Column: Call Trumpism what it is: a cult

dandyfopp

Column: Call Trumpism what it is: a cult

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-01-10/donald-trump-cult-steven-hassan-moonie


By VIRGINIA HEFFERNANJAN. 10, 2020 3 AM

The comparisons have come hard and fast, at least since 2015. Trump is like Silvio Berlusconi, like Adolf Hitler, like Boris Johnson. A 2018 film called “The Trump Prophecy” took the evangelical route, comparing Trump to Cyrus the Great, the 6th century BC Persian monarch chosen by God to free Jewish captives in Babylon.


But maybe it’s time to stop searching for the exact analogy for Trump, be he Cyrus or Boris, Adolf or a Silvio. What demands analysis is less the arrogant 73-year-old mediocrity in the Oval Office, but the worshipful attitude so many Americans have toward him.


A lot of nut jobs have peddled lies to Americans before, and even styled themselves as messianic. But at no time in history have so many Americans been drawn to what’s looking increasingly like a cult. I don’t use the term recklessly.

When Steven Hassan, an expert in cults and an ex-Moonie (as in the Unification Church, founded by a Korean businessman, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon), published “The Cult of Trump” last spring, some reviewers objected to his use of the cult framework as incendiary and not all that useful.


Indeed, for Trump critics to call his admirers cult members might be just another salvo in our nasty political warfare. It’s similar to the Trump psychologizing over the years that often doubles as name-calling: He’s a baby, a psychopath, a stone-cold narcissist.


The discourse around cults partakes of some woolly theories. “Mind control” and “brainwashing” are shibboleths from the 1950s, when the coinages were used to describe what Chinese Communists did to convert freethinkers to their cause. The implicit suggestion is that unsavory ideas and ideologies can only win adherents using extreme and witchy measures.


All that put me off the notion of Trumpism as a cult. But then in August, Trump looked heavenward and called himself “the chosen one.”

Suddenly, among evangelicals, it wasn’t enough to make comparisons with Cyrus or even King David. He had to be the savior himself. The far-right radio host Wayne Allyn Root called Trump “the second coming of God.” Then former Energy Secretary Rick Perry straight up affirmed Trump’s craziness, telling him, “You are here in this time because God ordained you.”


As 2019 drew to a close, my doubts about Trumpism as a cult dissolved. And I’m not alone.

Republican lawyer George Conway reportedly described his wife, Trump’s presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, as a member of a cult. Former GOP strategist John Weaver has used the term. Anthony Scaramucci, Trump’s onetime communications director, concurs. Also news vet Dan Rather, conservative political scientist Norman Ornstein, science journalist Steve Silberman, pastor John Pavlovitzand academic and journalist Jared Yates Sexton.


What the cult diagnosis may lack in scholarly rigor, it makes up for in explanatory power. When polled, far too many Republicans come across as having abandoned their commitment to libertarianism, family values or simple logic in favor of Trump worship. They’re lost to paranoia and factually unmoored talking points, just the way Hassan was lost to Sun Myung Moon.


It can be heartbreaking when loved ones succumb to Trumpism. (It’s a double whammy when your grief is dismissed as liberal tears.) A true believer undergoes a “radical personal change,” as Hassan puts it. The person you once knew seems somehow ... not there.

Journalists Luke O’Neil and Edwin Lyngar, as well as Jen Senko in “The Brainwashing of My Dad,” have compiled stories of Americans who have gone over. O’Neil summarized the transformation this way: “A loved one … sat down in front of Fox News, found some kind of deep, addictive comfort in the anger and paranoia, and became a different person.”

Sounds about right.


Hassan — who remembers, during his Moonie days, shouting, “I don’t care if Moon is like Hitler. I’ve chosen to follow him, and I’ll follow him to the end” — broke free, and became an expert on cults and how to leave them. He has spent his career proving it’s possible.

To see Trumpism as a cult is not to refuse to engage with its effects, the crimes committed in its name or the way it has awakened and emboldened the cruelest and most destructive beliefs and practices in the American playbook. Instead, the cult framework should relieve the pressure many of us feel to call Trumpites back to themselves, to keep arguing with them. They are stuck in a bad relationship with a controlling figure.


Understanding Trump is a fool’s errand. He’s sui generis, and far too erratic and finally insubstantial to reward close attention. Trump zealots are another matter. They are part of the tradition of radical converts in American history who elected to forfeit their authentic personalities and principles rather than refine or strengthen them. We need to stay focused on how so many Americans came to this pass and took this destructive course. The Trump cult will define American politics for decades to come, even after its dear leader is gone.

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vgkg (Va Z-7)

That article is late for the boat, by about 4 years. As a wise poster put it a while back - My country right or wrong, depends on the situation. Whereas my president right or wrong, no way. My prez right or wrong is very culty.

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adoptedbyhounds

"The Trump cult will define American politics for decades to come, even after its dear leader is gone."


Am I the only one who has noticed the ongoing assignment of "pathologies" to both Trump and his supporters?

I'm not understanding how referring to people who don't agree with Dems as cultists, fools, zealots, demented, Nazis, low IQ, etc. is supposed to help anyone.

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katrina_ellen

The effects of obsession, it was hate for Trump, now its become hate for anyone who supports him, and the attempted assassination of character. Lets just call it what it is - HATE.

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Joaniepoanie

It’s because Trumpers defend everything he says and does. Never any criticism. And they hate anyone who does criticize him or presents factual information about him. We see much worse bashing of liberals on this forum on a daily basis.

I recently heard a pundit say:

Trump and the GOP are a cult. Cults always end. Usually not well.

