Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Cult of Personality

So, fascism is a cult of the leader who promises national restoration in the face of supposed threats by leftist radicals, minorities and immigrants. He promises only he can save us. In the RNC, what we saw is we saw a cult of the leader. The Republicans didn’t even bother to provide a platform. They just said, “Whatever Trump wants.”  --Jason Stanley, author of How Fascism Works

The Cult of Personality
by C.A. Matthews

 I once had the most extraordinary conversation. The individual I conversed with was fascinating and quite sincere in his beliefs. Ex-military, he was highly trained and obviously no slouch in the intellect department, evidenced by his more than adequate use of the English language.

He was also completely and certifiably insane.

His official diagnosis was schizophrenia. As an intern on a V.A. rehab and psych ward, my mentors encouraged me to experience a first-hand encounter with a madman, a very erudite and polite one, of course. In the course of our conversation I learned all about the invisible vampires that were taking over our minds and running things behind the scenes for the last few centuries. He told me he'd come recently from a V. A. hospital in St. Louis, and the vampire influence was particularly bad there. After smiling and nodding a lot, I thanked him for his time, wished him well for the remainder of his stay on our ward and went about the rest of my day.

Several years later, I moved to St. Louis and learned about how the older parts of the city were built upon caves on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi. The caves are filled with bats, no doubt, and bats are often associated with vampires. Maybe this gentleman was right about the vampires all along? He seemed to know what he was talking about, and he was very entertaining.

(Side note: Conversing with wide variety of people can inspire you.  I've written several vampire novels under a different pen name. You can find them online here.)

So, what does the ramblings of a mentally ill person have to do with Trump and the insanity he inspires? If you're a supporter of Trump and believe he's our "Savior" and the leader of the "only Christian nation in the world," then you'll feel insulted by any comparison of him to an obviously mentally ill individual no matter how entertaining he may be. If you're not a fan of the current White House occupant, you'll probably laugh and then point out how much a paranoid schizophrenic who speaks in complete sentences and a schizophrenic who speaks in "word salads" like Trump does both have in common.

Thing is, both of these supporters have fallen into what many see as the "cult of personality." They'll act as paranoid, jumpy and/or defensive of their ideas as the veteran who believed in invisible vampires acted. These diametrically opposed groups worship Trump, each in their own special way. One sees Trump as a "redemptive god" and the other sees him as a "demon god," but they're both obsessed with the orange man. These groups' members seem to spend every waking moment--or at least the moments they spend on social media--either cursing or defending Trump. 

Those that appear willing to compromise their own morals to keep him office (i.e., the MAGA hat wearers) work hard denying Trump's obvious infidelities in marriage, his crass misogynism and his outright racism. Conversely, those that say they'll vote for the Democratic Party's Not-Trump, but still want to enact programs such as Medicare For All and a Green New Deal, seem okay with throwing those noble goals under the bus if it'll throw Trump under the axles as well. 

Compromising what you truly believe in to either support or defeat one particular candidate isn't a wise action, in my opinion. Trump's insanity has rubbed off on some folks. "I'd crawl over broken glass and wear a hazmat suit to vote for Biden," a voter declared on a social media site. "I'll do anything to get rid of Trump!" 

Anything? Lie? Cheat? Steal? Kill? If that statement doesn't demonstrate an unhealthy obsession with and an over-the-top fear of the orange toddler-man, I don't know what else does.

To put an end to this destructive cult of personality surrounding Trump, we must nullify the obsession so many have with him, both pro and con. Trump needs to be made less of  and not more of the solution/problem. Frankly, he needs to be marginalized as a person of power and ridiculed. His name needs to be shouted, printed or breathed out less often in hymns of praise or shouts of despair and rage. The constant barrage of "Save us from Trump!" or "Trump will save us!" memes, articles, videos and protests only add to his sense of power and fuels obsession among his cult members. It must stop.

Obsession is dangerous. It gives energy to conspiracy theories and delusions that somehow anything to do with socialism is evil and capitalism is good and can fix everything, including racist killer cops and global climate catastrophe. This sickness fuels our society's growing instability because it's more than apparent that capitalism is the root of much evil and can't (or won't) fix jack. Capitalists like Trump don't deserve all the free advertisement, either.

