Republican leaders’ response to the armed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and other recent events suggested that some are unwilling to accept the legitimacy of free and fair elections, a problem not just for the Republican Party but for U.S. democracy more broadly, write Cornell government professors Rachel Beatty Riedl and Kenneth Roberts in a Washington Post op-ed.
"What happens when a major democratic party has a significant anti-democracy faction?" they write in the piece. "Our research in Africa and Latin America suggests that democratic regimes often have authoritarian parties, or party factions that are anti-democratic, like the one in today’s GOP. Authoritarian parties or factions might try to undermine democratic institutions and procedures, or just violate democratic norms in order to concentrate power and evade checks and balances in pursuit of their goals."