Social Question

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Are Trump's loyal followers on the verge of being cult like?

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (16971points) 2 weeks ago

They don’t believe any news source including Fox now.
If anyone challenges him in any way they scream hate.
They seem to believe only him even when it is clear he is in the wrong, isn’t that like believing a cult leader about anything?

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72 Answers

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Yeah of course but not anymore than we see with other leaders. There are a lot of people in cults and a significant portion of the population are susceptible to that mindset.

Just look at the participation in religion.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, of course it’s like a cult if they feel he can do no wrong and ignore everything said by anyone who might question his actions. It’s not surprising from the very religious set who believes he is ushering in the second coming, but it is disconcerting from those who aren’t behind him for that reason that they still seem to blindly follow him.

Not all Trump supporters believe he is right on everything, but they do ignore the things they disagree with.

Edit: In fact, people cutting off friends and family members because of politics also is cult-like behavior.

Demosthenes's avatar

Yes. I’d say it’s gone further than the “verge” in some cases. Trump is the God-Emperor, after all.

Of course leaders have had cults around them for centuries; it’s human nature. We just haven’t seen it much in recent history and especially not in a nation that rotates leaders as frequently as we do, but it can happen, if not on quite the same scale as notorious historical examples. I’d put the Kims of North Korea on one end of the scale and someone like Theresa May, whom no one seemed to have any particular loyalty toward, on the other.

Trump has definitely inspired the kind of closed-minded devotion that leaders sometimes inspire; the question is: is it unique in American history? It’s something I don’t understand personally. I can’t imagine becoming so ingrained with a politician that I act like they can do no wrong. I haven’t felt that way about a U.S. president yet and I doubt I ever will.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Absolutely. Some kind of serious mass hysteria is going on. They convince each other that he never said “ABC,” and when you pull up a video where he’s saying “ABC,” and they scream “FAKE NEWS!!” It’s cult like, in that they don’t need to actually think for themselves.

Zaku's avatar

There are different levels, but yes. Some of the wackiest ones I saw were on Facebook, a whole group of them agreeing regularly with things like:

* Trump is a hero of the people sending us encoded messages, such as that the USA already has a space navy, hiding behind the Moon, ready to protect us from some outer-space threat.

* Trump is a hero against corruption, for example calling out states like California calling for Federal support with its wildfires, which would just be a corrupt money-grab.

* Besides, the wildfires in California aren’t caused by climate change, but by corrupt Californian politicians who are using military space-based laser weapons to set them. You can tell by how the fires stopped in certain places, that could only happen due to space lasers.

* Oh about those outer-space threats, at the end of World War 2 a large Nazi German military force shrewdly escaped to the Arctic, because of something to do with space aliens, and the USA launched some military operation to the Arctic to go deal with that situation.

* All of Europe is being completely overrun by Middle Eastern terrorists due to their lax immigration – if you go there, it’s like Hell on Earth.

etc…

Dutchess_III's avatar

Many of them actually think trump is God’s answer to prayer.

Aster's avatar

@Dutchess_III I think God could have done better than that.

flutherother's avatar

This is a list of personality traits seen in dangerous cult leaders that was printed in “Psychology Today” a few years ago. In the pre Trump era.

