Welcome to the forum purpose, I think this is an excellent thread. Answering the question of how Republicans came to view politics as an existential crisis requiring revolution against satan-worshipping Democrats will be the defining struggle this decade. Humanity is at a crossroads here; if democracy falls in the US, it will soon topple everywhere else.
To be clear, I don't think this is only on Republicans and conservatives. They happen to be the force actively undermining democracy in the US right now, but in many other places it's the populist left doing this. What we're seeing is the collapse of values that have been held sacred in the West since the Enlightenment; reason, individual liberty, progress, constitutional government, believing evidence over feelings. These ideals are what allowed the West to prosper for centuries, and they are why we live in democracies right now rather than tyrannical regimes. But none of these matter anymore. It's only what you feel, and what your political tribe says, that matters. Oh you have a feeling Liberals are pedophiles? It doesn't matter that you have no evidence, because it's what you feel. Your feelings are hurt because a conservative says borders should be respected? Well, better get the Twitter mob out to destroy that person's life and make him an outcast. In fact, the conservatives didn't start this war on reality; the left did. Postmodernists have longed waged a war against values of the Enlightenment, saying there is no objective reality, or truth, and that morality is only relative. Well, I hope they are enjoying the Frankenstein they unleashed upon society because they're gonna be the first ones the fascists come far when they get to power.
Our education systems failed us; they did not teach people to think critically when listening to politicians, and they did not prepare us for the age of social media. Now any asshat can spew shit straight of his ass on youtube, and millions, even hundreds of millions of people, will see it; and they will fall prey to it because they don't have the reasoning capacity to see through a lie, or because they want to believe it. I also believe disaffection plays a role in turning an otherwise rational person into a conspiracy theorist. People who feel lost are easy targets for conspiracy theorists and cults. People who may have lost their jobs, or a family member. People who failed at their respective career path. People who are scared shitless by the current pandemic, and are trying to find an explanation for how things could have gone so wrong. People without a purpose, or who feel like they have no control over their lives, want an explanation for why things are the way they are. A conspiracy theory, or a cult, is like a comforting friend; it's there to give you the answers to your questions, to tell you that everything has a purpose, and in the end all wrongs will be righted if the enemy is destroyed. Your life hasn't gone wrong because of your own actions, or because of chance; it's because there's some complex plot that has been working against you this whole time. These people want to believe that lizard Democrats are running the world; they have a need for such an explanation. How do you pull someone out of quicksand, when they think the hand you're offering them is going to drag them even deeper?
I don't know the answer to this. I don't think there is one. Our realities have been split at core by social media; we are all fed our own tailored information streams, designed by algorithms to hook us in even further. I'm sure plenty of people know how this works, but if you don't, do yourself a favour and watch the Social Dilemma. If postmodernism shot and killed the Enlightenment, then social media is the nail in the coffin.