Trump backers aren't a cult ... but we are the outsiders

Elise Jordan of MSNBC, a regular panelist on highly anti-Trump “Morning Joe,” similarly smeared our movement. First, she claimed on Twitter that her insult of the president as a “scumbag” represented a “factually accurate statement.” I responded that such typical media obfuscation demonstrated why the purveyors of it deserve the president’s “harsh appellation: enemy of the people.” Jordan then retorted, “Have fun in your cult while it lasts.”

Then my network, CNN, delved deeper show into this theme Sunday by showcasing Steven Hassan, author of a book named – you guessed it – “The Cult of Trump.” “Reliable Sources” Host Brian Stelter introduced his guest as a “mental health expert” who had himself escaped the throes of the Unification Church in the 1970s. Hassan then described the alleged cult-like traits of this current group of, oh, 63 million American citizens who voted for the Republican Party ticket in 2016. He warned that much of what these believers hear “is emotionally driven, loaded words, thought-stopping and though-terminating-type clichés like … Make America Great Again.” The host responded that “it is frightening to hear a cult expert say that you see all of these signs right now today in American politics.” This level of hyperbole resembled an August edition of the same show in which supposed mental-health experts disregarded all ethical standards of their profession to publicly diagnose President Trump, whom they have never even met, much less personally evaluated. One of them, Dr. Allen Frances, lurched to the appalling comparison that the president is “as destructive a person in this century as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were in the last century.”