1. He has a grandiose idea of who he is and what he can achieve.
2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, or brilliance.
3. Demands blind, unquestioned obedience.
4. Requires excessive admiration from followers and outsiders.
5. Has a sense of entitlement—expecting to be treated as special at all times.
6. Is exploitative of others by asking for their money or that of relatives, putting others at financial risk.
7. Is arrogant and haughty in his behavior or attitude.
8. Has an exaggerated sense of power (entitlement) that allows him to bend rules and break laws.
9. Takes sexual advantage of members of his sect or cult.
10. Sex is a requirement with adults and sub adults as part of a ritual or rite.
11. Is hypersensitive to how he is seen or perceived by others.
12. Publicly devalues others as being inferior, incapable, or not worthy.
13. Makes members confess their sins or faults, publicly subjecting them to ridicule or humiliation while revealing exploitable weaknesses of the penitent.
14. Has ignored the needs of others, including: biological, physical, emotional, and financial needs.
15. Is frequently boastful of accomplishments.
16. Needs to be the center of attention and does things to distract others to ensure that he or she is being noticed, e.g., by arriving late, using exotic clothing, overdramatic speech, or by making theatrical entrances.
17. Has insisted on always having the best of anything (house, car, jewelry, clothes) even when others are relegated to lesser facilities, amenities, or clothing.
18. Doesn’t seem to listen well to needs of others; communication is usually one-way, in the form of dictates.
19. Haughtiness, grandiosity, and the need to be controlling is part of his personality.
20. Behaves as though people are objects to be used, manipulated or exploited for personal gain.
21. When criticized he tends to lash out not just with anger but with rage.
22. Anyone who criticizes or questions him is called an “enemy.”
23. Refers to non-members or non-believers as “the enemy.”
24. Acts imperious at times, not wishing to know what others think or desire.
25. Believes himself to be omnipotent.
26. Has “magical” answers or solutions to problems.
27. Is superficially charming.
28. Habitually puts down others as inferior; only he is superior.
29. Has a certain coldness or aloofness about him that makes others worry about who this person really is and or whether they really know him.
30. Is deeply offended when there are perceived signs of boredom, being ignored or of being slighted.
31. Treats others with contempt and arrogance.
32. Is constantly assessing people to determine those who are a threat or those who revere him.
33. The word “I” dominates his conversations. He is oblivious to how often he references himself.
34. Hates to be embarrassed or fail publicly; when he does he acts out with rage.
35. Doesn’t seem to feel guilty for anything he has done wrong nor does he apologize for his actions.
36. Believes he possesses the answers and solutions to world problems.
37. Believes himself to be a deity or a chosen representative of a deity.
38. “Rigid,” “unbending,” or “insensitive” describes how this person thinks.
39. Tries to control others in what they do, read, view, or think.
40. Has isolated members of his sect from contact with family or the outside world.
41. Monitors and/or restricts contact with family or outsiders.
42. Works the least but demands the most.
43. Has stated that he is “destined for greatness” or that he will be “martyred.”
44. Seems to be highly dependent on tribute and adoration and will often fish for compliments.
45. Uses enforcers or sycophants to ensure compliance from members or believers.
46. Sees self as “unstoppable” and perhaps has even said so.
47. Conceals background or family, which would disclose how plain or ordinary he is.
48. Doesn’t think there is anything wrong with himself and in fact sees himself as perfection or “blessed.”
49. Has taken away followers’ freedom to leave, to travel, to pursue life and liberty.
50. Has isolated the group physically (moved to a remote area) so as to not be observed.

Going through the list I reckon that Trump has at least 30 of these characteristics.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I think the line has already been crossed. The political system is rigged such that his supporters view themselves as without a choice. Prevailing excuses such as “they’re all crooked” are fallbacks from the direct answer too “how much is too much?” But though it is rather obvious that Trump’s criminal proclivities are likely to torpedo not only the the dummy, but his entire upper echelon, the obvious lesson his defenders miss is that there are more debilitating traits than straight up criminality. It is the spectacular ignorance and stupidity associated with the crimes which spotlights the criminality. The Ukranian thing for example means the ENTIRETY of Trump’s upper echelon is on its way to prison. Giuliani is clearly toast and toast burnt to a cinder. Those aware of the phone call, Pence, Barr, etc. —have allowed this solitary fool to drag them to ruin. Anyone touching the fool is condemned to shrivel and die. Trump is the roundup for the weeds comprising his political garden & the graveyard for any and all reputations positioned between him and the truth. The current and deliberate effort of Republican legislators to deliberately insert THEMSELVES in that gap is not only hopelessly dishonest, but suicidal.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think God stays completely out of politics and pro sports @Aster. That’s the only way to explain a Hitler or a Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (aka Caligula). Also, it’s the only thing that explains why the Chiefs never make the Superbowl.
He focuses on serious problems, like child abuse and poverty.

