Mission Accomplished: The Trump Cult Exposed
Every few days, out of a curiosity more of the morbid than the intellectual variety, I take a deep breath and spend a minute or two perusing the latest collection of repetitive, illogical, myopic cult-bait being chummed at American Thinker. One of the standard bloody morsels offered up for the Trumpiranhas is the daily serving of vitriol against the evil “NeverTrumpers.”
The metaphor of chumming comes to mind, perhaps, since the first headline that caught my eye today was this one from Cindy Simpson: “NeverTrump Conservatism Has Passed Its Sell-By Date.” (Physician, heal thyself!)
Simpson opens her piece with this:
NeverTrump conservatism has passed its sell-by date. It is a negative asset of the Republican Party. It needs to pack up and move – but not until the movement has been so decisively rebuked that those who are a part of it learn their lesson.
NeverTrumpism reveals an elitist stink that should be eliminated from the GOP in a much needed fumigation. The NeverTrumps wear an embarrassing tattoo that will forever taint them as the left’s collaborators and useful idiots. NeverTrumpism harms the causes of the Republican Party and rots the party from within.
If these words sound unserious, overly harsh, over the top, and even a bit hysterical, it’s because they are. The NeverTrumps, however, were serious when they used these exact words (and even nastier) numerous times in open disdain for the millions who voted for and support President Trump.
Predictably, the author, like all Trump cultists, strawmans the opposition to Trump as “the establishment,” identifying every “NeverTrumper” with the token Republicans who occupy space at The Washington Post or The New York Times, while conveniently ignoring all the principled people who have nothing whatsoever to gain — and arguably much to lose — from standing firm against the force of the Trumpian ebb tide that has swept most of the American conservative movement, including many of their own friends and former allies, out to sea. Nothing new there.
What I want to note, however, is Ms. Simpson’s chief “argument” (logic, the lifeblood of genuine argument, is never a strong suit of cultists), as evidenced in this sentence from the quoted passage above: “It is a negative asset of the Republican Party.” Or this one: “NeverTrumpism reveals an elitist stink that should be eliminated from the GOP in a much needed fumigation.” Or this one: “NeverTrumpism harms the causes of the Republican Party and rots the party from within.”
Or consider these reiterations, from later in the same article (all emphases added):
It is their mocking and judgmental rhetoric against millions in their own party that earns them appearances as “conservatives” in the media dominated by the opposing party.
Nor, apparently, do they want the Republican Party to win future elections, as the bulk of their insults are geared not in the direction of changing minds, but to turning them away [from the GOP].
The NeverTrumps take aim at Trump and his supporters and instead shoot themselves in the electoral foot.
Notice the theme? Supporting Trump is now, officially, all about winning elections for the Republican Party. Trump is the GOP. The GOP is conservatism. Opponents of the GOP, insofar as it has chosen Trump as its standard-bearer, are “shooting themselves in the electoral foot.”
The GOP establishment’s mission from 2016 has been thoroughly, perfectly accomplished. Trump is the pied piper who has led a generation of grassroots constitutionalists tired of being corralled into the same old “binary choice” mythology, election cycle after election cycle, into becoming a solid and immovable firewall in defense of voting Republican, principles be damned.
The power of television. The power of cults. The power of the crowd-pleasing, mind-devouring, pep rally fantasy of “winning.”