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queenmargo

Yes the Obama cult ended too, keeping with that mentality.

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dandyfopp

It never existed.


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THOR, Son of ODIN(2)

Deflection is the only response.

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queenmargo

LOL, denial

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queenmargo

The left somehow believe that they MUST save us, lol. Shame us, lol. Hate us, it is all so sad!

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queenmargo

Here is a novel concept:

Why don't you just post what is so great about your candidates, and concentrate on winning instead of whining about Trump.

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barncatz

I do hate and fear Trump. He is unique in my lifetime.

To the extent his supporter's support for him is unequivocal, that is, they won't say he lies, even when faced with objective reality, I don't know how to separate them from Trump. He didn't pay off any women, and yet there's his signature on a check. They won't say he was misreading a teleprompter and maybe needs glasses, when he talks about storming revolutionary war airports!

He is infallible to them, and that level of support is closer to idolatry of a politician himself, not just his policies, than anything I've experienced. When I was protesting Vietnam, there were many similarities, "love it or leave it", for example, but I don't recall anyone telling me Nixon was "the Chosen One".

To the extent his followers want Trump to have the powers of a King, and the infallible status of a messiah, and they do, I will keep fighting that.

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Toby

I don't think it's their defense of him that says cult. What says cult to me is their skewed perception of him that isn't tied to the reality of who he is and what he has accomplished. They've made him larger than life, like he's a folk hero who saved us all. Maybe they hope he'll go down in history as such but the rest of us are pretty sure where he'll end up in the history books.

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barncatz

Okay, Margo, here's one. Obama should have remembered his election speeches that power can come from the bottom up. He should have done more than rely on his rhetoric to engage Democrats and lead independents. He failed us on Merrick Garland by punting to a Hillary election, when if he had been fathful to his beliefs and message, we should have been in the streets putting pressure on Republican senators. He was very weak on that issue and it cost us.