mazingerz88's avatar

I’d say trump fanatics are still on the verge of being a real cult. They cross it if they do violent acts in his name. Or jump off the trump tower and hotels. Or swallow his balls. Golf balls. Or camp out at the WH lawn naked bodies painted orange and chanting “fake news”, “stable genius”, “lock her up”, no quid pro quooo…”

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess Chiefs are doing it, dang it!! Haha

JLeslie's avatar

Ironically, one of my Trump supporting friends was saying a few weeks ago that socialists look to their leaders like they are a God to provide everything for them. I told her the communist leaders do use that tactic, trying to remove religion and replace God, because a lot of people seem to need to worship someone or some thing. I told her that I think Trump uses that same tactic. Sometimes presidents don’t purposely do it, but groups of people still worship their political leaders like Gods, because their personalities are to want to do it. Makes them feel comfortable and safe, or it’s familiar.

kritiper's avatar

I think they are way past any verge now and have been for some time.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Someone on FB asked today if we’re going to have to come up with a program to de-program trump supporters when all is said and done.

MrGrimm888's avatar

The short answer is yes.

LostInParadise's avatar

Trump’s base will stay loyal no matter what, but the polling numbers do not look good. Looking at the Five Thirty-Eight Web site , Trump’s support has slipped below 41%, the lowest it has been in quite a while. The only good news, if you want to call it that, is that the numbers favoring impeachment have held fairly steady.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I see cult-like behavior on the left too but it’s a little different. Instead of specific leaders it’s more like religion and is centered around certain social movements. A movement may have started with good intentions but will become a sort of cult when you are no longer allowed to question anything about it. This especially true if there is no central goal or leadership. The actual goals become ephemeral. I’ll save the specifics…most here won’t want to hear it.
On the right an example of this is the teaparty. Social movements without leadership will just devolve into a toxic cesspool.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I dont think so. Frankly I think some are so disgusted with the left they feel more convicted in their core beliefs than ever. Never in my life have I seen such polarization in politics in the US.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Disgusted with the left is absolutely understandable. But to maintain Trump as the remedy to leftist ideology is beyond self deception. It is an appalling betrayal of the core values of ALL OF US, liberal and conservative alike. Not a one of you here will ever convince me that you were brought up to TOLERATE behavior such as evinced by the fool, let alone emulate it. if you asked your kid what he or she hoped to be when grown and the reply was “Donald Trump” you would be justifiably horrified. And yet the fool’s picture hangs on the wall in YOUR kid’s classroom as testimony to the fact that a man with the integrity of sewage is the role model to which he or she should aspire. Conservatives like to think liberals as snotty elites who look down with contempt on conservative values, but for God’s sake, what choice do liberals have in the matter if you stand this fool in front of you as champion of your cause?

JLeslie's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me I agree there is some extremist behavior on the left for certain ideas, I’m not sure if I would call it cult-like, but maybe it qualifies. It depends how we are definitive cult I guess. I see it as an intolerance to entertain any other thoughts or idea on an issue, which is what @KNOWITALL is talking about also regarding the polarization. It happens on both sides.

I don’t know why you say there is no central goal, maybe you can elaborate a little. I think Democrats mainly want everyone to have a fair shot at achieving a middle class life in America. That everyone who works hard can live safely and provide for their own life and their family. They/we also want to be realistic about the future.

The answer @KNOWITALL gave made me realize that there are people out there, mostly Democrats, who are never Trump people. What I hadn’t really thought about before is there are never a Democrat people on the other side, and whether they like Trump are not doesn’t matter. They are so terrified by Democrats right now they will vote against them at all costs.

