“In August, Anthony Scaramucci—the former White House director of communications turned Trump critic—called for the political left to approach the Trump administration the way that concerned individuals would approach a cult. “When you’re trying to deprogram people from a cult, one of the first things you have to do is allow them to change their mind,” he explained on Fox News. He amplified this rhetorical move a few days later, tweeting a comparison of Trump to Jim Jones, infamous leader of the Peoples Temple and Jonestown, a religious cult that famously ended with mass suicide and murder. He also compared White House staffers to hostages suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, an alleged psychological condition wherein captives come to support their captors. Scaramucci implied that Trump acts like a cult leader and that those supporting him are brainwashed and in need of rescue…
“Are fundamentalist Christians a dangerous religious cult? Possibly. The controversial author and religious scholar Reza Aslan posits that President Donald Trump has much of his evangelical fan-base believing that he’s somehow been anointed by God to become President. Nevermind the Russian election scandal, his affairs with porn stars and unwarranted sexual acts towards women, or his inability to remember even a single Bible verse when asked. Evangelical Christians are abandoning their core moral beliefs to follow, as Reza suggests, someone who exhibits every trademark of a cult leader. And that should terrify anyone on either side of the political spectrum. Reza’s latest book is God: A Human History.”
From The Big Think
Just to talk about Reza Aslan and what he said for a minute: The Left (however you want to define them) gets into trouble with people who don’t share their world view when they try to make Donald Trump’s movement about race and culture. If there is one thing right now that probably unites Americans the most right now, it’s that we don’t like Donald Trump. And we’re simply looking for someone better to replace Trump with.
But when you throw one group of Americans away simply because of their race or complexion and their support of President Donald Trump, you lose a group of Americans that could be recruited to vote against President Donald Trump.
You look at Reza Aslan’s title of his video: “Is the Trump presidency a religious cult?” And yet he makes it all about Donald Trump and people he calls White Evangelicals.
And if you want my Donald Trump piece about the Donald Trump cult base, I’ll give it to you anyway, but do it in a race and complexion neutral way. Since this is America where everyone is supposed to be judge by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin, or their race, or religion. (To paraphrase the great Dr. Martin L. King)
What I know about cults (religious and otherwise) is what I’ve read about them and seen about them from documentaries. So no, I’m not a scholar on them, but the way Donald Trump’s Christian-Nationalist base (Christian-Nationalist: a term that wasn’t even used 5 years ago) loves The Donald and is so devoted to him, you would have to think that they’re part of some religious cult that is always high on something illegal, or told that they’re loyal to Trump to their death.
In early 2016 when Donald Trump was just a reality TV asshole, he said that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue in New York City and his base would stick with him. You could probably add robbing a convenient store, decking a foreign leader for no apparent reason, coming out in favor of publicly funded abortions (“Our dear leader, must have his reasons.) not just coming out in favor of same-sex marriage, but mandating that every gay American gets married to another gay, new taxes on the wealthy, cutting the defense budget by 50%, etc.
As long as Donald Trump is preaching to the Far-Right and arguing publicly, privately, indirectly, or directly, that the first European-Americans (Anglo-Saxon-Protestants) are the real Americans who are truly deserving of our constitutional rights and protections, who of course kiss Donald Trump’s ass or feet everyday, and even to pray to the man, that Donald Trump’s Far-Right Christian-Nationalist bases will always be with him, at the expense of everyone else.
Which is why it’s the job of Democrat Joe Biden to convince the rest of the country why he should be leading them, simply because he can and Donald Trump is simply not capable of governing for anyone outside of his Far-Right base. And that’s the only comment about race and culture that I’ll make in this piece.