GOP paterfamilias Don Donald might be a cult leader…but the GOP faithful are the cult itself, and they’ve been bending their knees to his brand of vicious bigotry and authoritarianism for some time.
I don’t mean to keep beating this tin drum as loudly as I have been, but I think it’s important to keep reminding people that the current president* is an aberrational modern Republican only in the crudeness of a) his rhetoric and, b) the way he wields his power. (Also, he’s something of a nut, which, in my experience, transcends politics anyway.) For example, as was pointed earlier on Wednesday, Tuesday night’s Republican primary results in various states pretty much preclude any serious attempt by Republican office holders to throw a spanner into the crazy that is dominating our politics at the moment. This morning, on MSNBC, this is what Joe Scarborough had to say on the subject.
“It has devolved into a cult. Primary voters in the Republican Party have devolved into a Trumpist cult.”
That’s a word that’s getting tossed around a lot these days. Retiring Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, opined that his party is in the thrall of “cult-like behavior,” while longtime Republican activist and cable TV megastar Rick Wilson says that the word cult “isn’t strong enough” to describe what’s going on. This makes Corker the moderate, I guess.
Now, to be clear, I don’t disagree with any of this. We are seeing politics on one side of the aisle turning into a cult, but, alas, that cult is modern Republicanism. Trumpism is merely one breakaway sect of it, and, truth be told, it hasn’t broken away all that far. After all, Corey Stewart got nominated for the U.S. Senate from Virginia not because of his loyalty to the president*, but as an adherent to a far older cult with which the GOP was quite content to be a part of over the previous four decades: the cult of the Confederate States of America.
Another example: as the results were rolling in Tuesday night, Congressman Steve King, the Republican crackpot who represents the Fourth Congressional District of Iowa, took it upon himself to retweet a famous British neo-Nazi named Mark Collett.
I will give Trump, well, small credit (small credit like his small fingers?). In the, thank heavens, absence of any major crisis (knock on wood) he’s managed to make the run up to the mid-terms mainly about himself. And at this point, even the most scathing of Mueller reports wouldn’t change the true believers’ minds. If anything, they’d view it at Trump’s passion/martyrdom … making him the first martyr ever who’s tastes run to dictator chic.
And…I dunno: given how thoroughly fucked Trump’s reaction will likely be in the event of a disaster of some kind…like with what happened…and what is still happening…in Puerto Rico…
If noting else, we’ll find out what sort of country we’re living in…for now.