Demosthenes's avatar

It definitely occurs on the left as well, it just isn’t centered around a specific person. But the cult-like behavior is the same, i.e. the SJW cult of “tolerance”. The “check your privilege/cultural appropriation/everything is racist” crowd who believe in a “one strike, you’re out” policy toward people who’ve said or done something “problematic”, no matter the circumstances or the context. The kind of left-wingers who speak out against free speech on college campuses. That’s definitely cult-like behavior. And as always, those of us who are more moderate aren’t wanted by either cult. Trumpists and leftists alike want nothing to do with people who think for themselves and won’t tow the line (and yes, I have met conservatives who were frustrated with Trump supporters and their intransigence). No matter what side of the spectrum it is, the polarization is the same: “if you’re not 100% for us, you’re 100% against us.”

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Desmosthenes Exactly. Both parties are gross, would be a great time for third party revolution.

Lightlyseared's avatar

On the verge?

stanleybmanly's avatar

But Trump is an exceptional and very dangerous extreme when it comes to duplicity. There must be practical limits to what is acceptable if there is to be rational government as well as conversation. You cannot allow such things a 1+1= 9 to stand as a quirk. At this very moment, the fool has lawyers standing in front of Federal judges declaring that a sitting President is immune to investigation as well as incapable of being charged with a crime! THINK ABOUT THAT!!

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s just insane. According to news reports, when he said he was building a wall on the Colorado-New Mexico border his supporters cheered like crazy.
That’s just scary.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Well. Some republican politicians stormed the closed door impeachment discussions, and wouldn’t leave.

The other day, a controversial pastor said that if Trump is removed from office, that there would be some conservative people “hunting down democrats.”

I can agree, that there are radicals/extremists, on the left. But this is getting pretty crazy….

JLeslie's avatar

Political theatre storming the impeachment discussions. Probably most republicans believe the republican politicians were being completely kept out of the discussions, which is total bullshit, or better known as a lie.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@stanleybmanly, it mean the presidency is tailor made to benefit criminals who might end up in the office. But The People would never vote a criminal into that office.
O. Wait….

MrGrimm888's avatar

@JLeslie . I have to say, I don’t understand why the Republicans would be kept out of an impeachment discussion. If Trump is to be removed, they will need reps to do it…

I want Trump gone. But the way this is playing out, is shady…

Dutchess_III's avatar

They weren’t kept out. They were fairly represented. Not every democratic politician was in on the meeting either. The Republicans know how easy trump’s followers are to manipulate. They know they won’t look for the truth. They’ll accept whatever they tell them to accept, in this case, the Dems were have a “secret” meeting and no Republicans were present.

flutherother's avatar

The impeachment inquiry is run by House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees. More than 40 Republicans are members of those committees, and are permitted to take part in the hearings. The initial stages of such investigations are held behind closed doors to stop witnesses coordinating their testimony. That’s the way it was done in the Nixon and Clinton impeachments. It is nothing new.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I have to go with @JLeslie this time. All a big show of Rep support for Trump. They had to choose teams publicly.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^You’re a politician. Would you publicly back Trump, in the current environment?
If I were a republican politician, I’d put myself as far from Trump, as possible…

Why would a career politician, hitch their wagon to Trump?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

You’re not hearing Republicans say much right now are you?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@MrGrimm Yes I would, if I ran as a Rep in a red state.

If I campaigned as a Rep, Pro Life, Christian, conservative, then won, I owe it to my voters who elected me, to stay on course.

It would also depend on my choices, which we dont know yet.

MrGrimm888's avatar

ARKM. I hear a lot of bullshit.

@KNOWITALL . Thank you for your candid response.

mazingerz88's avatar

Apparently, those rules of the impeachment process the Dems are following were made in 2015 by Boehner with Republican majority at the time. LOL!

That laughable pack of Republican reps performed the stunt to show their voters they did something. Even if it’s totally idiotic.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@KNOWITALL are you actually saying you’d back someone on something so shallow as simply which side of the fence they’re on, and not because of anything they say or do or what kind of intelligence and integrity they display?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess Possibly. Theres a lot at stake that has nothing to do with Trump. Keeping Dems out of the WH is priority one. If crazy ass Trump can pull the votes for that,you bet Reps will support him. Even if they hold their noses.

