The Trump Cult — and how to deal with it

Posted: September 4, 2018 in Cults, Livin' in the USA, Politics
Tags: , ,

(No links here to document anything. No need. Those who pay attention to multiple news sources and have some respect for objective reality already know all of this and/or can easily check it with google, Bing, Yahoo, or Duckduckgo [no record of your doing it] search. The members of the cult are immune to evidence.)

Let’s talk instead about the Trump Cult, the approximately one-third of registered voters who worship the glorious leader and take his latest lies as the gospel truth — never mind his daily contradictions and/or the abundant video evidence of him saying the exact opposite of what he most recently said — and the approximately half of white male voters who are members of the cult.

Rather than asking “What the hell is wrong with them?” let’s take as a given that they’re bad at evaluating evidence, aren’t the sharpest tacks on the board, search for even the sketchiest evidence confirming their biases, can’t read scientific studies contradicting their beliefs, are angry and frustrated, and want to lash out and hurt the first handiest scapegoats.

So, how do we on the left appeal to such people? Showing them evidence that they’re wrong doesn’t work. It just further maddens them. It might and probably does help with those on the fence, but it doesn’t help with hardcore, true-believing cultists.

So what does work? Rational argument and evidence don’t.

First off, offer them a better alternative — something that will address their desperate, day-to-day needs, the needs that produce their anxiety and fear. (Medicare for all comes to mind as a good first step).

Then show them the obscenely luxurious lifestyles of the 1%, the parasites who don’t work and live off the work of the rest of us. Ask them if that’s fair. If those doing no work deserve such luxury. (That the cultists will get no benefit from Trump’s tax scam will help here.)

Then ask them what’s wrong with their daily lives. How do they want things to be? What do they want for their kids?

Show them how Trump et al. can’t and refuse to deliver. And in turn be prepared to deliver — in spades.

The Obama/Clinton corporate-whore Democrats can’t and won’t deliver — remember Hillary’s “no we can’t” mantra, heaping scorn on Bernie’s common-sense, mildly reformist proposals. So the corporate, do-nothing Dems have got to go.

If we do all this, we might peel as much as 10% or 15% off of Trump’s core cult supporters.

The rest will remain the type of people who would have forced Jews onto boxcars 75 years ago.

But they’re a minority. (Thank what passes for god.)

If we can peel off that 10% or 15% and offer even mild relief to the miseries afflicting the others (and all us), that’ll do it.

For now.

La lucha continua.

Comments
  1. Potemkin says:

    It does seem that the demographic of Trump’s base would have been in the labor movement in the 1930s, or in union shops in the 50s. The right has been able to recast issues of class in terms of race and nationality. We do need to present alternatives, and emphasize the unity of predicament that white working people share with the rest of the country, and as against those interests of Trump and the wealthy.

    One aspect of the Trump base that fascinates me are the truly politically confused. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the “Bernie Bros.” phenomenon and their misogynistically motivated swing to Trump. I think a decent number of these people may continue to be in Trump’s camp, though I doubt their numbers within Trump’s base are very significant.

    To me, it seems there is a permeable membrane between left-of-Hillary Democrats, some on the far-left, as well as the alt-right and Trump’s base. I can’t back this up, but it seems like many were motivated by the cynical “things must get worse before they get better” argument, preferring the chaos a Trump administration would bring than the tepid status quo of a Clinton administration. There’s a lot of political and ideological redefinition happening at present, with many syncretic elements, conspiratorial paranoia, and unfocused anti-establishment sentiment. Nevertheless, I don’t understand how one can move from support of the Sanders campaign to Trump and claim any sort of political vision, orientation, or consistency. I just see unfocused anti-establishment cynicism.

    Luckily, though, it seems Trump and the state of things are motivating people. What direction that takes and whether the Democrats can once again co-opt it into their lesser evil electioneering remains to be seen.

    Like

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