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Sun May 24, 2020, 10:31 AM

Best Short-Form Take On The Elephant Cult I've Seen Yet (Washington Monthly)

EDIT

Being a Republican now requires believing in a jaw-dropping series of claims that, if true, would almost necessitate anti-democratic revanchism. One has to believe that a cabal of evil scientists is making up climate science in exchange for grant money; that there is rampant, widescale voter impersonation fraud carried out by thousands of elections officials nationwide; that the “Deep State” concocted a scheme to frame Trump for Russian collusion but chose not to use it before the 2016 election; that shadowy forces are driving migrant caravans and diseases across American borders in the service of destroying white Republican America; that the entire news media is engaged in a conspiracy against the Republican Party; that grieving victims of gun violence and their families all across America want to take away guns as a pretext for stomping the boot of “liberal fascism” on conservative faces; and so on. That and much more is just the vanilla Republican belief system at this point (not even touching less explosive academic fictions like “tax cuts pay for themselves” or “the poor will work harder to better themselves if you cut the safety net.”)

But things have gotten even worse in the few years short years since the Trump era began. Once a far-fringe conspiracy theory relegated to 8chan and neo-nazi filled knockoffs of Reddit, the QAnon conspiracy theory (which, among other things, posits that a wide swath of prominent Democrats, celebrities and assorted rich people are engaged in pedophilia and adrenochrome harvesting of children, and that the Trump Administration is always just a few weeks away from conducting mass arrests and summary executions–but only once QANON followers have awakened enough of the “normie” public) has become so pervasive that not only do “Q” signs pop up at almost every major conservative rally or protest, but a true believer is now the GOP nominee for Senate in Oregon. When her campaign attempted to backtrack, she doubled down, saying “”My campaign is gonna kill me…How do I say this? Some people think that I follow Q like I follow Jesus. Q is the information and I stand with the information resource.” This conspiracy theory is destroying families, relationships, and the mental health of its adherents. A healthy and normal political party would inoculate itself from it and debunk it quickly. But the GOP is not a healthy or normal political party.

It doesn’t stop there. Almost half of Fox News viewers–the core of the GOP–believe that Bill Gates is using the COVID-19 pandemic to microchip them. And Donald Trump has been promoting a series of conspiracy theories on twitter each more outlandish than the last, from old debunked accusations against cable news hosts he dislikes to concocted accusations against former president Barack Obama.

Go to any conservative event and you’ll notice a shift from even the raucous detached weirdness of Tea Party rallies. They feel less like political events than cult rallies. Cult experts like Steven Hassan have taken note of this, calling it exactly what it is: a cult built around manufactured realities, shared grievances and us-against-them insular extremism. The increasing dependence of Republican politicians on a shrinking, embattled white evangelical base already given over to faith-based belief systems and racism-tinged “city on a hill” ideology has only exacerbated the phenomenon.

EDIT

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2020/05/23/we-need-to-speak-honestly-about-the-gops-evolution-into-a-conspiracy-cult/

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Reply Best Short-Form Take On The Elephant Cult I've Seen Yet (Washington Monthly) (Original post)
hatrack May 24 OP
The Magistrate May 24 #1
Thomas Hurt May 24 #2
Wounded Bear May 24 #3
SoonerPride May 24 #4
rgbecker May 24 #5
RainCaster May 24 #6
Coventina May 24 #8
Coventina May 24 #7

Response to hatrack (Original post)

Sun May 24, 2020, 10:39 AM

1. Cold Fact, Sir

An excellent piece. Thank you for sharing it.

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Response to hatrack (Original post)

Sun May 24, 2020, 10:42 AM

2. Christofascist cult...

...That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups. In our time, when the old "proletarians" are becoming petty bourgeois (and the lumpen are largely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority.

To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country. This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies. Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia. But the plot must also come from the inside: Jews are usually the best target because they have the advantage of being at the same time inside and outside. In the U.S., a prominent instance of the plot obsession is to be found in Pat Robertson's The New World Order, but, as we have recently seen, there are many others.


(Bold mine)


Essay on Ur-Fascism 1995 Umberto Eco

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Response to hatrack (Original post)

Sun May 24, 2020, 10:43 AM

3. K & R...for visibility...nt

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Response to hatrack (Original post)

Sun May 24, 2020, 10:45 AM

4. Kick and rec

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Response to hatrack (Original post)

Sun May 24, 2020, 10:51 AM

5. Yes, call it what it is: Call it a cult.

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Response to hatrack (Original post)

Sun May 24, 2020, 11:16 AM

6. Remember, the elephant has the largest poops of any animal

Which totally fits the GOP as well.

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Response to RainCaster (Reply #6)

Sun May 24, 2020, 11:20 AM

8. I think that credit goes to blue whales.

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Response to hatrack (Original post)

Sun May 24, 2020, 11:20 AM

7. What sin did elephants commit to be associated with these creeps?



(I know, off topic, but it bugs me)

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