Dutchess_III's avatar

He asked specifically if you’d publicly back trump. You said you would. You didn’t qualify your answer to say you’d back the Republican party but you didn’t agree with trump. There are a lot of high ranking Republicans who are aghast at that moron.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Buy they’re wedded to him at the hip. They pay a terrible price for it, and it is only going to get worse. It’s a bitch being trapped on the wrong side of history, and KNOWING IT while that history is made. All of those simpletons in the maga hats behind the fool at his Reich rallies are going to have to explain that footage and those photos to their grandkids!

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess Oh do you mean in RL? Ha, no need. I’m in Trump country, it would only help advance my political career here. I thought Grimm meant if I was a Rep in DC right now.

You dont declare parties in municipal elections, so its not actually applicable at this level.

Edited: You know I’m not a Trump fan.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I did indeed intend the question as. If she were in DC.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@MrGrimm Thanks, I thought so. If he wins, I think the ones not behind him will pay a price. Maybe its more mob than I realize.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^I got your back.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

So, @KNOWITALL, you are openly admitting that he is a dictator who will punish those who are not behind him if he wins? And you say that so calmly, so matter of factly.
How horrifying.
Elijah Cummings said “We should not have to live in fear of our leaders.”

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess Do you truly think Trump scares me more than the Democratic platform? You guys are so far out there, its a huge leap of faith either way, so the Devil you know…

JLeslie's avatar

I’m basically lining up with @KNOWITALL on this. I know plenty of Democrats who are anyone but Trump and who are straight ticket Democrat. Many of these people didn’t used to be this way, but now will do anything to not give the Republican Party anymore reinforcement or power. When I say reinforcement, I mean they don’t want any inkling of a message sent to Republicans that their extremism is ok. I don’t see how that’s much different than Republicans voting for Republicans, because they are afraid of Democrats.

@MrGrimm888 As I said, and now other jellies have said it, the Republicans were not kept out of the impeachment hearings, but now because other Republicans stormed over there a lot if people believe the Republicans were kept out. You know better now because you are on fairly liberal fluther, and a lot of jellies know because they watch MSNBC or have read about it, but I don’t know what Fox News and all those right wing radio guys are saying, but I can guess.

Dutchess_III's avatar

She said she would openly, publicly back trump. Then she noted that those who don’t back him will pay a price. Are you sure you’re with her on this @JLeslie?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess The whole premise is not about ME, Grimm was saying would I publically back Trump if I was a Rep in DC right now.

Lets not twist things out of context when its already been clarified please.

All @JLeslie said is there are Never Trumps and Never Dems, which is fact.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Yeah. I just asked @KNOWITALL , about strategy. Not morality, or anything else. I was satisfied with her response, and I think I understand what she meant.

There is a difference between strategy, and personal ethics.

I was curious about her strategic planning. Being as she is, to my knowledge, the only politician, in the pond.

Aster's avatar

All things not totally Liberal are cults: Mormons, all Christian denominations, all followers of Trump, Jews. What is the opposite of a cult ? Democrats, Satanists, Atheists & Agnostics. What would those non-cultists be called?
New hat for sale: ” Make Cortez Bartend Again.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

We Athiests would not be called anything. We’re not organized in any way.

Satanism would be a cult, IMO. Any congregation that comes together in the name of imaginary beings is a cult.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Agreed. Atheists have ZERO leadership, or representation, in the US. They have no organization, no nothing. No agenda. Hard to categorize them, as a cult.

stanleybmanly's avatar

They certainly have clubs of enthusiasts.

mazingerz88's avatar

Funny. That Republican Congressman who is a cohort of trump just made a statement at Capitol Hill saying Dems have formed a cult over this impeachment process. He doesn’t realize it’s not the Dems who are in a cult, it’s him and his co-trump cultists.