Americans must stop drinking the Kool-Aid of Trump obsession and shut down the cult before it kills more than just its members. The US possesses the majority of the nuclear warheads in the world, so the whole planet's safety is at stake. Pouring the gasoline of endless bickering over the burning match that is Trump could set off an explosion the likes of which hasn't been seen before (and will never be seen again).

Don't forget that Americans only make up four percent of the world's total population. The other ninety-six percent of humanity deserves a chance to survive. By sidelining a personality cultists worship and focusing our energies instead on the tasks that need to be accomplished, such as tackling the climate catastrophe, insuring universal health care, providing decent food, shelter and education/training for all to improve their lives and the lives of their children, and dismantling the Forever War Machine, we will create a mentally healthier, happier and, above all, safer world.

Or to put it the way school kids everywhere can understand: "Stop giving in to the bully! Ignore him and get back to work on the things that matter." We are the leaders we've been looking for--it's time to step up to the plate and take ourselves seriously.

Related Articles:

How Fascism Works: Trump's "Law and Order" Is Lawlessness, Fueling Racist Violence and Chaos

Trump: Americans Who Died In War Are Losers And Suckers

The Politics of Racial Division--Trump Borrows Nixon's Southern Strategy

 And now, a song to take you mind off of obsessing over the orange toddler-man in the White House...


From Friends of the Earth:
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to offer thousands of acres of land in Colorado for oil and gas drilling. This could pollute the rivers and contribute to air pollution. It would cause irreparable harm to wetlands and riparian areas -- greatly impacting wildlife. Will you help stop it?

What’s more, the BLM’s plan puts our nation’s bird at risk. Bald eagle territories in Colorado are already being harmed by Big Oil. Further land leases will only drive them closer to extinction.

We can’t let the BLM get away with handing over more of Colorado’s public lands to Big Oil.

Tell the Bureau of Land Management: Stop exploiting our land for Big Oil profit!

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The Bald Eagle is often seen near large reservoirs and rivers in Colorado, but its numbers are dwindling. There are now 10 times fewer nesting bald eagles in Colorado than coastal states.

If the BLM moves forward with its proposed lease sale, eagles’ habitat will be filled with oil rigs and drillers. Not only will this harm the beauty of Colorado’s natural land, it will likely force bald eagles from their nests. These eagles require habitats that allow them to rest without being bothered.

But fracking on these lands will not only harm bald eagles. The water extracted by fracking has the potential to be radioactive. This will also harm elk, mule deer, pronghorn, waterfowl, and ferruginous hawks. All their habitats will be destroyed.

Demand the Bureau of Land Management protect our wildlife.

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In addition to causing harm to wildlife, this public land sell-off could cause harm to local Indigenous communities who are disproportionately at risk from these new fossil fuel projects.

The BLM is holding virtual public meetings during the pandemic to push land leases forward. But less than 12% of Indigenous people in Colorado have access to broadband internet. The BLM is effectively silencing their voices through a corrupt process.

The BLM must delay the leasing process until after the pandemic in order to give all Coloradoans the ability to weigh in. The agency owes it to the people of Colorado, but it won’t listen without hearing from people like you.

Demand the Bureau of Land Management stop the Colorado lease sale until all voices can be heard.

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Standing with you,
Nicole Ghio,
Senior fossil fuels program manager,
Friends of the Earth

Declare the KKK a terrorist organization
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For generations, the Ku Klux Klan has been persecuting black people. Through-out American history, they have murdered innocents, lynched thousands, and terrorized many more. And surprisingly, this group still exists. They promote a spirit of aggression and hatred towards African Americans and people of color. They encourage violent and hateful behavior, which is especially dangerous to young, impressionable minds.

The KKK is a terrorist organization protected by the first amendment. It is a travesty to allow such an organization to function under the law in a generation that abhors racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. What kind of message is the government spreading by allowing the KKK to function? That it’s okay to be racist? Because it isn’t. Think about the pain African Americans endure every single day for the color of their skin. Think about how hard it must be for them to know that they can be murdered by a cop no matter their innocence, but a group that is inherently violent and racist is allowed to exist.

It is dishonoring our black citizens by allowing a group that has tortured them from the very start to still exist. Abolish this hateful group that is carrying on a history of abuse, racism, and murder. Abolish the KKK.
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