A Republican administration led us to a major economic crisis in 2007, to the brink of a depression. Now, another Republican administration has led us to a political crisis in 2020, to the brink of an autocracy.


When will the American electorate ever learn that the reactionary Republicans are experts at leading America to the brink of catastrophe but know nothing about governing?


Ronald Reagan set the stage for decades of government-hating which led to Trump's riding the government-hating bus to the White House. Remember Reagan railing on and on, "The government's not the solution to our problems; the government IS the problem!"


This theme continued to build in Republican campaigns and talking points until it finally reached the pitch of anger and hatred that it's at today.


When you have a problem with something, you do not destroy whatever has the problem, you fix it! The way President Obama fixed the economic crisis in 2008. The way he fixed the Ebola crisis in 2014. The way he fixed the Iranian nuclear threat in 2015. The way he ended sanctions that hurt millions of innocents with the Magnitsky Act, which sanctioned only the guilty Russian leaders.


The only problem with the U.S. government is the Republican Party, which has devolved from Abraham Lincoln to Donald Trump, a long, long spiral downward. We now have a "can-do" Democratic Party and an "undo" Republican Party. The Republicans oppose democracy with voter registration laws, reducing the number of voting places and the number of voting booths in them, and simply deleting hundreds of thousands of voter's names from the registration rolls.


Republicans oppose balancing the budget. Reagan increased the national debt by 191 percent and George W. Bush left President Obama with our first trillion dollar deficit. The last president who balanced the budget was Democrat Bill Clinton with four years of budget surplus. Obama next reduced the $1.3 trillion deficit he inherited to $600 billion, the greatest deficit reduction in US history.


Republicans choose federal judges from a list of biased minor league judges provided by the Federalist Society rather than the intelligent, impartial legal minds picked by the American Bar Association. They hope that their appointees will let Republican bias guide their decisions. This is a bald attempt to obliterate the constitutional separation of powers.


The Republicans seem to be trying to destroy this country economically and politically and convert it to an oligarchy run by a handful of billionaires or, worse yet, an autocracy.


It seems to be up to us, the electorate, to rescue our country. If the 2020 elections were a rout for the Democrats, the Republican Party will have destroyed itself as many pundits are predicting. It can then be rebuilt by the more level-headed Old Guard of the Party, perhaps led by Mitt Romney, that is currently keeping its head down out of fear of President Trump.


This will be the dirtiest campaign in U.S. history. Billions of dollars will be spent by Republicans and Russians to manufacture consent among the American electorate. But the founder of the Republican Party, Abraham Lincoln, is famous for supposedly saying, "You can fool all of the people some of the time, some of the people all the time, but not all the people all the time."


Whoever first said it, let's hope it's true.


Robert Beard is Professor Emeritus, Bucknell University. Published by The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.) at www.pennlive.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.