For years, those who supported, and continue to support Donald Trump have been referred to as “his base”; that loyal group who slavishly follow him and hang on his every distorted utterance. However, “base” seems to be too kind a word. A base denotes stability.
The followers of Trump are a cult.
Like Charles Manson and Jim Jones, those who follow Trump do so without question and without reason. And like the prior cult leaders, his followers leave dead bodies(Charlottesville, Kenosha) in their wake, claiming to be doing the work of their “supreme leader”.
The examples of his cult are many, be it climate change, mask wearing or the latest conspiracy theory. They will deny facts, including science, news and even Trump’s own words if it goes against anything their “guru” believes. They will slam the media for reporting anything negative and cry “Fake News” with any mention of a pandemic, and are willing to send their own children into the line of fire by insisting schools reopen.
And these aren’t the greatest dangers. Seeing the writing on the wall, Trump is interfering with the election. He is speaking out against mail-in ballots, even though he and many in his administration vote that way. He is going to court in several states to suppress voter participation. He is laying the ground to claim, if he loses, that the election was rigged.
Even before a single vote has been tabulated, his subordinates claim that Democrats are planning an armed insurrection if the vote doesn’t go their way, while convicted Trump associate Roger Stone says Trump should declare martial law if he loses.
Whatever the result, the cult will no doubt follow whatever directions they are given. If Trump wins, they will riot in the streets like rabid sports fans celebrating their team’s victory. If Trump loses, they will most assuredly take up arms. And, of course, no one in the White House will stop it.
The cult will go on long after Trump is gone. The fact is, the cult was always there. Trump is both a product of the cult and a beneficiary of their beliefs. In Trump, the cult sees their Messiah. They see someone who thinks like them, who supports their racism and who embraces their conspiracy theories. This way of thinking will continue. They will erect statues to Trump, spread his hate like a gospel and await the day when another like him comes again.
This is one of the saddest chapters in American history. Rather than ignore it as an aberration, we need to learn from it. We must never allow ourselves to be manipulated the way so many were in 2016. We need to send the cult back to the darkest recesses of the internet , never to emerge again.