I agree with most of what you've written here, but the thesis that the GOP was "forced to" and "had no choice" but to devolve into, essentially, fascism, is the same kind of gaslighting that abusers use on their victims: "look what you made me do!"
No. The GOP had choices. In fact, after Obama's re-election, the party's top thinkers did an "autopsy" and realized they needed to move *away* from just this kind of rabid, fact-free tribalism. But by now, their propaganda networks had brainwashed their viewers and listeners too far to the right. And so we got Donald Trump. Put the blame where it belongs: the hateful, polarizing propaganda networks and the craven, amoral politicians who refused to stand up for decency or even reality.