Yes, Republicans ARE Exhibiting Cult Behavior
Political elections always involve people that feel passionate about their candidates and, like sports events, many line up with some rather bizarre behavior. While you won’t see a lot that have painted their faces and bodies for their team, you often witness those that feel strongly about the issues and the people that they want to represent them. This attitude took a strange twist in the 2016 election, as we began to see conservatives coming forward for Trump, spewing hate, racism, bigotry and sexism and correlating it with religious connotations. Hidden behind all of those horrid comments were signals that somehow, this condition was “God-sent”. Psychologists know the signs; they have seen it before. This is typical cult behavior and it appears that now it has expanded to many in the Republican realm.
History is filled with similar behavior and most of it rallies around dictatorships. For some unknown reason, a small group voices loud opinions and those that lack critical thinking seem to follow along. When it relates to political figures, specifically in the Republican arena, where they blindly vote for party over country, it exemplifies what is now being referred to as a dangerous cult mentality.
This attitude can no longer be referred to as “individualism”, as the entire group has banded together to support candidates that are undermining the very baseline of the government and even removing the benefits of those that are voting for them. Cult behavior crosses the boundaries of common sense and enters the arena of support, no matter how bad it gets. It is all wrapped up in total and complete blind faith and this is when it becomes dangerous.
In a National Journal article they explain part of this sick attitude:
“The glue holding Trump’s coalition together is a deep-seated cultural resentment of the liberal, cosmopolitan elite. Trump is masterful at pushing those buttons to secure loyalty from his base. (His announcement banning transgender people from serving in the military is the latest example of this.) Trump’s overall job approval is low, but despite all the head-snapping news of the past six months, his support among Republican voters has remained remarkably stable.
During the presidential campaign, many Republicans made a cynical gamble to rally behind Trump, hoping that he’d be the unwitting vehicle to pass conservative legislation. Sessions, as the first Republican senator to back his campaign, was most cynical of all in this respect. Republicans now realize they’ve created a political Frankenstein, and no amount of disloyalty or ideological apostasy will break Trump’s bonds with his core backers in the near-term.”
The strange part about the propaganda regarding the Democrats is that they have brainwashed their cult members to believe that liberals are “elitists”, when in reality, a majority of Democrats are the average middle class working people, especially people of color. This has been reinforced over the years by Fox, as they only tell an average of 18% truth and have used their platform to project illogical images of liberals as a way to energize the hate-fest for their conservative audience.
Religious Groups Back this Cult
People might make comparisons with political races that always seem to have a small group of extremists, but this is different. When the evangelical so-called “Christians” stepped into the ring, they began to promote Trump and the Republicans as part of their God’s plans. They intertwined their cherry-picked Bible messages and blended it with the hate rhetoric so that everything that was wrong in everyone’s lives could be blamed on everyone else. Very few questioned this aspect of their religious convictions, as it contains the very heart of their personal beliefs. As this twisted version of Christianity continued, it entered into the cult mentality and then mob behavior.
There have been many cults throughout history and each one has a base of some sort of spiritual belief that they are specially selected as part of a mission to make changes and take down those that are causing their perceived problems. One of the main core elements of cultism is that there is never any accountability; the blame always falls on others. In the case of the TrumpTrolls, they blame liberals as well as immigrants and people of color for all of their woes. They ignore the fact that they have made bad personal choices or refuse to move forward with progress; instead, they see themselves and their leaders as saviors to bring their lives back to some mystical time that was “better”.
A Forbes opinion article covers this topic on the Republicans:
“Countries experience moments like this from time to time. We are long overdue for such a crisis, as our last major partisan breakdown occurred in the 1850’s. Faced with tumultuous cultural, technological and economic upheaval, political systems may find themselves bottlenecked, unable to keep pace with evolutionary demands. Parties and ideologies are contorted into strange shapes under the pressure of rapid transformation. Communism, for example, began as a ruthlessly empirical, atheistic approach to politics and economics. Influenced by the turmoil of the 20th century and the urgency of revolutionary demands, it quickly took on the trappings of a fanatical religion. By the time the Khmer Rouge unleashed their wave of slaughter on Cambodia, Communism had devolved into little more than ideological window dressing for a tribal death cult. Ideology does not constrain fanatics.
