What today’s GOP demonstrates about the dangers of partisan conformity

Robert B. Talisse in The Conversation:

Directly following the 2020 election, Republicans seemed to be through with Donald Trump. Party leaders stopped speaking to him and voters began abandoning the GOP, apparently in reaction to Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Recently, things have changed. Republicans are once again aligning with Trump, even to the point of alienating GOP members who criticize Trump for lying about the election.

The party’s reuniting with Trump may seem puzzling. A one-term and twice-impeached president with a consistently low approval rating ordinarily would be a liability. Yet the GOP’s return to Trump is not really a surprise, because of the psychological forces known as belief polarization and the black sheep effect.

Though these forces explain why the GOP is sticking with Trump, they also spell trouble.

More here.