One of the features of being on the road and staying in hotels is the omnipresence of USA Today. It’s not a bad little paper. It brings you up to date in the morning as you line up, cattle-style, for your English muffin and coffee in the hotel “dining room.”
Yesterday’s paper had a front-page story that, while not particularly surprising, was nonetheless horrifying: “Russia no drag on Trump voters.” The paper has a “floating focus group” of 23 panelists who voted for Trump; from time to time the editors ask them how they’re feeling about their president, and overwhelmingly (as the headline suggests), they are dismissive of the Russian collusion, of Mueller, and of Democrats, whose allegations, they believe, “have been overblown or misdirected.”
This is disappointing: a U.S. president who looks like he conspired with a foreign power to get elected has committed treason, in effect. (And we don’t even know the extent of Trump’s financial shenanigans because he won’t release his taxes.) Yet such is the psychological hold Trump has on his people that they don’t care if he is a tool of Russia. They don’t care about anything criminal, immoral or pathological he does. Their commitment is total.
Cult [noun]: a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing. A system of religious veneration or devotion… regarded by others as strange or sinister.
Talk about strange and sinister! These Republicans trapped in their Trump cult have an inordinate amount of faith in their leader. They trust him implicitly. While most Americans feel that Putin is playing Trump or has something on him, JoAnne Musial believes “Trump is playing” Putin. “Everyone’s got it all backwards.”
Musial, a 66-year old retiree from Pennsylvania, is typical of cult members who have lost, or surrendered, their critical thinking skills. She also is typical of people who disregard facts that don’t fit in with their preconceptions. So is Barney Clark, a 51-year old “medical device account manager” from Georgia. The Mueller investigation is “a circus act,” he avers, without having the slightest idea what Mueller will discover, and probably not caring. Then there’s Francis Smazal, 55, a nurse from Wisconsin. Does the fact that Russia manipulated our election bother her? Not at all. All countries do it, she says; “Russia wants to prosper and survive, like we do. Sometimes that involves taking cookies away from us.”
It’s a good thing Francis Smazal wasn’t in charge of American policy after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. She might have said, “Big deal. All they did was take a few cookies away from us.”
Burning cookies, AKA U.S. Navy ships, Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941
If Trump came out and declared that the Sun rises in the West and sets in the East, I suppose his credulous fans would believe it.
JoAnne Musial: Hey y’all, did ya see where President Trump says the Sun rises in the West?
Barney Clark: Really? He said that?
Francis Smazal: Barney, Is that doubt in our President I hear?
Barney Clark: Who, me? Nope. Totally believe the man and everything he says.
Francis Smazal: I should hope so. Way I see it, those snowflake Hollywood libtards been lying to us all this time, tellin’ us the Sun rises in the East when it obviously don’t!
JoAnne Musial: You got that right, Francis. Can’t trust a single damn thing a Demon-crat say.
Francis Smazal: JoAnne, watch you language. No need to cuss around the young ‘uns.
Barney Clark: Praise the Lord!
This is how America ends: not with a bang, but with a mental breakdown.
There’s no getting around the fact that Republicans prefer a one-man dictatorship based on propaganda more than they do a Constitutional democracy of the sort America has had since the Founding. If more proof were needed that Republicans have become and are becoming fascists, here’s this from The Daily Beast:
“A public opinion poll conducted by Ipsos found that a plurality — 43 percent — of Republicans agreed that ‘the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.’ Twenty-three percent of Republicans agreed that ‘President Trump should close down mainstream news outlets, like CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times.’”
Shut them down! Lock her up! Lock and load! Arrest liberals! Kill Obama! Cut off Pelosi’s head! Hang Elizabeth Warren! Eliminate welfare! Castrate the queers! Make Christianity the state religion! Deport Muslims! Burn the Constitution! Up with the swastika! Hail Trump!
Trump, to his supporters: “You have my back, I have yours. We will take back America and make her Great Again!”
Cheers! Adulation! Heils! Let the torchlight parade begin!
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