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bleusblue2

I'm not understanding how referring to people who don't agree with Dems as cultists, fools, zealots, demented, Nazis, low IQ, etc. is supposed to help anyone.

~~~~

then separate yourself from the "second coming" part of your bunch. I kind of don't "agree" that a president is America's religious leader.

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queenmargo

Yeah, hindsight on Obama, but I am talking about the current candidates running. Concentrate on the future.

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mudhouse

It’s because Trumpers defend everything he says and does. Never any criticism. And they hate anyone who does criticize him or presents factual information about him.

Not a true statement at all, Joanie. I've posted negative things about Trump but nobody remembers them. I've gone back and re-posted them to prove it. Doesn't matter. Statements like this always show up. It's easier to decry your enemy when you can reduce him to a caricature. I get that. Both sides do it! But it's not true.

I don't hate anyone who criticizes Trump. Very often I think they are wrong. I don't agree with their assessment. But I don't hate them.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,maifleur,others(8a)

A rational conversation will never be possible as long as trump apologists think it’s about politics.

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queenmargo

You can still dislike the man but like his politics. I don't dislike Trump but I do not agree with all things that encompass Trump.

Trump would be fine with that from what I have heard him say.

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Iris GW

where do you get off calling anyone a Trump apologist when you said you would flag anyone who called someone an Iran apologist? Do you not see the hypocrisy?

Iran apologist = implies traitor

Trump apologist = a trump supporter but not necessarily anything else

Can you see the difference now?

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dandyfopp

What says cult to me is their skewed perception of him that isn't tied to the reality of who he is and what he has accomplished.


For me it is the ever deepening and ever growing deep state.

People who have served this country for decades- patriots- can testify under oath and be dismissed as liars and deceivers because that is what Donnie says they are is the tell. Whether they believe it because he says it or because it is expedient for their own reasons doesn't matter.

He has only to point and they follow and there is no end to it.





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justerrilynn(10)

You can still dislike the man but like his politics. I don't dislike Trump but I do not agree with all things that encompass Trump.


Exactly!!!


Bottom line: he is doing a great job running the country. In fact, he is doing much better than I thought he would. He has exceeded my expectations...by far.

You don’t have to like every little thing about his person.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,maifleur,others(8a)

“Miss lindsey- where do you get off calling anyone a Trump apologist when you said you would flag anyone who called someone an Iran apologist?”

Oh, because I didn’t.

I said I would flag any comment that accused Americans critical of the president’s choices of being loyal to Iran over America.

Do you understand how that’s different from the word “apologist,” now that Iris pointed it out?

I could go back and change “Trump apologist” to “Trump supporter” if it makes you feel better.

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adoptedbyhounds

"What says cult to me is their skewed perception of him that isn't tied to the reality of who he is and what he has accomplished."

Another illustration of Dems "pathologizing" disagreement. Trump supporters are separated from "reality!"

However, that's nonsense. It's not my "perception" that "migrants" are waiting in Mexico for permission to enter the US. It is a fact.

It's not a mere "perception" that Dems are angry at President Trump and his supporters for these improvements on our border, and lash out at us with hateful names and epithets. It's a fact.

It's not a "perception" that President Trump questions current immigration policy. We are all entitled to know why we continue to import poverty into the US when the needs of our fellow citizens go unmet.

It's not my "perception" the economy is doing well, or that the stock market is creating wealth for millions of Americans.

It's not my "perception" that President Trump ended the "career" of a merciless terrorist, with a long history of killing and maiming American soldiers.


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katrina_ellen

Where was the criticism of Obama by the Democrats? Him and his wife were all good. Trump and his wife - all bad. And now its everyone that defends Trump-all bad, racist, etc. etc. That defies logic.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Where was the criticism of Obama by the Democrats?

How could anyone miss the criticism of President Obama by Democrats?

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lurker111

In other words...Which side takes to the streets with torches and voodoo dolls and howls at the moon? Did I hear something about a cult?

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Kathy

Which side indeed.

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katrina_ellen

What were the criticisms of Obama? And Michelle?

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lily316

I have called trump's followers a cult for a long time now, and I'm glad now many experts are agreeing with me. Jim Jones had his , trump has his and he plays them like a fiddle. Never have I seen a more disturbed group of people who never bat an eye at the corruption, PROVEN lies, and immoral conduct. They worship him and it's so perplexing. Let's hope they will all be knocked down a peg when the great wizard OZ is exposed for the crooked immoral con man he is (and a very stupid one as well). The German people were 75 years ago.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Geez, criticisms of Obama were thundering down on him back then. The t-party couldn't quit howling its displeasure with him.

You didn't hear it? Where in the world were you hibernating?

Kate

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barncatz

I think it is your perception that the stock market increase, goosed by Trump's tax cut for corporations, is creating wealth for the majority of Americans. My 409 has not been goosed but the millenials I know need me to die so they can pay off education loans with it. And Trump's budget is far different from his rally promises.


https://www.forbes.com/sites/howardgleckman/2019/03/14/is-president-trump-really-proposing-to-cut-medicare-by-845-billion/#5c9d6f201d07

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/inheriting-a-parents-ira-or-401k-heres-how-the-secure-act-could-create-a-disaster-2019-12-26

And while the stock market heats up, so does our planet, and Trump keeps favoring his buddies' and his wealth in fossil fuels.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

catkin, your graphic crosses a line.

Have you no shame?

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

What were the criticisms of Obama?

From the Democrats:

Not prosecuting Bush & Cheney for their deliberate misrepresentation of Iraq having WMDs

Not prosecuting for torture

Not shutting down Guantanamo

Limiting the scope of health care reform; omitting universal coverage

Continuing to try to enlist GOP cooperation when it was clear there would never be GOP cooperation; too many compromises

Drone warfare; targeted killings of US citizens by drone

These are just off the top of my head; further thinking would yield a longer list.

.

Why include criticisms of Michelle Obama in your request? She was not elected, nor wielded power.




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woodnymph2_gw

Lurker's meme does, as well.

How can one defend the chronic lying, about everything and every person, day after day?

Anyone who has read German history can clearly see parallels with regard to a cult figure wanting authoritarian control in our own America.

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katrina_ellen

Nancy-many of those "criticisms" you listed are very much debatable if you had all the security intelligence known, which you don't.

Here's one for Obama-he ruined our healthcare system and had the indecency to lie about it.


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dandyfopp

Now give us one for Donnie.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Nancy-many of those "criticisms" you listed are very much debatable

The question was what were the criticisms of President Obama by Democrats -- I listed them.

One doesn't have to agree that the criticisms were valid; that was not the issue.

The accusation was that Democrats never criticized President Obama (by implication asserting that there was a cult of Obama). Saying that these criticisms are invalid lends support to the idea that Democrats had little reason to criticize President Obama.

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adoptedbyhounds

"I think it is your perception that the stock market increase, goosed by Trump's tax cut for corporations, is creating wealth for the majority of Americans."

Barncatz, You just illustrated the dangers of presuming to know what other people think. It is your "perception," not mine, that I attributed stock market gains to Trump's tax cut for corporations.

I suggest you go back and look at what I actually wrote.

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katrina_ellen

Those weren't criticisms, they were Dem talking points.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Those weren't criticisms

Incorrect.

Those criticisms were made against President Obama during his terms of office.

Evidently some are unaware of the tensions that existed between progressive/more liberal Democrats and the centrists represented by President Obama.

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dandyfopp

Exactly Nancy.

Republican lite, I think I read. I didn't disagree.

I have a feeling at some point in the not too distant future I will be reading on this very forum that Donnie fans criticized him and often.

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katrina_ellen

The same criticisms were made by conservatives of George W. - too centrist, always giving in to the Dems amid their tirades. Now we have someone who doesn't back down to the Dems tirades, finally.

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lurker111

There are things that I don't like about everyone. I've never met anyone who was perfect.

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barncatz

adoptedbyhounds, no I understand, I think. I was not trying to put words in your mouth, only to explain why I disagreed with the words I read.

I agree that it is my perception, not yours, that the stock market rally reflects corporate actions in buying back shares and that is due to Trump's tax cut and the fed's actions re: interest rates. My 409 downplays risk due to my age and it is not soaring to the sky. The millenials I know don't have 409s, though they all work.

So, I disagree that the stock market reflects a strong economy because I attribute that rise to something other than overall, widespread economic stability.

I also meant to disagree that the wealth it has admittedly created for millions reflects widespread prosperity. It is creating wealth for those who were already wealthy.

Edited for many typos. Might have missed some.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,maifleur,others(8a)

A: “You never criticized him!”

B: “We criticized this this this and this about him and there is probably more that I’m forgetting; there was plenty to criticize.”

A: “But I LIKE those things so they don’t count!”

lmao

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Joaniepoanie

Obama did not ruin healthcare—-millions of people are insured because of it——millions the rest of us are no longer paying for in one way or another.

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patriciae_gw(07)

I have personally known two cult leaders. Small scale types but cult leaders none the less. The resemblance between them was remarkable. They both operated by tearing down their minions sense of self worth and making it dependent on the aggrandizement of themselves. When they were treated as gods their follows were wise and wonderful. There was no room for criticizing. You have to pay for the privilege of being close to a god to get this reflected glory. In religious cultism you get a similar dynamic. People feel really good about giving stuff to the leader. I once attended a church where the ladies pooled resources to give the pastor a very expensive car. They all felt fabulous about it. Very cult like. Still on a more cheerful note people somehow become disenchanted or maybe just bored or like drugs you become resistant because in all three cases here the people eventually drifted away.

America love it or leave it, or my country right or wrong is in fact also cult behavior. We all should recognize that countries are not forever. They are a system to live within that has been working for a very long time-more or less depending on who you are-any other belief means you have drunk the Kool aide.

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bleusblue2

katrina_ellen

The same criticisms were made by conservatives of George W. - too centrist, always giving in to the Dems amid their tirades. Now we have someone who doesn't back down to the Dems tirades, finally.

