If you want to understand how the GOP will subvert democracy to achieve minority power for white Christian supremacy, you need to pay attention to Arizona, which has emerged as a fecund laboratory for the radicalized, weaponized death cult spanning the A to Z from assholes to zealots. That might seem hyperbolic in light of President Biden’s historic win, becoming only the second Democrat to take Arizona’s 11 electoral votes since 1948, and the election of two Democratic senators—former astronaut Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, who at the time of this article is apparently still a Democrat in Denim despite obstructing her party’s ambitious agenda. However, look a little closer, and you’ll see the ideological tiki-torchbearers of former senator and life-long racist Barry Goldwater, seeking to burn our democratic norms down to the ground. Goldwater was the godfather of “the Southern Strategy” that successfully manipulated white rage and white anxiety over civil rights progress and feminism to win over white voters. The strategy, refined by Nixon, perfected by Reagan, and fully radicalized and realized by Trump, also courts white evangelical Christians, seeks to destroy social welfare programs, and is now aggressively paving the way for Trumpism and authoritarian rule. The Arizona GOP is no longer the party of “moderate” John McCain, who was the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, or roughly a million years ago. Now? Even in death, he’s the target of GOP mockery and contempt. His “RINO” family has been cancelled by MAGA acolytes because they didn’t bend the knee for Trump, who released a statement last week ridiculing Meghan McCain’s departure from The View and referring to her as a “bully” and a “lowlife.” Last January, the Arizona Republican Party officially censured Cindy McCain, Governor Doug Ducey, and former senator Jeff Flake, simply because they opposed Trump’s failed coup. Kelli Ward, the head of the Arizona GOP, continues to be one of the most active promoters of the “Big Lie” that inspired violent insurrectionists to overrun the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. She stands by the lie even after Cyber Ninjas, an inexperienced outfit hired by Republicans to do an election audit of Maricopa County, found that Biden actually won by even a larger margin and there was no fraud. Trump, the cult leader, still barks “Fraud!”—which means that Ward and Arizona Republicans still jump and repeat the dog whistles. Earlier this week, Ward called for election audits in all 15 Arizona counties. Republican leaders across the country are doubling down on these time and money-wasting “fraudits” to rile up their radicalized base, degrade their faith in democratic institutions, and mislead them with conspiracy theories that the “deep state” is somehow oppressing their votes and liberties. Meanwhile, Arizona Republicans, who are masters of hypocritical projection, have been driving the GOP’s unprecedented voter suppression bills to make sure people of color and Democratic voters don’t deny them another election. Just in case voter suppression doesn’t work, Trump and Republicans are banking on Arizona congressman Mark Finchem to help them throw out the state’s electoral votes if, God forbid, the state votes against Trump in 2024. Finchem, who actively promotes the Big Lie, will do what Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger refused to do, which is to succumb to Trump’s demand to “find votes” and overturn the results. Raffensperger, a life-long Republican, is now purged from the GOP, much like the McCains and even Rep. Liz Cheney, who voted for Trump’s agenda 93 percent of the time and was the party’s No. 3 in the House. Why? They put their country and democracy over the authoritarian impulses of a corrupt vulgarian. Finchem . . . read the full article here.