Conservative Iowa radio show host Steve Deace has been calling hard-core Trump supporters a “cult” for a few weeks now, and a conversation he had on twitter today attracted my attention:
Tweet to Deace:
ProudDaddy911 @Hairball911 – “@SteveDeaceShow @56keg I’ve debated some Trumpkins over the last few days and haven’t encountered a more vile, non-substantive group…Ever!”
Response from Deace:
Steve Deace @SteveDeaceShow 3 hours ago West Des Moines, IA — “Worst cult I’ve ever seen in politics. Even worse than Obama 2008. Uninformed and proud of it.”
I’ve seen some crazy cults in politics. Ron and the Paulites, Obama and the Alinsky-ites, And of course, historically we’ve had smaller but fiercer cults of American Trotskyism, anarchists, communists, American Nazis, and the LaRouche crazies (remember when everything was a plot of the British Intelligence service?). Probably the closest thing I’ve seen in my lifetime to the Trump cult phenomenon was the Ross Perot cultists, although Perot’s movement was not struck through with blatant racism*.
I’m not sure that the Trump cult is actually worse than the Obama cult. Certainly, Obama’s cult of the 99%, and his millions waiting for his handouts has been vastly more popular in terms of vote totals. However it’s clear that a huge portion of Obama’s voter support was not hard-core cultists, but simply average voters who thought he would somehow live up to the legend in his own mind.
Trump’s cult, on the other hand, seems to encompass a huge percentage of his voters, and appears to have much more dire consequences in store for our country. The Trump cult seems to believe that their dear and glorious leader will sweep in a new era of classism, in which their vote will give them some form of privilege over what they perceive as the dregs of society. I’ve heard it referred to as an “American-first version of European nationalism”, and its implications are quite dangerous.
* Note – while researching this material, one thing I found was that several political cults were all associated with Lyndon LaRouche, his sometime partner Fred Newman, and their various attempts at forming Marxist parties nationwide. Ultimately, Newman successfully created the New Alliance Party which succeeded in getting Lenora Fulani on the ballot in all 50 states, and his New Alliance Party structure was later used by Perot’s Reform party to do the registration drives necessary for their 50-state ballot work.