~~~~

"giving in" "doesn't back down"

And then there's this thing called negotiating, give something/get something.


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bothell


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margaritadina

'' I don’t use the term recklessly.''

Yes, she does. Anyone who disagrees with the liberal agenda is a white supremacist. Or Neo-Nazi. Or a racist. Or a bigot. None of it works anymore, people just laugh when accused, so there we go - we've got a new one, a CULT.

So pathetic, but fits in the mainstream of the Dem party nowadays. Just like Dem's leader new party slogan ''It's not about'' facts'' it's about allegations''.

''

barncatz I
think it is your perception that the stock market increase, goosed by
Trump's tax cut for corporations, is creating wealth for the majority of
Americans. My 409 has not been goosed

''

My 401Ks grow well after been in coma for 8 years of Obama, so do my spiders. Try spider accts, they are doing well now, but hurry, Trump will not be in the office forever and with the next Dem president it will all go to hell again.

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Iris GW

^^ But now we have proof that there are millions of American out there who are happy to live without those things.

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margaritadina

''

Iris GW

^^ But now we have proof that there are millions of American out there who are happy to live without those things.

''

We have the proof that the unemployment is historically low. That means that millions of people live better, they are saving their homes from foreclosure, sending kids to college, buying a car or taking a vacation. Many obtained jobs with 401K and h-care available to them and their families. It's good.

Happiness is not measured by bank accts, but as soon as people be done patching their financial holes after devastation of Obama years, many will consider opening a savings acct. Or two.

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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

For me it always comes down to one very basic and proven fact which those on the right have never, to my knowledge, addressed on this forum: Trump is a known, proven beyond a doubt pathologic liar, who has lied 15,000 times. How in the world, please tell me, can you follow a man who has done that? Just this once I would hope for an answer, because just that one thing, and there are many others in regard to his morals and unethical business practices, but just that one thing should place him beyond the pale for anyone who has the least amount of honesty and decency themselves. The fact that this is ignored over and over again, by itself, makes the definition of cult in regard to Trump's followers a very convincing one.

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queenmargo

Ingrid- Listen up.... first off, what a Liberal claims to be a lie, is not always a lie. Lots of spinning and twisting of his words.

Secondly, truthfully, I would except the 15,000 so called lies over ever having a liberal in office again.

I will never convince a die hard anti-Trumper any different about what we see in the good he has done, so , who cares.

We are not cult-ers, We are not all the degrading names that the left call us.

I would not give a liberal the satisfaction of knowing if something Trump did was not met with my approval. NOPE, I would not speak of it to a liberal.

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Ann

"The effects of obsession, it was hate for Trump, now its become hate for anyone who supports him, and the attempted assassination of character. Lets just call it what it is - HATE."

I think there is a cult and this ugliness is what I consider to be the cult. I want no part of this cult. This cult makes Trump look like a gentle, kind, teddy bear and makes Trump supporters look like the adults in the room. This cult pushes people right into the arms of imperfect Trump.

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queenmargo

. I do find it frightening that you say you would accept 15,000 lies, for any reason in this world at all.

and I find it frightening that you believe these so called lies. The anti-Trumpers seem to believe anything. They twist his words to create a lie. It is more than sad.


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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Many of those lies are documented in his own tweets.

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queenmargo

So now you can rest Ingrid, someone has answered your question. Does this give me non-cult status? LOL

Why are the left attacking the Trump supporters? Why not just debate the politicians? Why did the left have to make it personal. The left brought this to the people. Hillary should have taught her base something when she called us "deplorable" , she made it personal.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,maifleur,others(8a)

There is a restaurant near me that is run by a cultish organization.

Many people eat at this restaurant because they appreciate the ownership’s philosophy about food.

Those people are not cult members, but they enable the cult nonetheless.

Other people are bought into the completely controlled and de-personalizing nature of the organization and have no life outside of it. Those people are cult members.

A person can certainly eat at the restaurant without being part of the cult. Others don’t choose to because they don’t want to support the cult. Others have no choice because they are part of the cult.

This is kind of the same, I think. A person could vote for Trump and not be part of his cult. But that doesn’t mean the cult doesn’t exist.

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queenmargo

This is kind of the same, I think. A person could vote for Trump and not be part of his cult. But that doesn’t mean the cult doesn’t exist.

How can you tell them apart?

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,maifleur,others(8a)

“How can you tell them apart?”

This is a useful checklist. I don’t really feel the need to try to ascertain who is in a cult and who is not, beyond my need to keep my own immediate family safe. So if anyone is interested in whether or not they are experiencing a cult-like organization, here are some really clear indications:

https://medium.com/@zelphontheshelf/10-signs-youre-probably-in-a-cult-1921eb5a3857

(As an interesting side note, I was taught these first at a Lutheran bible college.)

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Kathy

Miss Lindsey, it sure is a textbook case with Trump.

