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Opinion | You’re in a cult

When you believe absurd lies and are willing to turn your back on established institutions and the truth, you’re in a cult.

Supporters of President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP PHOTO/JOSE LUIS MAGANA)
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Back in the early 2000s, as then-President George W. Bush was making up stuff to facilitate a misguided and catastrophic invasion and occupation of Iraq – a decision that ultimately led to the deaths of thousands of young Americans and cost us considerable influence in both Iraq and Afghanistan – I really disliked Bush. 

Really, really disliked him and the rest of his factually-challenged cohorts – Cheney, Rice, Rumsfield, Gonzales – and thought they were generally driven by money and willing to sacrifice American servicemen and women for political and financial gain. And I truly could not understand how so many Americans could support them, even after the lies and follies had been exposed publicly. 

But I didn’t think those supporters were in a cult. 

I didn’t think Reagan supporters were in a cult. I didn’t think H.W. Bush supporters were in a cult. No one claimed Clinton supporters were in a cult. And out of all the horrific and insulting things said about the Obamas and those who supported his presidency, one thing no one claimed was that those supporters were in a cult. 

Because they weren’t. 

But a good many of the people supporting 34-time convicted felon Donald John Trump are. 

The signs of this are not hard to spot. It’s the name on the flag flying outside of the homes. It’s the weird obsession with photoshopping Trump’s head on someone else’s muscular body. It’s the complete and utter disregard of lying, cheating, grifting and generally being an awful human. And it’s the complete and utter devotion to Trump – above all American institutions – no matter what he does or says. 

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For God’s sake, just last week this guy stated with a straight face that he never said “lock her up” about Hillary Clinton. He’s said it hundreds of times. In public. At rallies. On camera. In interviews. 

The MAGAs didn’t skip a beat. Hardly anyone paid attention. 

Because nothing matters in that world. Just look at what the MAGAs – and so many cowardly GOP politicians – have been willing to sacrifice in the name of supporting this con man. 

When Trump lost the 2020 election – and he lost by a lot – his supporters were willing – are still willing, in fact – to pronounce the election system in America to be a total sham. It was manipulated. Trump was cheated. 

People stormed the capital and smeared human feces on the walls in protest. 

Except there was no cheating. Investigation after investigation – including those conducted by Republicans – have turned up zero evidence of election fraud. Zero evidence of mass voter fraud, or even minimum voter fraud. 

Oh, but that wasn’t the only thing that happened. No sir, several brain dead lawmakers who backed Trump agreed to participate in a scheme to undermine the results of that election. They signed up fake electors and had U.S. Representatives and Senators willing to upend the electoral college process in an effort to keep Trump in office, despite the fact he lost. 

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It has never happened in the history of the country. No one has ever even thought about it. 

But they did it for this buffoon. Because they’re in a cult. 

And it doesn’t end there. 

Four years later, despite the benefits of hindsight and because, I guess, it’s impossible to get people out of a cult, these America-hating deplorables are on the verge of re-nominating him to run for president. 

Do you get this? They know the “election was rigged” stuff was BS. They know that he sent people to the capital because he’s a whiny loser who has never in his life lost – or done anything else – with grace. They know full well that he attempted an actual coup. 

But that cult, man. 

And still, it doesn’t end. 

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Because now, these same people are trying to convince you that the American justice system – for the first time in history – was unfair to a rich white dude. It was manipulated. It was sham trial. It was a miscarriage of justice. Ol’ “sleepy” Joe Biden, between bouts of dementia, was able to orchestrate the entire justice system to get … this guy who was a defendant in more than 4,000 lawsuits prior to running for office. 

Yeah, because it’s soooooo incredibly hard to believe that the guy who was running a scam university, who was fined $2 million for improperly using charity funds, including funds from a kids cancer charity, whose business was hit with a $450 million fraud fine, whose organization had to pay $1.6 million for tax frauds and whose business agreed to pay $100 million to settle a housing discrimination lawsuit also used illegal accounting tricks to hide a payment to a porn star to cover up a one-night stand. 

It’s always, always someone else’s fault when it comes to Trump. He’s always being treated unfairly. He’s always the victim of this imagined persecution. He’s always the innocent guy who was really trying to do good. 

All of that fraud, all of that lying, all of that sexual assaulting, all of that porn star affairing, all of that grifting, all of that deplorable behavior, all of that mind-numbingly dumb rhetoric – all of it was just Trump being mistreated, misunderstood and underappreciated. That’s what the MAGAs believe, and there’s only one reason, despite knowing all that we know, that they believe it. 

They’re in a cult.

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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