A while back I wrote an article calling Trump supporters followers of a deranged cult led by a madman, a statement I sill stand by today. Even though I’ve had more than just a few harsh words to say about those who continue to defend and support this “president,” deep down I really do wish I could have rational and reasonable debates with these folks.
Then again, when he blatantly treats his supporters like idiots, why shouldn’t everyone else?
Unfortunately, very early on into his campaign, I realized that reasonable debates were next to impossible for the vast majority of those proudly proclaiming themselves to be riding the “Trump Train” to engage in.
It didn’t take me very long to realize what I was witnessing was unlike anything else I had ever seen in American politics. For the first time in my life, I was watching an honest to goodness cult form before my very eyes. Brainwashed people being sucked in and conned by a fraud who was doing nothing more than preying on their fear, pandering to their conservative fan fiction, and flat-out lying to them about what he’d do if elected.
As time went on, the cult grew, his supporters became even more entrenched in the madness, and all hope of reaching most of them was quickly tossed out the window.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve faced criticism (some I’ll admit I feel I’ve deserved) from some who’ve said my tactics of calling Trump supporters “stupid,” “idiots,” or “morons” wasn’t an effective way to “reach across the aisle” and help them see the error of their ways.
To be perfectly honest, I know it’s not. As someone who frequently preaches the need to be effective when crafting strategy, I’ll be the first to admit that insulting Trump supporters isn’t the best way to go about trying to make them see things from my point of view.
In that regard I’m being a hypocrite — I’ll freely admit that.
Now, that said, it’s not as if I haven’t tried to reason with Trump supporters. There’s only so many times you can have indisputable facts dismissed as “fake news” and see Trump’s lies get exposed, only for Trumpsters to continually make excuses for him, before you quickly realize that you’re not dealing with ordinary supporters of a political party or politician — you’re dealing with brainwashed members of a cult.
In that article I wrote several months ago, I said this about Trump and his following:
It’s actually quite common for cults to separate their members from their friends, family, and basically anyone who could expose the lies and propaganda they’re being fed.
If you doubt me, watch Going Clear, the documentary about Scientology and the extreme lengths the “church” goes to in order to keep its followers as isolated and brainwashed as possible.
In fact, I’ve often referred to Trump as the “Scientology of politics.” A man who’s so obviously fake and full of crap yet, inexplicably, there are quite a lot of people who fail to see that he’s nothing but a liar and a fraud.
In the past, when I’ve debated politics with Republicans, while we might have our differences, or even interpret facts differently, at least in most instances we believed in the same facts.
I miss those days.
When I debate Tump supporters — and I’m sure it’s the same for anyone who’s tried to reason with these folks — the term “fact,” itself, is a subjective term.
If Trump lies, and his supporters can’t defend the fact that he lied, they simply make excuses for it.
Like cultists, the only “truth” or “facts” most Trump supporters believe are whatever he says and the various sources they follow that tell them what they want to hear. It doesn’t matter who you are, even another Republican or lifelong conservative with a staunch record as an advocate for conservatism, if you dare question, doubt, or criticize Trump — you’re “fake news” and the “enemy.”
Trump once said he felt he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and his supporters wouldn’t turn on him. While I don’t believe much of anything Trump says — I do believe that.
That’s why I stopped even trying to reason with Trump supporters quite a while back. I might still debate one from time to time, but when I do I’m not going into that encounter expecting to change their mind. If anything, my main goal is my own entertainment. I love trying to spin them in circles and make them actually answer for the litany of preposterous things they say and believe. It’s easy to repeat a talking point you’ve read on Twitter, or heard on Fox News; it’s quite a different story when it comes to actually having to defend it with logic and facts.
The sooner Trump’s critics stop viewing his supporters as “disgruntled Americans upset with the status quo,” and start viewing them as victims of a systematic campaign of psychological manipulation that’s successfully built perhaps the largest cult in human history, then I think we’ll be better equipped to deal with those we oppose and craft better plans on how to defeat them in elections all over this country.
Tens of millions of people who:
- Label any facts that debunk the lies Trump tells as “fake news.”
- Always think something is out to “get Trump.”
- Have been conned into thinking a billionaire born into a wealthy family is somehow a “voice for blue collar working class Americans.”
- Think a multiple adulterer who launches frequent petty attacks on his critics, brags about sexually assaulting women, shows no humility, and is the most arrogant human being I’ve ever seen is somehow a “Christian standing up for Christian values.”
- Even when faced with a lie Trump’s told which they can’t make an excuse for, will simply change how they feel about that issue.
- Will attack anyone and everyone, even other conservatives, if they dare say anything negative about this “president.”
- Actually think his unprecedented incompetence is part of a “master strategy.”
- Believe a thin-skinned, insecure egomaniac who constantly feels the need to try to brag about himself and lashes out at those who say negative things about him, often saying how “nasty” and “unfair” they are, is somehow a “tough-talking, strong alpha male.”
- Support a man who built a large part of his campaign on “America first,” attacking companies that outsource jobs — while most of the manufacturing in his companies is outsourced to other countries.
- Believed him when he denied saying he told a Gold Star widow that her husband knew what he signed up for, even after she publicly stated that’s exactly what he said to her.
The list goes on and on… and on.
Nothing he says and does — no matter how dishonest, outrageous, or horrible — matters. Unless it directly affects them, and there’s absolutely no way they can blame it on anyone else, Trump’s supporters don’t care.
In Trump, and only Trump, they trust.
That’s exactly why I don’t view them as supporters of a “president,” but rather as cultists following a deranged madman.
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