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queenmargo

One could say Hot Topics is a cult, lol lol lol

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margaritadina

''ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 For
me it always comes down to one very basic and proven fact which those
on the right have never, to my knowledge, addressed on this forum:
Trump is a known, proven beyond a doubt pathologic liar, who has lied
15,000 times. How in the world, please tell me, can you follow a man
who has done that?''

Obama lied all the way to the bank. Yes, we can! We can what? Nothing. ''We can nothing''. Let men use women's bathrooms? What kind of achievement is that? O-care? A total lie that affected millions of people. I can't tell a single lie of Trump that would affect millions. Besides, disagreeing with liberals and busting their tails is not a lie. He was proven right time and again.

He is bragging a lot, it's true - I don't care. He paid off a whore - I don't care, happy for her, she needs this money to pay him back 300K. ''Good people on both sides'' is true. If ANTIFA didn't start the mess, nothing would have happened, majority from both sides were peaceful protesters, ''fake news'' - darn straight, liberal ''journalists'' are full blown political prostitutes.

He is a great manager and already drained the swamp pretty good, economy is great, he doesn't bow to anyone and doesn't kick cans down the road like little Obama did. He is great.

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mrskjun(9)

Like Germany? Hitler was a socialist, think about that.

For the people who voted for Trump, they knew who they were voting for. A sometimes crass, brash, businessman who promised to shake up Washington. And boy has he. He has sent the left into a rage that they can't seem to rise from. Yet while they rage and run from one left wing media to another to tell us how corrupt and awful Trump is, he continues to make America the strongest economy in the world, and they simply continue to rage, offering nothing better. No, he is not some silver tongued politician who gives wonderful speeches and sneaks women in the backdoor of the White House or has sex in the oval office. What you see is what you get. I can understand if you've got yours and you don't much care about anyone else. But if you have kids entering the work force, Trump is the best thing to happen to them. They have choices, they have rising wages. In time and with hard work, one day they may have theirs.

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adoptedbyhounds

"So, I disagree that the stock market reflects a strong economy because I attribute that rise to something other than overall, widespread economic stability."

Hi Barncatz, I appreciate your followup. I'll just point out that you are disagreeing with something I did not say.

What I did say is that Its not my "perception" the economy is doing well, or that the stock market is creating wealth for millions of Americans.

Those are two separate facts. The economy is doing well. The stock market is creating wealth for millions of Americans. You attribute the rise (I think you might mean gains) to "something other" than overall, widespread economic stability, as if to counter an argument. An argument I didn't make. And you don't explain what that "something" is.

"I also meant to disagree that the wealth it has admittedly created for millions reflects widespread prosperity. It is creating wealth for those who were already wealthy."

With whom do you wish to disagree? I said nothing about "widespread prosperity." I merely noted that the stock market is creating wealth for millions of people. I have no knowledge of how it manages to create wealth only for people "already wealthy."

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lurker111

Unbelievable.

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barncatz

The economy is doing well, as you said, abh. ( I still think, although you may or may not, since you did not say this or anything like this in you original post, that the economy is only doing well for a portion of Americans and is not doing well for many Americans.)

I also said "...that the wealth it [stock market] has admittedly created for millions... as you also posted.

I then gave my reasons for not seeing those two factors as reasons for me to support Trump. That was a next step, an expansion. So, I hope I have gained your understanding that I absolutely did not mean to ascribe thoughts to you, or insert words in your post that were not there; only to express mine.

(BTW, we own hounds and have always owned hounds, although one of ours now is half spaniel and her resulting spots of sticky-up floof are really cute.)

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adoptedbyhounds

"I also said "that the wealth it [stock market] has admittedly created for millions""

Not in dispute We agree on something! I enjoy chatting with you, Barncatz.


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barncatz

Thanks, abh. Reading my second post, I can see that I did not delineate clearly enough between your original post and my thoughts about it, but it was not from lack of trying.

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adoptedbyhounds

"A typical cult requires a high level of commitment from its members and maintains a strict hierarchy, separating unsuspecting supporters and recruits from the inner workings."

Good grief. Organizations have boundaries whether one is working for a corporation, NGO or a political campaign. Whether paid or as volunteers, workers in any organization encounter boundaries. It's an organizing principle that isn't inherently nefarious, although it could be.

"It claims to provide answers to life's biggest questions through its doctrine, along with the required recipe for change that shapes a new member into a true believer."

The cult comparison here becomes incoherent.

As a Trump supporter, I wasn't looking for "answers." Like others who think for themselves, including every person on this forum, I had already formed my own opinions about what I thought our national priorities should be. As is routine under our mostly two party system, I was attracted to my candidate (Trump) over Hillary because his list of priorities matched mine. I wasn't "manipulated" to change how I think. Donald Trump didn't offer "doctrine." He simply offered a long overdue "to do" list he continues to carry out in spite legal challenges that take time to resolve.


"And most importantly, it uses both formal and informal systems of influence and control to keep members obedient, with little tolerance for internal disagreement or external scrutiny."

Influence controls might be effective in a coercive commune where privacy is at a minimum. But tell me, if I need to be on the lookout for "formal and informal systems of influence" that could cause me to become "obedient" what should I look for? And while you're at it, to whom do you think I'm in danger of becoming "obedient" from inside my own home?


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Kathy

Trump’s support comes largely from America’s working class whose wages haven’t risen in decades, whose jobs are less secure than ever and whose political voice has been drowned out by big money.

Although Trump has given corporations and Wall Street everything they’ve wanted and nothing has trickled down to his supporters, he has convinced those supporters he’s on their side by channeling their rage on to foreigners, immigrants, minorities and “deep state” bureaucrats.

It is what a cult does.

