Emperor Palpatine (AKA Darth Sidious) is a member of an order known as the Banite Sith. Those are Sith lords in the tradition of Darth Bane. An even longer time ago in the Galaxy Far, Far Away, there were dozens of Sith lords at one time. They all had apprentices and armies and so on. This led to constant chaos and infighting; they were never able to unite under common purpose to destroy the Galactic Republic. So, 1000 years before Star Wars: Episode IV, Darth Bane instituted the Rule of Two.
“Dzworokka yun; nyâshqûwai, nwiqûwai. Wotok tsawakmidwanottoi, yuntok hyarutmidwanottoi”
Translated from the Sith language: Two there should be; no more, no less. One to embody power, one to crave it.
This means that there are only ever two official Sith lords at a time, a master and an apprentice. When the apprentice believes he/she has surpassed the master, the apprentice kills the master. The new master then picks an apprentice. This allows each Sith to be more evil and more powerful than the last, ultimately culminating in Palpatine’s successful takeover of the galaxy. Such is the Republican party.
However, Donald Trump is not Emperor Palpatine; he’s not the master, no matter how much it seems he might be. The institutional party as a whole is the master. We know this because the party continues in its quest for unnatural abilities even though Trump has been vanquished. Trump is no Palpatine; he’s Dooku.
In the films, Count Dooku is an aging statesman and former Jedi who falls to the dark side. He becomes Darth Tyranus, Palpatine’s apprentice. He’s killed by Anakin in Attack of the Clones. Palpatine is unbothered by the death of his apprentice. He assures his loyal Separatist leaders that he will soon have a new apprentice “far younger and more powerful.” This apprentice is, of course, Darth Vader.
Did they have golden idols of Count Dooku on Mustafar? Perhaps. Nonetheless, the Separatist rebellion continues apace without him. So does the Republican rebellion. The Separatist rebellion depends on the unnatural abilities afforded by the dark side of the Force. They can’t abandon it because it is the engine of their movement.
The Republicans’ current rebellion relies on America’s own dark siide: anti-majoritarianism. In a 50/50 Senate, the Republicans represent about 42 million fewer people. If a few thousand votes in Georgia swing differently, 52 senators would represent about 32 million fewer people. They have won the popular vote in a presidential election only once since 1988 (and by about the same margin as Hillary’s 2016 popular vote). They routinely win control of the House of Representatives without winning the majority of votes for the House of Representatives. They’ve gerrymandered every state legislative district they can so that when they lose close elections in states, they win the majority of seats in the state legislature. When they win close elections, they win a supermajority of seats.
A shrinking minority controlling the fate of the majority is not unique in world history, nor is it unique in the United States. However, the reliance of the GOP on the dark path is not something from which they can turn away. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny; consume you it will.
So, here we have arrived. Count Dooku has been vanquished, and the party casts about for its Anakin Skywalker, the talented young hothead they can warp into a master of evil.
Is it Josh “Fist of Fury” Hawley? Is it Ted Cruz, the world’s worst Mel Gibson cosplayer? Ron DeSantis, the man charisma forgot? Or is it, as most Sith lords are, someone converted from the ranks of the good guys.
They long ago converted Marco Rubio to the dark side, but he turned out to be, at best, an inquisitor. May the Force be with us if they ever convert someone truly talented to the dark path. Can you imagine a Republican Buttigieg? A Sith Lady Ocasio-Cortez? Darth Hakeemus?
If they ever find someone who can marry their dark ambitions with compelling speeches and a (false) hopeful vision, our Republic will go the way of the Galactic Republic.
“Peace is a lie. There is only Passion.
Through Passion I gain Strength.
Through Strength I gain Power.
Through Power I gain Victory.
Through Victory my chains are Broken.
The Force shall free me.”
– Josh “Ice my wrist up, I like to hold my fist up” Hawley