All the "drown the government in the bathtub" reactionaries now prefer a government that drowns democracy on a daily basis. They love holding power much more than being faithful to the very Constitutional ideals which they crow about. How did America get so petty, so enraged, and so unwilling to be a fair-minded leader on the international stage?
Because one-time "conservatives" transformed themselves into right-wing radical nationalists. The entire Republican Party (which has been teetering toward fascism since Nixon) finally got completely sucked into a black hole of anti-democracy, anti-science, anti-intellectualism, and hatred of POC, women, and LGBTQ folk, etc. The far-right-wing media has played a huge part in this demolition-derby by stoking fear and rage on a daily basis for the past 30-plus years.
Merriam-Webster's definition of fascism:
Often capitalized: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.
From the Encyclopaedia Britannica's entry on fascism:
In the second decade of the 21st century, right-wing populist and neofascist parties and movements in western Europe enjoyed a surge of popularity, fueled in part by a large influx of Muslim immigrants following the Arab Spring revolts in 201011 and, in some countries, by continued resentment of the European Union (EU). Although Muslims in Europe nowhere became a majority of voters, they increased their numbers substantially. In France the FN, now led by Le Pens daughter Marine Le Pen, advanced for only the second time to the second round of that countrys presidential elections in 2017 (she was defeated by the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron). In Germany in 2017, the far-right party Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland; AfD), which had adopted an overtly anti-Islamic platform, won nearly 13 percent of the presidential vote in national elections, and by the following year it was the second most popular political party in Germany, after the Christian Democrats.
At about the same time, a wave of right-wing populism in the United States led, in 2016, to the unexpected electoral victory of Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump. His campaign had stoked hostility toward Muslim and Mexican immigrants. Trump promised to suspend immigration from Muslim-majority countries because of the threat of terrorism; to build a wall along the countrys southern border to prevent the illegal immigration of Mexicans; and to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, the great majority of whom had come from Latin America. Among Trumps supporters were white supremacistsincluding members of the Ku Klux Klanself-described white nationalists, and neo-Nazis, none of whom he disavowed. Indeed, members of those groups became more outspoken as Trumps campaign gained momentum and especially after his election in November, believing, with some justification, that their ideas were finally gaining a place within mainstream political discourse. In the immediate aftermath of Trumps election and during the first year of his presidency, reported hate crimes directed at minoritiesincluding Hispanics, Muslims, and Jewsincreased significantly.