I have often referred to Trumpâ€™s most ardent supporters as being part of a cult. I have not used this term lightly or figuratively. It is my belief that, having dealt with many of these people online for almost two years now, they fit every definition of literally being part of a cult, as does Trump as their leader.
My experience with Trump supporters is exactly this. They are utterly immune to facts or reason.
…Just last night, CNNâ€™s Anderson Cooper, clearly frustrated by all of this, told Trump sycophant Jeffery Lord that he would defend Trump even if he took a â€œdumpâ€ on his desk, which, interestingly, Lord himself didnâ€™t even bother to deny, mostly because it is so obviously true.
The irony of this insular thinking is that it keeps Trump supporters from the very thing that they so desperately crave, which is respect. There’s a lot to unpack around this psychology, and respect isn’t the only thing, but Democratic and liberal disrespect for what they’d call the Red State gun-toting, conservative, Confederate flag-waving rednecks has a lot to do with it.
People need and gravitate toward respect, and Trump’s “it’s their fault not yours” message, however wrong it might be, is a lot more appealing than being called a “deplorable.” Indeed, most pundits on the left (myself included) found Clinton’s remark the worst of political sins, which is to say that we thought the problem was that she got caught telling the truth not that she dissed millions of Americans.
It is unclear to me how the Democratic Party reconnects with many of those who have come to feel alienated by it or even if it should try. You can’t have much of a conversation with someone who believes in alternate facts. Perhaps winning over rational independents is enough, at least for political victories.
It won’t even begin to deprogram the cult, though, and that looks to me like a very dangerous future.