Why Belonging to a Cult is Awkward

Donald Trump’s idolaters, along with his more circumspect apologists, have built the most plausible leg of their case in defense of the worst president in U.S. history on an argument that may be reduced — as indeed the cultists typically reduce it — to “But Gorsuch.” In other words, Trump’s greatness, or at least better-than-expected goodness, is nowhere more apparent, his defenders proclaim, than in his great conservative appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The problem with this argument, however, for the defenders — especially the tens of millions of true cultists — is essentially the problem they inevitably face with regard to all of Trump’s brilliant, ingenious, brave, Democrat-demolishing appointments and henchmen: Their hero himself will eventually turn around and smear those very same people as losers and dummies and traitors, leaving his followers in the awkward position of having to follow him right off a cliff into self-contradiction and logical incoherence (yet again).

And so now I see that in his campaign’s last Hail Mary pass at a Supreme Court hearing for his whining — i.e., his last ditch attempt to prove even to the perennial doubters that I was exactly right about his smallness all along — Trump is preparing his cult for the inevitable condemnation of his three Supreme Court appointees.

“Let’s see whether or not somebody has the courage — whether it’s legislatures or a justice of the Supreme Court or a number of justices of the Supreme Court — let’s see if they have the courage to do what everybody in this country knows is right,” Trump said. “If somebody has the courage, I know who the next administration will be.”

I said less than two weeks after the election that Trump will “concede” defeat only when he has convinced himself that every single American “knows” he was the real winner, and hence that he is leaving office as the universally acknowledged “legitimate president.” This latest statement is a clear sign that he is setting himself up mentally for that very conclusion. 

“Let’s see,” he says of “a number of justices,” whether “they have the courage to do what everybody in this country knows is right.” There it is. Everybody knows — both those calling Biden the winner and those fighting for Trump’s massive fraud fantasy — that Trump won the election. Everybody knows this because everybody knows that it is impossible for Donald Trump to lose; after all, he is the very embodiment of winning, and therefore no more capable of losing than water is capable of being dry.

But what I wish to highlight here is his framing of the issue: He will form the next administration if certain Supreme Court justices “have the courage” to overturn the election results in his favor. And what happens if they do not have this courage? We all know the answer. They will immediately be singled out by name as losers, frauds, idiots, cowards, and America-haters — basically, everything that Trump can psychologically project from himself onto anyone who dares to resist him on anything.

He will throw another girlish tantrum in the coming days, this time at the justices he appointed to the Supreme Court. He will rant and rave and openly accuse them of disloyalty, as though his having appointed them to the court morally obliges them to support everything he wants — in other words, as though the Supreme Court exists merely to coddle and protect the fragile ego of a whining loser.

When this happens, as it has so many times before, and inevitably will again in this case, what will be left for Trump’s defenders to cite as evidence of his historically beautiful first term in the White House? He himself will have nullified their best, and arguably their only, serious argument for his worth as a president. They will have nothing left but childish hero worship, which of course was their real motive for supporting this fraudulent, idiotic, cowardly, America-hating loser all along. They will be left with nothing but that pitiful truth — and the mirror’s relentless mockery of their folly.

Case dismissed. 

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