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Embothrium(Sunset Climate Zone 5, USDA Hardiness Zone 8)

Push the right hot buttons and you get undying loyalty.

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Delilah66

“Push the right hot buttons and you get undying loyalty.”

In the words of Alexander Hamilton, “...of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants....”

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paprikash

Trump supporters are not a cult. That is insulting and perhaps projecting for the undying support of those espousing the democrat party line. Also, many of us are business owners, professionals, well educated , quite wealthy and not “working class whose wages haven’t risen....” To assume we are all ignorant stump jumpers is, well.....ignorant.

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Delilah66

When it comes to governing a body of states, something other than each person’s priorities needs to be judiciously weighed. It’s not just the economy; it’s not only border protection; it’s not capitalism over society. It’s loyalty to the Constitution and its bases. Our current president believes he is more powerful than the Constitution and all powerful compared to the nation of states and its citizens. He has been treated as a demagogue. He is paving the way for tyranny.

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dandyfopp

America is a nation of laws, not men.

Law and Donald Trump are incompatible and as such, you can't support both simultaneously, it is one or the other.


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paprikash

No, he doesn’t - Delilah. That’s dem talking points

eta America is a nation of laws—Trump won the election in 2016 no matter how much the democrats want to change that fact

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dandyfopp

Weak, weak weak Pap.

Not talking about the election, talking about the law.

Try again.

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Delilah66

“No he doesn’t”. That is the can’ts’ only answer each and every time.

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paprikash

Your opinion doesn’t make it so. No one can possibly define what Trump or anyone else believes. You only know what you believe.

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mudhouse

“No he doesn’t”. That is the can’ts’ only answer each and every time.

Sometimes the simplest and most truthful answer is enough.

Trump does not believe he's more powerful than the Constitution, or all-powerful compared to the nation of states, or American citizens. He's not paving the way for tyranny.

Nothing I could type will change your viewpoint, anyway, and you have the right to your own belief.

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numbersjunkie

"Trump won the election in 2016 no matter how much the democrats want to change that fact"

That's really a silly statement. We all know Trump won the electoral college. Many of us suspect that he did so with help from Putin, but he won. We know we can't "change" the facts - even though Trump tries to do that all of the time.

But his actions and behavior since taking office are what we are focused on now. He has divided our country, proved himself to be a poor leader (being a bully is neither a good leadership quality or a sign of strength), refused to take advice and listen to experts (he knows it all), made us less safe by alienating our allies and provoking our adversaries, ignored the rule of law, and lied constantly about things big and small. This is the basis for our desire to impeach him. And he has committed impeachable offenses.

If you disagree, think about how you would react if a democratic president had done the things he's done. Think about all the experts (many of them conservative Republicans) who have stood up to condemn his actions and behavior. Do you agree with the premise that the executive branch should have unlimited power to do whatever they want?

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mrskjun(9)

Cult? Lawrence O said, we will never have a Trump supporter on MSDNC because we will never have liars. Good thinking Lawrence, how's your buddy Creepy Porn Lawyer?

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Delilah66

Winning the election and following laws are not parallelisms.

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Delilah66

“ Trump does not believe he's more powerful than the Constitution, or all-powerful compared to the nation of states, or American citizens. He's not paving the way for tyranny. ”

So glad you FTFM. Now I believe.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Trump does not believe he's more powerful than the Constitution, or all-powerful compared to the nation of states, or American citizens. He's not paving the way for tyranny.

He may not believe it, but he's certainly acting it out.

We are rushing down the road to an imperial presidency; whatever the president -- Trump -- says or does is legal by virtue of the fact that it is the president -- Trump -- doing it.

Laws and the US Constitution are extraneous to his way of thinking.

*

Zelig Parnas is giving us a broader view of Trump's illegal activities every day.



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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Mrsk: "Hitler was a socialist, think about that."

-----------------------------

"Adolf Hitler was not a socialist

[. . .]

“Nazis were socialists” — has become one of the biggest memes within a swath of the American Right. And it is woefully, almost hilariously incorrect.

[. . .]

. . . [F]ollowing the end of the First World War — and more importantly, Germany’s loss in the war and, thus, the end of the German empire — German politics became incredibly contentious, even deadly. . . .In 1919, for example, 15,000 Germans died in nine days of fighting between left-wing groups and right-wing groups on the streets of Berlin.

Into that environment stepped Adolf Hitler. . . .He joined what was then called the German Workers Party (DAP) in 1919. The party renamed itself the NSDAP in 1920, and Hitler became party chairman in 1921.

But despite joining what would be called the “National Socialist” German workers party, Adolf Hitler was not a socialist.

Whatever interest Hitler had in socialism was not based on an understanding of socialism that we might have today — a movement that would supplant capitalism in which the working class would seize power over the state and the means of production. He repeatedly pushed back efforts by economically left-leaning elements of the party to enact socialist reforms, saying in a 1926 conference in Bamberg . . . that any effort to take the homes and estates of German princes would move the party toward communism and that he would never do anything to assist “communist-inspired movements.” He prohibited the formation of Nazi trade unions, and by 1929 he outright rejected any efforts by Nazis who argued in favor of socialistic ideas or projects in their entirety.

[. . .]

Hitler’s politics were based on a foundation of racism and anti-Semitism, first and foremost. He would then combine that with his belief in the führerprinzip — the “leader principle” — which held that one supreme leader (Hitler) was the ultimate authority and “supreme judge” over the German people. This was the backbone of the Nazi Party, one that would ultimately lead Nazi Germany on the road toward mass murder.

[. . .]

. . . The word “socialist” [in Germany’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party] doesn’t change [the fact that Nazism aligned itself with industrialists and corporations], just as the word “Democratic” does not make the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — North Korea — a democracy.

