7 Signs That You Are A Branch Trumpidian -- Political Opinion

by Placerville Newswire / Apr 16, 2016 / comments

[By Steve Berman] If you’re a supporter of Donald Trump, and you truly believe the man’s persuasive qualities, business experience, negotiating tactics, and personality are fit for the presidency, good for you. I have no beef with you. Of course I disagree, but I also disagree with millions of Democrats who love Hillary Clinton.

If you believe Trump can unify the GOP, defeat Hillary, and solve some of America’s most complex problems, based on a understanding of the man independent of his own campaign statements, more power to you. Again, I disagree–vehemently. I’ve spilled tens of thousands of words explaining how I disagree, and I won’t rehash those arguments here.

But, before you place yourself in one of the above rational categories, read below. You owe it to yourself, and I assure you it won’t hurt you to read it–I won’t hurt your feelings.

One of the more popular posts over the years on my personal blog is “8 Signs You May Be In A Cult.” It was written with religious cults in mind, but applies to cults of personality also. I’ve adapted these signs for clarity, removing the religious references.

ARE YOU IN A CULT?

Nobody ever answers that question “yes”.

Yes, I am a follower of Zorg who tells me what to think, and instructs me on life from the time I awake each day, until he summons me to bed each night.  I live to do what Zorg desires because Zorg loves me and knows best.  Zorg is from the planet Org, and he hears their psychic transmissions.  The Orgians are coming to get us soon, and we’ll all have one cosmic Orgy.

Dude, you’re in a cult.

No!  Zorg told us you’d say that!  When the Orgians come for us, you’re going to be so sorry you missed the cosmic Orgy, and then they are going to destroy Earth to make room for a new Org.  You’ll get blasted into eternal stardust with all the other unbelievers.

All righty then.  Enjoy your life.  Bu-bye!

Cults are destructive, oppressive, life-sucking zombie-producing groups that enrich their leaders at everyone else’s expense.  Cult members drink poisoned Kool-Aid, murder whole families, and serve as willing objects of sexual abuse by monomaniacal autocrats.  Nobody wants to be in a cult.

But people are in them.  Lots of people.  Replace that line about Zorg with some real cult (if there are any Zorgians who are offended that I used your cult, please forgive me, I am a very unenlightened soul who never studied Zorg in college) and you’ve probably heard someone say almost exactly those words.  Then you told them they’re in a cult, and they denied it.

People stay in cults because only people outside the cult see the cult.  From the inside, it’s a mirror ball designed to focus you on the thought that you and your fellow cultists are right and everyone outside the ball is wrong.  Mind control?  Very much so.  Why don’t those poor souls in cults see it?  They don’t see it precisely because they don’t think they’re in a cult.

Mind control? Really?

Yes.  Persuasion is a form of mind control. Read Scott Adams (Dilbert cartoonist and student of persuasion) blog.

Persuasion is a learned skill. It involves a well-understood set of science-tested tools. For whatever reason, Donald Trump is bristling with talent for persuasion and Hillary Clinton has none (that I can detect) except for basic political skills and her gender identity. Persuasion is not the only talent you want in a president, so I won’t try to oversell it. But let’s see what kinds of issues are susceptible to a president’s powers of persuasion.

So when Trump negotiates a deal, he’s using mind control and persuasion techniques. It’s not always a bad thing in and of itself. But it’s the foundation of cults too.

Here are some signs that you might be in the Trump cult.

SIGN #1:  YOU SEEK OUT FRIENDS WHO ALSO LOVE TRUMP AND REJECT THOSE WHO DON’T

People like friends who share their beliefs.  That’s only natural.  As you get older, you make new friends, and lose some old friends.  That’s natural too.  When there’s a pattern, where all your new friends believe just like you do in the same doctrine, church, or group, and there’s no dissension at all, that’s a sure sign of a cult.  When those new friends start to pressure you to drop your old friends, because they don’t believe, that’s a big, red, flashing sign reading “warning: cult ahead!”

Trump is divisive. He does this on purpose. Unlike Ted Cruz, who believes what he believes and doesn’t change based on people liking him, Trump purposely takes divisive positions to solidify support among those who agree.

There’s a difference between people who agree that Trump would be a terrible president (the #NeverTrump movement) or Cruz supporters, who already share a set of beliefs with Cruz, or libertarians who love Ron Paul, and a cult of personality. Libertarians are quick to call out their idols (Rand, for instance) when he strays from their core doctrine.

Trump cultists defend Trump even when he adopts positions diametrically opposed to their own beliefs.

Cults don’t withstand outside scrutiny very well, so they encourage people to exclusively associate with other cult members in the extreme cases. Old friends outside the cult are met with suspicion.

If you find yourself feeling awkward around your old pals who might be #NeverTrump, and your new friends are people you wouldn’t be friends with except for Trump (i.e. they laugh at disabled reporters or denigrate women, or black people or Jews), you might be headed for cult membership.  It’s time to check yourself and check your new friends.

SIGN #2:  NOBODY QUESTIONS AUTHORITY; YOUR LOYALTY IS REQUIRED

Most groups have some authority structure in the form of a leader or guiding principles.  Even anarchist groups have leaders—anonymous and hidden though they may be.  A group without a leader is a drinking club, but still someone has to buy the booze and pour.

Cults are built on unquestioning loyalty.  In this way, every military service in the world functions like a cult.  The recruits are broken down, given a new mindset of instant and unquestioning obedience, and taught deadly skills.  This enables them to run to the sound of gunfire and place their lives in danger.  The main difference between the military and a cult is that military service is more or less temporary, and leaders change frequently.

Some rather well-known military cults have gotten out of hand.  The Nazi SS and the Japanese Imperial Army in WWII are two examples.  A modern day example might be the North Korean army, although you could also argue the whole country is one big cult.

Trump hires people based on their personal loyalty to him.

[Lewandowski] gained Trump’s trust by demonstrating he possessed the quality Trump values most: loyalty. “This campaign, above all other things, is about loyalty,” Lewandowski said. In what’s been said to be a unique arrangement for a campaign manager, Lewandowski travels everywhere with Trump, a role normally reserved for the campaign’s “body man.”

If you’re in an organization where unquestioning loyalty and obedience to authority is demanded (aside from the military), you may be a cult member.