Commentary: GOP embrace of extremism began long before Trump

Decades before Donald Trump’s naked call for lawless revolt, Republican leaders in Washington launched the party’s descent into insane nihilism fueled by a conspiratorial, visceral hatred of government. I know. I was on the front lines covering it. Two months after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the widely accepted view of the former president persists: He remade the Republican Party in his image and will be a GOP kingmaker long into the future. The truth is, the GOP started creating the Trump presidency decades before Donald J. Trump assumed office. The stubborn belief that Trump remad…

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