So no, Hitler wasn’t a socialist. Nazism wasn’t a socialist project."

----------------------------

Kate

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ubro(2a)

“Nazis were socialists” — has become one of the biggest memes within a swath of the American Right. And it is woefully, almost hilariously incorrect.


Bingo!

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cattyles

It’s risky to repeat memes as facts. The risk is sounding really stupid.

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HU-885118952

Zelig Parnas is giving us a broader view of Trump's illegal activities every day.

Parnas is a slimeball who's trying to stay out of prison, and the MSM are tripping over themselves to give him a platform to spread his lies without a single question or pushback.

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Kathy

DOJ wouldn’t listen to Parnas so he took it to the media. He didn’t want to end up like Epstein.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

give him a platform to spread his lies

No, Parnas wants a platform to refute the lies Trump is spreading about him.

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mudhouse

Trump says the Constitution says "I can do whatever I want as President"

https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4809509/user-clip-trump-constitution-i-president

Scarlett, that comment from Trump, about Article 2, was clearly referring to his ability to fire James Comey. (And he's right; he did have the power to fire Comey.) It was not a reference to broad Constitutional power, as people on the left love to disingenuously portray it. It was made at a Turning Point USA student summit, on July 23 2019. Trump was talking about the Mueller Report, which was timely, because July 24th, the next day, was when Mueller testified to Congress.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-turning-point-usas-teen-student-action-summit-2019/

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

clearly referring to his ability to fire James Comey.

Removing the FBI Director in order to thwart the investigation of a crime is not within the powers of the presidency.

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HU-885118952

No, Parnas wants a platform to refute the lies Trump is spreading about him.

The bozos on MSDNC were all too happy to make their Faustian deal with Parnas.

Is there no criminal the Left won't sidle up to as they collect their 30 pieces of silver?

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

If Trump were not such good buddies with so many criminals, there would be fewer problems with media.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,maifleur,others(8a)

Parnas told his story. He claims to have evidence to back that story up, which he is eager to share.

His story makes certain people look really bad. If that evidence can be explained in a way that makes it clear that all were completely innocent, I hope they get the chance to explain themselves and to present evidence that refutes his story.

It’s unfortunate they all said they didn’t know him. It seems to have...irritated...him. Honour amongst thieves exists for a reason, and it’s not an honourable one: you don’t really want to p*ss off the person who knows all your dirty secrets. And of course, now that he can show overwhelming evidence that they do know him, he comes off as credible and they come off as shady shady shady.

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HU-885118952

miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,maifleur,others(8a)

Parnas told his story. He claims to have evidence to back that story up, which he is eager to share.

Except when pressed even a little bit, he became irritated and obfuscated, deflected and dismissive.

He'll share his information when Schiff and Avenatti do, and that hack who wrote the "tell all " about Trump.

Oh, and Omarosa, too!!

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Posting photographs of President Obama does nothing to change the fact that so many of Trump's team are criminals -- as in serving serious time for being convicted criminals.

.

Not wise to start a photo posting competition given the number of buddy-photos Zelig Parnas has released.

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Kathy

Almost everyone associated with Trump could be deemed not credible. Perhaps the least credible is Trump himself who has claimed numerous times he doesn’t know them. If I had to choose credible I would delve into the information and either verify or refute it. The Senate can do that if they really want the truth.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

If Parnas is such a nobody, why is Trump so insistent that he doesn't know the man (as if the ample photographic evidence doesn't exist).

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mrskjun(9)

"Were the Nazis Socialists?

We look into the burning (at least for some) question of whether members of the National German Socialist Workers' Party were accurately classified as "socialists"."


https://www.snopes.com/news/2017/09/05/were-nazis-socialists/

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Delilah66

“Parnas is a slimeball who's trying to stay out of prison,”

Parnas is a slimeball who wants trump to go with him to prison as trump should and, yes, Parnas should be given a platform to speak.

“I can do whatever I want as President"

Those words speak for themselves no matter the venue, no matter the audience. If it referred to Comey, he should have said it was his decision to make and he made it. Oh, no, he had to thrust his inflated ego and complete ignorance of his bonafides out there.

”he became irritated and obfuscated, deflected and dismissive.”

So, he performed on par with his buddy trump. Is there a problem? Maybe trump should have considered who he was getting in bed with. Lie down with dogs; get up with fleas.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,maifleur,others(8a)

mrskjun(9)

Yesterday at 3:20AM

Like Germany? Hitler was a socialist, think about that.

mrskjun(9)

6 minutes ago

"Were the Nazis Socialists?

———

Which assertion are you going with? That Hitler was a socialist or that *some* nazis were?

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,maifleur,others(8a)

Do Chosen Ones become un-chosen? Do people who are Appointed by God become un-appointed? If a President is loved like the King of Israel or the Second Coming of God what happens when he becomes a mere man again?

Do these changes coincide with a 4 year American style election cycle?

How very accommodating the all powerful god is to the American political system.

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paprikash

I read an interesting article awhile ago which, besides stating that the negative comments made by dems is in reality projecting what they are doing, stated that Trump is not a cult leader — he is a deprogrammer. Makes sense to me!

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

he is a deprogrammer

Heavens!

None of the GOP -- including Trump -- blathering about African Americans needing to leave the Democratic plantation has produced results.

Anyone remember the unprecedented numbers of blacks voting for Republicans in 2018? I sure don't.

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Delilah66

“ Do these changes coincide with a 4 year American style election cycle?”

