America is sick. And I don’t just mean with COVID-19. The bad news is that removing the ugly, orange tumor in the White House next week will not be enough to affect a cure.

The malignancy has spread. It didn’t even start with the presidency. We’ve been brewing and self-dosing a toxic carcinogen for centuries. White supremacy is, of course, the not-so-secret ingredient.

While responsibility for this has changed hands over the years, the modern Republican Party is obviously ensuring racism persists and even flourishes here in America. And for nothing more than electoral advantage.

The GOP cannot maintain power if everyone is allowed to vote. We all know this. But even disenfranchising non-white, non-native and otherwise different people is not enough for them now.

And their new strategy only starts by overturning election results they don’t like, achieved by lying to their lesser number of voters that they’ve been cheated.

The violent insurrectionists at the Capitol last week weren’t really interested in elections, fair or otherwise. They wanted to install a dictator. And many in the GOP—federal, state and local officials as well as their voters—were encouraging that.

It’s clear that Republicanism is no longer compatible with democracy.

So we have a big problem. The reason so many of our fellow citizens are angry and demanding autocracy is more complicated than simple political disagreements. There’s something elemental going on here. An embrace of conspiracy theories, ignorance and grievance. And on a scale I’ve never seen.

I’ll be honest that I have no idea how to cure this disease. I’m not even sure where to begin.

But our nation needs some powerful medicine. Or the body will die.