The Cult of Trump

by / Jun. 14, 2018 6am EST

This is a tweet posted yesterday by Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel: 

It’s likely I don’t have to tell you this, but this ridiculousness is straight-up anti-democratic dictatorship cult worship stuff. They’re not even trying to hide it anymore. 

Sort of like the mural at this former Wal-Mart that’s been repurposed into a jail for refugee children whom the government has separated from their parents. 

That’s pretty astonishing. It goes without saying that the Trump-cult right wing would be flipping out if even a fraction of what’s going on was happening under President Obama. As Tom Nichols, a conservative professor at the Naval War College explains, Trump is everything conservatives accused Obama of being

Going all the way back to the 2008 presidential race, Republicans were certain that Obama would be more attuned to the needs of America’s worst enemies than willing to discuss the shared interests of America’s best friends; this captures the destructive arc of Trump’s actions from last week’s Group of Seven meeting in Quebec to the spectacle in Singapore.

Republicans were scathing about Obama’s immense (and obvious) self-regard. But Trump has shown himself to be beyond any of the GOP’s worst nightmares about Obama. A political narcissist transfixed by his own image and utterly addicted to television coverage, Trump is unwilling to be briefed, incapable of being educated and has now blundered into a summit with a monster in exactly the way Republicans were once certain Obama would do if a camera was pointed at him.

That’s all well and good, but don’t forget: your President has identified the real enemy. Our free press. 

Dovetailing nicely with this whole cult / authoritarian theme, and as evidenced by the tweet showing the Trump mural, our government is busy separating families and throwing kids into jails. These aren’t criminals — they are refugees, mostly from Central American countries fleeing violence and crime. The American government will rip breastfeeding infants from their mother’s nipples because they crossed the border illegally. 

The American government refuses to process asylum claims at the Mexican border for people crossing legally, giving asylum-seekers no choice. It is inhumane and unconscionable for our government to rip apart asylum-seeking families who have endured so much struggle just to get here, and to specifically and carefully set up the conditions to do so. To bar the pathway to legal asylum processing and then punishing them for illegal entry is tantamount to framing someone for a crime. It’s clear that the real aim is simply to bar brown people from entry and criminalizing refugees. 


“Every day we hear that parents are being separated from their children and are given different reasons for the separation. Some are told the truth,” Mr Nogueres told The Independent. “Others are told that they’re children are being taken for a break to play, or bathe, or sleep, … little white lies to ameliorate an exploding situation.  The parents will realize they were lied to when they meet us before court.”

On top of this manufactured and artificial Catch-22, Jeff Sessions’ DOJ says it will no longer approve asylum applications from people fleeing gang violence or domestic abuse; in essence, sending them back to injury and death and fear. On the one hand, Trump will accuse MS-13 of being the worst scourge of “animals” America has ever endured, while throwing parents and children who flee that violent gang right back into the worst of it. And let’s not tiptoe around any of this: the separation of children from their parents is not mandatory. It is discretionary, and right now it is an intended result of Trump administration / Jeff Session-implemented policy. Separating asylum-seeking children from asylum-seeking parents is morally repugnant, totally antithetical to everything for which the US purports to stand, and is not legally necessary. It is cruelty for cruelty’s sake. It is a set of conditions manufactured specifically to exclude and harass one set of refugees. If they could do this at airports, they’d do it to implement their Muslim ban, too. 

Trump says some law the Democrats are somehow to blame for is forcing him to separate refugee kids from their parents.  

Before the Trump administration, immigrants entering illegally as families were rarely prosecuted, said Sarah Pierce, an associate policy analyst of the U.S. Immigration Program at the Migration Policy Institute. Instead, immigrants were held in family detention centers until they were sent to appear before an immigration court or deported.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on April 6 the Homeland Security Department would now be referring all illegal border crossings to the Justice Department for prosecution. Facing criminal charges, parents would go to detention centers, leaving their children unaccompanied.

It’s the decision to prosecute parents that is causing the separations.

It’s a lie, and as always happens in cults, the followers just swallow it whole. This is happening because Trump and Sessions want it to happen. They don’t want it to happen to deter anything, they want it to happen because it harasses brown people and triggers the libs, which seemingly are the last two vestiges of conservative dogma. 

And, as the GOP Chairwoman reminds you, get the fuck in line behind Donald Trump’s every action or you, too, will suffer the consequences. Pastor Niemöller warned us — this happens incrementally, in steps. First they come for the asylum-seekers, then they’ll come for the green card holders, then they’ll come for the naturalized citizens, then they’ll come for the kids born here as citizens. 

I wrote about it in August 2015; you can’t say Trump didn’t warn you. Elections have consequences.