Remember, trump hasn’t even limited himself to 8 years.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Mrsk--if I understand your position correctly --that you believe Hitler/Nazis were socialists --then I must point out that your link to the Snopes article Were the Nazis Socialists? undercuts your argument.

Among other things, it argues that:

-----------------------------

". . . the assumption that because the word “socialist” appeared in the party’s name and socialist words and ideas popped up in the writings and speeches of top Nazis then the Nazis must have been actual socialists is naive and ahistorical. What the evidence shows, on the contrary, is that Nazi Party leaders paid mere lip service to socialist ideals on the way to achieving their one true goal: raw, totalitarian power.

[. . .]

Despite having declared, at various times, “I am a socialist,” “We are socialists,” and similar avowals, on a personal level Hitler displayed little regard for the actual tenets of socialism, or, for that matter, socialists themselves. . . .

[. . .]

The National Socialists completely ignored socialism’s primary aim (replacing the existing class-based society with an egalitarian one in which workers owned the means of production) and substituted their own topsy-turvy agenda, Evans writes, “replacing class with race, and the dictatorship of the proletariat with the dictatorship of the leader”:

[. . .]

The proof was in the pudding. Not long after acquiring the reins of power, the Nazis banned the Social Democratic Party and sent its leaders and other leftists identified as threats to the National Socialist program to concentration camps. According to the Holocaust Encyclopedia:

In the months after Hitler took power, SA and Gestapo agents went from door to door looking for Hitler’s enemies. They arrested Socialists, Communists, trade union leaders, and others who had spoken out against the Nazi party; some were murdered. By the summer of 1933, the Nazi party was the only legal political party in Germany. Nearly all organized opposition to the regime had been eliminated. Democracy was dead in Germany.

[. . .]

Above all, the Nazis were German white nationalists. What they stood for was the ascendancy of the “Aryan” race and the German nation, by any means necessary. Despite co-opting the name, some of the rhetoric, and even some of the precepts of socialism, Hitler and party did so with utter cynicism, and with vastly different goals. The claim that the Nazis actually were leftists or socialists in any generally accepted sense of those terms flies in the face of historical reality."

----------------------

You need to read your sources more carefully before you post them--to make sure they don't contradict the point you are trying to make.

Kate


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bob_cville

> "Were the Nazis Socialists?

> We look into the burning (at least for some) question of whether
members of the National German Socialist Workers' Party were accurately
classified as "socialists."

Did you do anything more than read the heading and subheading of the article you linked to and misunderstand even that small amount of text?

The article asks "Were Nazi's accurately classified as "socialists?"

And then proceeds to answer that question in the text that follows:

> Hitler and his party saw socialism, communism, and leftism generally as inimical to everything they hoped to achieve

and

> This ideology took a leftist label chiefly for tactical reasons. It
demanded, within the party and within the state, a powerful system of
rule that would exercise unchallenged leadership over the “great mass of
the anonymous.” And whatever premises the party may have started with,
by 1930 Hitler’s party was “socialist” only to take advantage of the
emotional value of the word, and a “workers’ party” in order to lure the
most energetic social force. As with Hitler’s protestations of belief
in tradition, in conservative values, or in Christianity, the socialist
slogans were merely movable ideological props to serve as camouflage and
confuse the enemy.

> In the months after Hitler took power, SA and Gestapo agents went from
door to door looking for Hitler’s enemies. They arrested Socialists,
Communists, trade union leaders, and others who had spoken out against
the Nazi party

Or if those excerpts from the article are still too much reading. The conclusion of the article is "No. Nazi's were NOT socialists. And were about as far as possible from being Socialists."

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,maifleur,others(8a)

“Trump is not a cult leader — he is a deprogrammer. Makes sense to me!l

If statements like this make sense to you (generic) please please read that list at the website I linked to, or do your own research on how to identify a cult leader.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Bob--we cross-posted. : )

Kate

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elvis

nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

clearly referring to his ability to fire James Comey.

Removing the FBI Director in order to thwart the investigation of a crime is not within the powers of the presidency.

Doesn't matter what the reasoning, the President has held the power to appoint and dismiss the FBI director at the president's discretion since 1968.

"Discretion". No explanations required.

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lily316

"Parnas is a slimeball who wants to stay out of prison." Trump is a slimeball who wants to stay out of prison. There fixed it for you.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Doesn't matter what the reasoning

Yes, it does matter.

Obstruction of justice -- shutting down an investigation by the FBI by firing the director -- is not acceptable no matter who is doing the obstruction.

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barncatz

....clearly referring to his ability to fire James Comey.

I read Trump's speech (mudhouse posted with this ^^^) because I thought it would be reassuring to have his "I can do whatever I want as President" [see link above] limited in that way.

It was an interesting speech. There were outright lies ( including that China has paid the USA tariffs AND that he took the $16 billion relief (that he gave to mostly large corporate farms) out of those non-existent funds. He also lied about Ivanka's job creation.

When he speaks about the press and democrats, he vividly dehumanizes them. He brings up Hilary's deplorables, I suppose as justification, but we forget she didn't begin that. She was herself responding to what she described as a portion of his support, his neo-Nazi and blatantly racist support.

As for Comey, Trump doesn't mention him or place any limitation on his statement. But he had cited his unlimited powers before to support yet another action and perhaps that is what mudhouse recalls?

"It was not the first time the president has made the claim. In June, Trump told ABC News: "Article 2 allows me to do whatever I want. Article 2 would have allowed me to fire [Mueller]."

https://www.newsweek.com/article-2-trends-after-trump-falsely-claims-it-grants-him-unlimited-powers-president-i-can-do-1450798


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Kathy

Barncatz, so much for Trump thinking he is not above the Constitution. He just uses Alt facts.

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