Sun. May 19th, 2024
I came across an article a few days ago, which discusses the characteristics of cult leaders. Whilethis information is fairly familiar to me, and possibly to many of us, I think that applying them to Donald Trump is helpful.
While this Huffpost article, by Carolina Bologna, does not mention Trump by name, I think the subtext is that he is the most dangerous cult leader in the United States, if not the world, at this time.
Without giving many details, here is the list of cult leader traits, For more details, please read the article (The 9 Most Common Personality Traits In Cult Leaders (msn.com)).
  1. “Charisma:” I put Charisma in quotes because it is obviously something that is “in the eye of the beholder.” Clearly, Trump’s supporters think that he is charismatic;
  2. Authoritarian Control: Cult leaders are domineering, manipulative, and seek to gain as much control over others as possible:
  3. Inability to Tolerate Being Wrong: This is a prime Trump trait, which also corresponds with his
  4. Malignant Narcissism: Cult leaders have an insatiable need for devotion and self-sacrifice from their followers, with no regard or empathy for the pain that they inflict on others;
  5. Unpredictability: This is a common strategy of cult leaders, because it reinforces their control over others. In Trump’s case, it keeps his supporters and the media glued to his every word and move. (Although in the sense of his emotional reactions, Trump is actually very predictable, things like his sudden policy shifts and pronouncements are not.);
  6. Insecure Attachment Issues: Cult leaders are typically found to have had insecure relationships with their parents as children. Trump’s history verifies that his parents made him and his siblings feel especially insecure as children;
  7. Delusion: Can you spell “election denial?” And that is just one of Trump’s many obvious delusions. Simply put, the man is off the rails crazy, commensurate with my “Republican Crazy Train” theme;
  8. Sense of Grandiosity: Well, yeah! Donald J. Trump is so grandiose that I find it surprising that he can even fit his head through a doorway;
  9. Exploitation: Well, duh! Trump is a conman who has made a career out of exploiting other people and any opportunities of convenience.
Basically, that’s the entire article. Donald J. Trump checks off all of these boxes, and that is a very dangerous thing when found in a president or a person who may be in a position to become a president for the second time, if his campaign succeeds.
Note how unusual it is for a former president who has lost an election to run for the presidency again. Google lists 4 of them, none of whom exhibited Trump’s level of narcissism as far as I know. These were Martin Van Buren, Millard Fillmore, Grover Cleveland and the most recent, Theodore Roosevelt in 1909, which is 115 years ago.
While people such as Michael Cohen and Mary Trump initially speculated that Donald Trump’s ego wouldn’t allow him to risk the possibility of losing another election, what has happened instead is that Donald Trump is even more deluded than those close to him had realized; he has convinced himself that he actually one the 2020 election despite all evidence to the contrary, and is convinced that he is enormously popular – aided by his political cult following – and will win again as long as he can overcome the nonexistent election rigging by Democrats that he constantly bemoans.
I cannot emphasize enough how crazily dangerous this situation is. The advise that I can offer at this point is to help inform our fellow citizens – especially low information voters – of the dangers of another Trump term, with its promises of Christo-fascism and anti-democracy policies masquerading as populism. The good news is that I believe that Trump is gradually narrowing his base, hopefully to the point of political nonviability and irrelevance – but we aren’t there yet. We still have much work to do between now and this year’s elections.

Here’s your homework!

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