans must be in our country, our Constitutional form of government, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, the Gettysburg Address, making the world safe for Democracy, how, through American goodness, former fascist dictatorships Germany, Japan, and Italy became transformed into shining democracies, winning the cold war, breaking down the Berlin wall, the Civil Rights movement –– all that and a lot of other good stuff –– that it never occurred to me that the Republican Party, affectionally known as the GOP (the Grand Old Party), could become dominated by people intent on subjugating, or acceding to the subjugation of, our country to fascistic, mendacious, plutocratic, white supremacist-tolerating, brutish, authoritarian, unAmerican one party rule.