Links and Comments: Republicans are Now the Cult of Trump

It’s official.

Washington Post: The Republican Party announces that it stands for nothing.

There is no Republican Party platform announced for its convention this year. No platform; no principles, no standards, no ideals. It’s all about supporting Trump. Virtually the definition of a cult. Whatever Fearless Leader wants.


And Slate: Republicans Announce Their 2020 Platform Consists of Supporting Whatever Trump Wants.

Republicans have no ideals anymore; they just want to follow an authoritarian leader.


And yet, at The Atlantic, David Frum (a former speechwriter for George W. Bush!), perceives The Platform the GOP Is Too Scared to Publish, subtitled, What the Republican Party actually stands for, in 13 points.

These include (of course) tax cuts for the rich; denial of the science behind the coronavirus and climate change, and so on. Frum does a good job about characterizing these in the terms Republicans would use, e.g.

3) Climate change is a much-overhyped problem. It’s probably not happening. If it is happening, it’s not worth worrying about. If it’s worth worrying about, it’s certainly not worth paying trillions of dollars to amend. To the extent it is real, it will be dealt with in the fullness of time by the technologies of tomorrow. Regulations to protect the environment unnecessarily impede economic growth.

The one point Frum misses, it seems to me, is Republicans’ undying support for the military. We can never spend too much on the military, they think, despite that the US spends more on its military than the next dozen or so nations combined. This reveals the overriding motivating factor of conservatives, and Republicans: fear.


The overwhelming impression of Republican talking points, and their convention so far, is of *fear*. Paranoid fear. Their convention so far has been, not about the promise of American, as they said, but about stoking fear. And lying.

Washington Post: These 7 cultish moments at Trump’s convention add up to one Big Lie

Slate: The Republican Coronavirus Strategy: Lie About Everything, subtitled, The party is following Trump’s pattern of deceit.

Slate’s William Saletan identifies the points about lies, with many links to documented examples: about 1, Travel Bans; 2, Emergency Declartions; 3, Testing; 4, Medical Supplies, 5, Vaccines, and 6, Speed. For example, keeping links:

Trump has lied about the virus all along. He’s still lying. “We just have to make this China virus go away. And it’s happening,” he declared in a convention video, even as thousands of Americans continue to die. But the president is no longer alone in his fictional universe. He’s backed by a party that glorifies him with fabrications: that he stood up to North Korea, that his impeachment was “fake,” and that he “ended once and for all the policy of incarceration of Black people.” The tale of his struggle against the virus is just another heroic myth. Trump “is a visionary,” Rep. Matt Gaetz explained to the audience. What’s “built in the mind is even more powerful” than reality, said Gaetz. That’s the message from the first night of the convention: This is no longer a party of limited government, national security, or the rule of law. It’s a party of lies.


Finally, for perspective, Business Insider compiles a list of Who’s not at the RNC?.

There have been respectable Republicans before the party turned into a Trump cult. Remember… Mitt Romney, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Ryan, John Boehner, Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell? None of them welcome at this year’s convention.


And of course, this current political theme dovetails with some of my other recent blog posts.

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