Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The Cult of Isis

Isis (Jeff Dahl)

The Retrumplican Party is one of the biggest cults in human history. There was Charles Manson and his followers, the Branch Davidians in Waco, the Jim Jones Cult which resulted in a mass suicide. Osama Bin Laden presided over a cult of kamikazes. ISIS represented a particularly vicious cult famous for the video-taped beheadings of its captives. And, of course, there was the actual Cult of Isis (no relation to ISIS) based upon loyalty to the goddess of classical mythology. What differentiates Retrumplicanism is its size. It’s been estimated that 20% of the approximately 74 million Republicans who voted for Trump are infused with the kind of millenarian fervor that would lead to violent actions. Let’s say then that the Retrumplicans are a cult comprised of approximately 15 million adherents. That’s a lot of people to deprogram. It’s one thing for law enforcement agencies to be concerned about small cells of terrorists on which they have to keep tabs. The Oath Keepers, a radical right group similar to the Proud Boys, has 25,000 members, some of whom are former and even present members of law enforcement organizations and the military.  Larry Rendell Brock Jr., a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force and a graduate of the Air Force Academy was one of the first arrests in connection with the insurrection in the capitol. Significantly many of those arrested carried the kind of plastic ties that police use to handcuff criminals. The recent Times reporting on the planned insurrection that preceded the inauguration ("77 Days:Trump's Campaign to Subvert the Election,NYT, 1/31/21) along with the Axios reporting "Bonus episode: Inside the craziest meeting of the Trump presidency," (2/2/21) both detail how close the Trump came to destroying the foundations of democracy. The Democratic victory in both the Presidential election and the senate race in Georgia turn out to be like a difficult pregnancy in which a birth is attended by threats to both the child’s and mother’s lives.

Read "MAGA and Coronavirus" by Francis LevyThe East Hampton Star

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