MrGrimm888's avatar

The reps, aren’t acting out of ignorance. They are taking full advantage of any loop holes. And anyone who has half a brain, should see that. They are all complicit, or are abusing their power, to use Trump, to further their agenda…

JLeslie's avatar

Cult is defined one way in the dictionary, another way by Evangelical Christians, and still probably other ways depending on who you are talking to.

You could argue most religions are “brainwashing” their followers. You could view fanatic atheists who congregate to discuss their viewpoints, and choose to not associate with religious people as acting like a cult. I think of cults as requiring a practically total commitment and brainwashing where often times the followers are required to not associate with outsiders, or self impose not associating with outsiders who question the teachings and mantra.

Many Christians call the Mormons a cult, and I used to think they were only talking about the crazy compounds of Mormons who marry off 14 year old girls to men who have multiple wives, but they actually mean all Mormons, because Mormons aren’t considered to be Christians by some Protestants. A lot if people have no idea how these Protestants are defining the word cult, it’s jargon they use in their own circles.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Yes. The one reliable and universal definition is that a cult is ALWAYS a movement of which the speaker wants no part.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I kind of think it is a following of one human individual….like Jim Jones and David Koresh.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Or Trump?^^^^^

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes. Exactly.

Aster's avatar

The cult leader list sounds like my ex.
I agree that Trump is an ego maniac; but I also realize that ALL Presidents repeat their accomplishments when they have a rally. “We’ve done this” “this has improved since I was elected” etc. Trump is also very good about giving thanks to so many people who have helped their state and/or community.

mazingerz88's avatar

Well he also boasts like an asshole that he is. He is simply something else entirely.

MrGrimm888's avatar

It’s an interesting time, in history. The US will survive, but be forever changed. It’s the world, that should be concerned.

It’s gotten to the point of hilarity. Trump can’t go anywhere, without being shamed. I think a second term may kill him.

Chaos, is human nature’s default existence. It’s the default existence of the universe. Trump only has any power, because of his supporters. They, ironically, will suffer from his leadership the most.

His reelection, will be like a terrible accident. Awful. But hard not to stare at… He is a master of fucking himself. Let’s continue to watch! His every word makes himself, and his followers look dumber, and dumber.

For those that have a family, I’m truly sorry. Your offspring will suffer incredible hardship, as the sea level rises, and the air becomes toxic. And 8 billion people, will be fighting over what’s left.
In a couple hundred years, the remaining people may have learned something… Or it will be a post apocalyptic nightmare…

Either way, it appears to me that it has to happen. A new beginning… The world will simply reboot. It’s done it before. It can do it again.

Billions will die. That truly saddens me. But. We had our chances to change that. When Miami, Houston, New Orleans, New York, and every coastal city is at least 25 ft underwater, things are going to get interesting… Sorry kids, we could have stopped it… Now. This is your world. Trump will have been a massive contributor, as will his supporters.

We had a paradise… A Heaven on Earth. But greed, politics, and the inability to coexist will punish our species…

Dutchess_III's avatar

Not getting a second term will kill him. It’s the only thing keeping him out of prison.

LostInParadise's avatar

At some point, is Trump fatigue going to set in? Yes, he was good for a few laughs, but we need someone who is actually qualified to serve as president.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Dutch. Valid point. But his tax evasion, in New York, won’t have an expiration. And he cannot pardon himself from that crime. I figure he’ll kill himself, if convicted. He thinks that the Whitehouse, is a shitty place to live. You know, below his standards. I doubt he’ll be able to tolerate, a prison cell. And he won’t be in general population. He’ll get an hour a day, or so, to sit at a chained up basketball court. I can’t see him tolerating that…

Dutchess_III's avatar

Just so long as he’s no longer in office.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Pence, could be far worse.

mazingerz88's avatar

^^Make it worse. Worse is ok right now…better than HELL.

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