How did the Republican Party became a dangerous cult? Desperate to halt a terrifying tide of social transformation, the political heirs of Jim Crow flooded into the weak and nearly empty infrastructure of the Southern GOP. Men like Alabama’s Roy Moore and Texas’ Rick Perry were the last generation of white Southern men to begin their careers as Democrats. The flight of millions of Dixiecrats into the GOP shifted the balance of power inside the party nationwide. Their fear-soaked, delusional fervor converted that institution from a conventional political party into a white nationalist cult. The Party of Lincoln now exists to help Neo-Confederates win the Civil War politically, long after losing it on the battlefield.”
There is a Psychology to Their Sickness
In a previous article that I wrote entitled: “The Misinformation Fallout: Conservatives Still Taking the Bait”, I included:
“Conservatives and the extreme left share one thing in common: they live in a bubble of denial and they will believe anything, no matter how bizarre, that appeals to their beliefs. Now this may sound like a glove being thrown down, but let’s address conservatives first. In an article by PsychologyToday which stated:
“An interesting study by Fessler et al. (in press) found that conservatives are more receptive to believing false negative information regarding hazards (relative to benefits) than liberals. This is called negatively-biased credulity. The study was covered in The Atlantic by Olga Khazan in “Why Fake News Targeted Trump Supporters.”
It should be noted that the purveyors of these foreign and domestic fake news sites admitted that they couldn’t do the same thing with standard liberals as they were caught when they “fact checked”.
In essence, the conservative mind exists in a state of constant “fear” and by doing so, they believe that everyone is out to get them. This opens the doors for them to adopt cult behavior, joining like-minded groups. This is not unlike what happened in many countries during fascist dictatorship takeovers. We need only look back to Mussolini and even the Brown Shirts of Hitler. Although you might think these analogies have been overplayed, the proof is in the behavior and today’s Republicans are exhibiting some of the harshest of all.
To prove the point, all you have to do is review the wretched healthcare bills that the GOP has tried to pass as well as the half-baked tax bill, scribbled and illegible that was rammed through while refusing to allow the Democrats the ability to even read it. This is extremist behavior, designed to undermine their own constituents, line the pockets of their donors and smacks of a total government takeover attempt. Meanwhile, the cult followers support these actions, blinded by the fact that they would scream if the Democrats tried this nonsense, but believing in the purity of their own misguided leaders.
This last statement might seem not only harsh, but sounding a bit like a conspiracy theory. It is, in fact, neither. Behind the scenes, the Republicans have been reinforcing their efforts through years of gerrymandering and Fox propaganda. Add to this formula the attempt to take over the media with the recent Sinclair purchase and the Murdoch Time Magazine buyout. If you are connecting the dots, you will also see that the Republicans are working with the Koch Bros to influence states so that they can make changes to the Constitution. As of this writing, they only lack six states to accomplish it.
Republican Authoritarian Cult Knows No Boundaries
If you have been following some of the TrumpTroll rhetoric on any of the social media pages, you would have noticed that the cult mentality began as a total support of Trump’s unacceptable behavior, then denial of RussiaGate, then acceptance of being openly friendly with Russia (a government hostile to the U.S.), and all the while redirecting to try to blame everyone from Hillary Clinton to President Obama as well as the intelligence agencies. This is standard cult actions. They will do and say anything to verify their positions, even if it destroys their own families and the very heart of the government itself.
The Washington Post included an article: The Trump authoritarian cult, in which they state:
“… the GOP civil war is really a battle over whether Republican lawmakers should — or should not — genuflect before President Trump. The battle is over whether they should — or should not — applaud his racism, his authoritarianism and his obvious pleasure in dispensing abuse and sowing racial division. It’s also over whether Republicans should submit to Trump’s ongoing insistence that his lack of major accomplishments is fully the fault of Republicans who failed his greatness.”
Currently, there is absolutely no difference between the extreme cults of the past and the cult of the Republicans and Trump. The follow all of the behavioral patterns and ideologies and while they would deny that they share similarities with Satanists and even the Heaven’s Gate cult, they are exactly the same.
As with all wacko extremists, they are not designed to maintain any longevity within a standard social structure. It is because of this that they will slowly lose numbers and those that remain will cause the Republican Party, who embraced them, to implode.
It is up to the liberals to diligently fight against the cult mentality and take measures to reduce the power that they are trying to wield in transitioning the American government to their own. As with the November, 2017 “Blue Wave”, it means that everyone has to get out to vote. We will also be required to observe the fallout as RussiaGate exposes more Republicans in high positions than we thought possible. This will tip the scales so that the centrist Republicans veer away from the party and all that they will have is the extremists, which do not represent the country. It will be at this point that the Democrats can move the needle back, but it will take everyone to be involved.