a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.“the cult of St. Olaf”
a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.“a network of Satan-worshiping cults”
synonyms: sect, denomination, group, movement, church, persuasion, body, faction“a religious cult”
a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.“a cult of personality surrounding the leaders”
Any of that sound familiar in our current political climate? This would almost be funny if it weren’t so sad and scary. We not literally have a cult leader sitting in the Oval Office. And as the noose on his unethical, and possibly criminal behavior tightens, his devoted acolytes are coming out of the woodwork to publicly defend him, and in doing so exposing both themselves and him for exactly what he and they are. A cult.
Recently, with the passing of Trump’s first year in office, there have been a spate of TV interviews and focus groups talking to Trump supporters as to how they rate their man after his first year in power. And if you watch more than one of them, especially one after the other, they are frightening, both for their nonsense factor, and the almost sing-song rote of the participants answers.
GOP strategist Frank Luntz recently held a series of roundtables with Trump supporters, one of which was the sole story on a recent episode of Vice News. He had 8 Trump supporters from Pennsylvania in the room. Only one of them was critical of Der Gropinfuror. The rest of them were adoring, although when asked how he was following through on his campaign promises, they were hard pressed, but had excuses. He didn’t get healthcare because of Democrats. Only one named Gorsuch as a plus, and the only concrete accomplishment they could list was the tax plan. They spoke glowingly of having more money in their paychecks, even though the law hasn’t gone into effect yet. It will be interesting to see how they feel when all of them making less than $80K a year only see a couple of extra bucks in the bottom line. When asked, seven of them stated that FOX News was their sole source of information. They proudly bandied words about like “deep state,” and “fake news” with apparent sincerity. Not surprisingly, the one person who did not imbibe from the FOX cup was the one who criticized Trump, and even argued with other panelists obviously to no avail.
On-the-street interviews with individuals reaped similar results. While a fair number wished that His Lowness would knock off the tweets, almost all of them were satisfied. And again they blamed all of his shortcomings on the “deep state,” or the “fake news media.” Saturday was an over the top example. Alex Witt of MSNBC had a pair of guests, a dues paying member of the Twitler Youth, and a Democratic strategist. After spouting off the usual brainless pap, the Trump lass was mightily offended when the Democrat dared to remind her that late in the campaign it was she who came on another program and swore that Hillary was involved in a child sex ring at a pizza shop. The woman angrily retorted that she didn’t appreciate “being stalked” by her opponent doing opposition research on her, forcing Witt to step in and chastise her.
This is the scary part. If those interviews are representative, it means that 35-39% of the population is politically made up of people who dress up in bridal gowns and throw rice at midnight showings of “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” I have some experience with cults, I worked for several years at Chicago’s O’Hare field in the late 70’s and early 80’s, and witnessed daily the bland smiles and empty eyes of a bunch of dudes with robes and shaved heads with ponytails peddling copies of the Bahagavad Gita to young soldiers. And the current Trump supporters have the same glassy eyes, serene smiles, and fervid devotion of the Hari Krishna’s at the airport all those years ago. This is not a good place to be. This is not a good place for the nation to be.
The problem with a cult is that there is no dealing logically with the members. They will either remain true believers regardless of reality, be deprogrammed back to sanity, or become disallusioned and drift away. In this instance, the third alternative is the most likely. If the Democrats manage to not muck this up, and retake the House, and possibly the Senate in November, it is they who will be driving the agenda and writing bills. Trump’s voracious ego requires wins, regardless of politics. If Trump vetoes those bills, he will not only be going against the majority of the voting population, his impatient followers will hold him responsible for not getting their goodies into the Christmas stocking. And if he signs those bills, especially any immigration bill that gives one DACA recipient “amnesty,” his goosestepping base will scream “race traitor” and bail on him.
The simple fact of the matter is that after after 240 years, the system finally failed. Despite losing the popular “peoples vote” by over 3 million people, we ended up with a cult figure in the White House. Now we can only hope and pray that the rest of the system prevents him from bringing the kind of chaos and destruction wroght by figures such as Charles Manson, David Koresh and Jim Jones. Time will tell.