I ignored Trump and the GOP for two weeks. The volume of stupidity I missed is unreal.

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To get a full sense of the Donald-Trump-led Republican bunk and balderdash that awaits us this year, I had to step away for a couple weeks.

The daily doses of unhinged social media posts and “I’m not a threat to democracy, YOU ARE!” nonsense don’t do justice to the volume of weird, dishonest and destructive Trumpian blah-blah emanating from the husk of what was once the GOP. It becomes – in the most literal sense possible – white noise.

But I took a little time away from it straddling the end of 2023 and the beginning of 2024. I ignored the chaotic goings-on in our political world. And I returned Monday, caught up on what I missed and saw the frightening scope of right-wing mania spouted during two weeks in absentia, a veritable tsunami of stupid.

Donald Trump's daily ravings start to add up

Let’s start with Trump, the man most responsible for turning Republicans into the worst versions of themselves. On Christmas, he posted the following:

“Merry Christmas to all, including Crooked Joe Biden’s ONLY HOPE, Deranged Jack Smith, the out of control Lunatic who just hired outside attorneys, fresh from the SWAMP (unprecedented!), to help him with his poorly executed WITCH HUNT against “TRUMP” and “MAGA.” Included also are World Leaders, both good and bad, but none of which are as evil and “sick” as the THUGS we have inside our Country who, with their Open Borders, INFLATION, Afghanistan Surrender, Green New Scam, High Taxes, No Energy Independence, Woke Military, Russia/Ukraine, Israel/Iran, All Electric Car Lunacy, and so much more, are looking to destroy our once great USA. MAY THEY ROT IN HELL. AGAIN, MERRY CHRISTMAS!”

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump reacts after speaking at a rally at Des Moines Area Community College in Newton, Iowa, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) ORG XMIT: IAAH383
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump reacts after speaking at a rally at Des Moines Area Community College in Newton, Iowa, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) ORG XMIT: IAAH383

I include that post in its entirety because Americans who haven’t joined the MAGA cult should read it and recognize how bananas it is that a former president and leading GOP presidential primary candidate would write something so bonkers.

There was a time when a presidential candidate including the words “MAY THEY ROT IN HELL” in a Christmas message would’ve been a scandal. Now it’s just met with a shrug.

Iowa caucus is around the corner: Republican voters, this is your time shine. Pick your presidential candidate wisely.

Trump and MAGA give comfort to Jan. 6 attackers

During my two-week time out, Trump, on his social media site and in campaign rallies, routinely coddled the people who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 – the ones who were charged, tried, convicted and imprisoned for their actions. He promoted the lies that the attack was an inside job and that the 2020 election was stolen.

At an event in Iowa the first week of January, Trump referred to those locked up for the Jan. 6 attack as “hostages,” which is like calling a guy imprisoned for robbing your house a political prisoner.

Trump-loving Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., soon parroted the “hostages” line in an interview with NBC News and refused to commit to certifying the 2024 presidential election results.

Rather than campaigning, Trump is posting rapid-fire nonsense on social media

Last Thursday, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit refused to delay a second defamation lawsuit brought against Trump by E. Jean Carroll, the self-described “stable genius” made more than 70 unflattering posts about Carroll on his Truth Social account, more than 30 of them in a span of 30 minutes.

There was no stolen election: Trump paid me to find voter fraud. Then he lied after I found 2020 election wasn't stolen.

At an Iowa rally, Trump mocked President Joe Biden’s stutter, referred to Democratic voters as “bags of crap,” and said of the “J6 hostages” that “nobody has been treated ever in history so badly as those people,” which presumably caused every high-school world history textbook in America to burst into flames.

After a sixth grader was killed and five others wounded by a school shooter in Iowa, which holds Republican primary caucuses Monday, GOP presidential hopefuls expressed sympathy but did nothing to suggest they would consider tougher gun laws or anything that might keep such tragedies from happening over and over again.

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Politico reported flatly: “Republican candidates largely refrained from talking about policy solutions as they offered condolences on social media.”

Trump himself said: “It’s horrible ... but we have to get over it.” (That alone would be a weeks-long scandal if we lived in a normal political universe.)

Trump poses a threat to democracy, and MAGA folks are fine with that

In Illinois, Trump refused to sign a decades-old pledge promising not to advocate to overthrow the U.S. government. So that’s great.

And on top of all this, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review a Colorado Supreme Court ruling that disqualified Trump from the state’s ballot under the 14th Amendment’s “insurrection clause,” citing the former president’s involvement in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Again, swirl that around in your brain: The man a sizable majority of Republicans think is best suited to be president has to wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether or not he fomented an insurrection – fact check: he did – and is eligible to be on a state’s ballot.

Will Trump be on the ballot? Supreme Court should ban Trump from the ballot. And not worry about the political fallout.

In response to the high court taking up his appeal of the Colorado ruling, Trump said at an Iowa rally: “I just hope we get fair treatment. Because if we don’t, our country’s in big, big trouble. Does everybody understand what I’m saying?”

I’d like to think everyone understands what he’s saying and how profoundly dangerous it is, but I’m not convinced enough people are paying attention. So please, go back over everything I’ve shared in this column, the astonishing quantity of ludicrous lies, offensive ramblings and general mad-hattery.

Then remember, this all bubbled up over only two weeks. Two weeks that included two major holidays.

Don't grow numb to the dangerous rhetoric of Trump and the GOP

This is what 2024 is going to be, a near-constant thunder of hate, aggrieved hollering and political fallaciousness. People will try to tell you both sides are the same, or equally bad. Don’t believe them.

And if you don’t believe me, pause a week and then survey the piled up detritus from Trump and Co. It will astound you.

Follow USA TODAY columnist Rex Huppke on X, formerly Twitter, @RexHuppke and Facebook facebook.com/RexIsAJerk

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump, MAGA's political rhetoric is fast, furious and risky for us all