The Party of Lincoln is gone. Forever gone. All that remains of it are nostalgic followers who don't accept its passing or don't see clearly what has taken its place.
Systematically, over time, and with stealth, the Republican Party officeholders have been replaced by a subversive cohort of politicians hostile to a pluralistic, democratic Republic in which they must share power with others who don't look, think, or worship like them.
Demographic changes over the years have expanded majority opinions to include more ethnic and racial minorities while shrinking the proportion of eurocentric white voters. Additionally, income inequality has massively increased the power and influence of a tiny number of ultra-wealthy citizens who want a greater say in government.
Consider that the top 0.1% own as much wealth as the bottom 90% of Americans yet represents just 238,000 voters compared to 214 million people of voting age in the bottom 90% group. These citizens occupy a world of business in which they get one vote for each share of ownership, a style of corporate governance that they would happily apply to national governance.
Under these conditions, the industrialist elites have created a Republican Party that is a tightly wrapped coalition of wealthy special-interest groups and a disparate collection of disaffected social-interest groups with otherwise unpopular goals. Collectively, they are working towards a more autocratic system of government wherein their unpopular ideas can be imposed on the rest of us.
The bedrock of any democracy is the consent of minority interests to accept majority rule in exchange for personal liberty and protection under the law. It is this consent, to abide by the will of the people, that is breaking down in America.
The goal of these democracy-thieves is to take down our Republic and replace it with what could be called a Neo-Republican authoritarian state, or permanent neo-republican control over the government. We have already seen how this works in several all Republican-controlled states. An authoritarian, single-party federal government is the only way this coalition of the wealthy elite coupled up with disaffected white nationalists, Christian right fundamentalists, homophobes, and others can impose their will on American. Their long-range plans for this takeover has been fomenting for years in places such as the Federalist Society and other ultra-conservative think tanks. The broad outlines of their schemes can be seen in their recent attacks on popular democratic ideas.
When these Neo-Republicans recently controlled the Congress and the Democrats controlled the Executive Branch, they grossly abused their Congressional oversight authority to disrupt the regular order of government. They blocked or attempted to block all legislative initiatives, even ones they had proposed themselves. They blocked all judicial nominations, especially, and most dramatically, to the Supreme Court. They filibustered every Democratic initiative so that we no longer had majority rule in Congress. When their will was challenged by filibusters, they ended them so they could have their way in making key appointments. They shut down the federal the government on several occasions to alienate the affection of the people towards our Republic and prove that our system of government wasn't working. They harassed the popularly elected President, Barack Obama, with endless investigations and obstreperous oversight, which they now completely oppose when properly directed at the lawless Chief Executive from their own Party.
In state governments controlled by the Neo-Republicans, they found ways to suppressed the vote and game the election systems to keep themselves in power. They have drawn up unconstitutional Congressional districts that create safely Republican Congressional Districts for years to come. They passed unconstitutional anti-abortion laws and odorous social-conservative legislation to prove their intentions to serve the wishes of the evangelical right and nationalist fringe groups whom they court and pander to for support. In some states, they have subverted democratic rule altogether and appointed emergency managers to take control of distressed cities and towns, usurping duly elected local governments. And in every GOP-controlled state, they have given tax dollars and tax breaks to every corporate interest.
After the Executive Branch came under the control of the Republican Party, with an assist from Russia, the Neo-Republicans ended all Congressional oversight while President Donald Trump has been taking a wrecking ball to our Republic and democratic institutions we so admired. He began installing himself as the first Supreme Executive while breaking every norm of the high office he holds.
Now with Democrats in control of the House of Representatives, regular oversight is being restored. But Donald Trump, backed up by Congressional Neo-Republicans, is resisting any oversight activity whatsoever. He is challenging the House's authority to hold him accountable in any way. When you step back to look at the big picture it becomes clear that we are experiencing a slow-motion coup d'e'tat.
Consider how the Republicans have been blocking all Democratic Party candidates for federal judgeships while packing the judiciary with their ideological judges when Republicans are in control. Consider how brazenly Mitch McConnell stonewalled President Obama's pick to replace Justice Scalia for over a year in order to fill the vacancy with a Republican ideologue.
We have three separate co-equal branches of government. To take control you must control all three branches. At this moment in history, only the House of Representatives is beyond their control.
But there is also the question of the fourth estate, the news media. You can't get away with taking over control of a government without also taking control of the messaging and public perceptions. Here is where the Republican coup actually got started, after Nixon's impeachment. For a whole generation now, the Neo-Republicans have been building a massive network of alt-right media with a high online presence and lots of toxic, anti-government content.
This alt-right network, the Republican "echo chamber" as Hillary Clinton first perceived it, is now working in parallel with Russian cyber-disinformation activities to continually misinform and arouse the alt-right political base that Neo-Republicans have been carefully cultivated over the years.