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Fools rush in: Trump, pardons and the tyrant’s cult

January 13, 2021 in Blogs

By Joshua Frank

There is little doubt among readers of this online magazine that Donald Trump, like all U.S. presidents before him, is a criminal. His grotesqueness and belligerence, however, has elevated Trump to Nixonian heights. With Bugsy Siegel’s mob swagger and the ponzi-salesmanship of Bernie Madoff, Trump, the petty grifter, is unlike almost any official we’ve witnessed in public life.

In his 1979 book, the Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations, social critic and historian Christopher Lasch all but predicted the dawn of Trumpian politics, writing:

“…the prevailing obsession with celebrity and a determination to achieve it even at the cost of rational self-interest and personal safety. The narcissist divides society into two groups: the rich, great, and famous on the one hand, and the common herd on the other … The narcissist admires and identifies himself with ‘winners’ out of his fear of being labeled a loser. … his admiration often turns to hatred if the object of his attachment does something to remind him of his own insignificance.”

The only point that Lasch perhaps missed in his pioneering work is the cultish atmosphere a specimen like Donald Trump is able to cultivate and exploit for his own personal and political gains. It’s this innate narcissism, emboldened by a coterie of abiding fools circling round him, that led to the invasion of the Capitol. His racist minions, not too unlike the conditioned and dutiful helter-skeltering Manson Girls, were more than willing to sacrifice their personal safety for what they believed was the greater good — in this case, a battle against the “injustice” Trump had faced at the hands of some mysterious electoral fraud. The sinister enemies were everywhere. The media. Mitch McConnell. Nancy Pelosi. The Georgia Secretary of State and even that smarmy Mike Pence. The lone truth-teller was Trump, the great defender of the supremacy of white America, and to his energetic fans, the only man able to save our fragile and dying Republic from the brink of collapse.

Understanding Trump as a cult leader is the only way to truly appreciate the power he wields and the idiocy he manifests. Few others could call upon their legions to rush government buildings with the dashing hope their efforts would make a difference, overturning what they falsely believed was a rigged election. No longer did police lives matter to these twisted Patriots. …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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