Cult Politics vs. Democratic Politics

 

Call it The Naked Leftist, Part Deux, the “Deux” standing for leftist farcicalities that exploded across the land during the second week of the Trump administration after its announcement of a vetting policy that was several measures less draconian than the ones enacted by the Carter and Clinton administrations. The first week was bad enough—a tempest of marches, protests, boycotts, a threat to burn the White House, Brobdingnagian displays of female genitalia swaggering on city streets, and the usual monotonous references to Hitler, apparently detected by some part of the female anatomy that doesn’t have to be censored to be cited.

The second week flowed seamlessly from the first, bursting with more screeches of outrage, legislative boycotts, passionate sermons about American values—as if the speakers had the slightest idea what those are—at least one sobbing Senator, and a partridge in a pear tree. Mel Brooks would have a field day with material like this—the title Blazing Protests! comes to mind. Still, The Naked Leftist label exudes the genius of Zucker, Zucker, and Abraham of Airplane! fame. Just don’t call them Shirley.

What do we call them, then? Here, the discussion about the Democrats’ erupting craniums turns more serious, because lurking beneath familiar accusations of leftist hypocrisy and hyperbole is a condition more sinister, which cannot be reduced simply to another “derangement syndrome.” That is, leftism today exudes many traits associated with a cult, and that is very dangerous for the health and perpetuation of American democracy. Normal democratic politics, which at the least is based on shared values, bargaining, compromise, and respectful consideration of opposing views, cannot survive in a political environment dominated by an opposition party that rejects all those values in favor of cultists’ pathological worldview.

What does a cultist worldview entail? One of the best sources is the International Cultic Studies Association, which offers a plethora of enlightening—and disturbing—analyses of cultist mentality. Thus, Michael D. Langone presents a 15-point checklist of cultic behavior drawn from decades of studying the phenomenon, while the incomparable Robert T. Lifton (The Nazi Doctors), explains five. Naturally, no cult member will demonstrate every trait associated with cults in general, but the following list, culled from the above sources, paints a brief portrait:

From Langone:

  1. The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.
  2. Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
  3. The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s), and its members…
  4. The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality…
  5. The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary.

From Lifton:

  1. Among the methods of thought reform commonly used by cults are milieu control, mystical manipulation, the demand for purity, a cult of confession, sacred science, loading the language, doctrine over person, and dispensing of existence.
  2. The current historical context of dislocation from organizing symbolic structures, decaying belief systems concerning religion, authority, marriage, family, and death, and a “protean style” of continuous psychological experimentation with the self is conducive to the growth of cults.

Leftists throughout the country, in academia, the entertainment industry, and politics demonstrate all these characteristics; more, if one includes preposterous accusations against those who oppose them, along with tacit approval of mob violence that destroys property, assaults opponents, and disrupts the functioning of civil institutions. The leadership obsession cited by Langone most recently has been demonstrated by the media’s “slobbering love affair” with Barack Obama, a very strange person whose arrogance, narcissism, and contempt for the constitutional system as well as for those who oppose him writes a new chapter in American political history. The economic and social wreckage he bequeathed, culminated by presidential pardons of a homicidal terrorist, a traitor, and a bevy of criminals, matters not one bit to his cultic sycophants in the press. And leftists’ elitism, which entails assumption of inherent superiority, scathing derision for others, and willingness to destroy any person or institution that stands in the way, constitutes a hallmark of predatory, cult-like behavior.

Thus, Democrats blamed their election loss on Russian hacking or the stupid, racist, sexist, homophobic, minority-hating, gun-toting, Bible-thumping “deplorables,” whose irredeemable backwardness put into office a man whose legitimacy is tarnished by receiving fewer popular votes than his opponent. Approving President Trump’s appointees is almost unthinkable; cultic Democrats would rather sabotage the system if they could, rather than meet their constitutional responsibilities. At the least, some of the President’s appointees must be compelled to pledge obeisance to leftist “sacred science”—the environmental cult of climate change. Finally, “loading the language” with politically correct narratives that take advantage of the “decaying belief systems concerning religion, authority, marriage, family, and death, and a ‘protean style’ of continuous psychological experimentation with the self” has been leftist policy for decades, especially on American campuses. Dissenting from it is dangerous to a person’s career or even to one’s life, as recent attacks on Trump supporters have made clear.

Those committed to the norms of constitutional democracy find all these behaviors puzzling, incomprehensible, and often don’t know how to deal with individuals willing to weaken or destroy the foundations of the country simply to achieve their political goals. A pair of Republican Senators recently disparaged their Democratic counterparts as “idiots” who are “throwing a hissy fit” for refusing to respect Senatorial advice and consent procedures.

This is true enough, but the situation is actually worse than that. Senator Schumer and his ilk are not merely opposing the Republicans on the grounds of humdrum policy differences. They’re left wing cultists who are doing their thing.

Published in Culture, Politics
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 5 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Morituri Te Inactive
    Morituri Te
    @MorituriTe

    Marvin Folkertsma:The leadership obsession cited by Langone most recently has been demonstrated by the media’s “slobbering love affair” with Barack Obama, a very strange person whose arrogance, narcissism, and contempt for the constitutional system as well as for those who oppose him writes a new chapter in American political history.

    Thank you for saying what we have all been thinking the past eight years: “very strange person.” Indeed.

     

    • #1
  2. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    Great post!  And there’s another way in which the Left resembles a cult: their reaction to losing the election is so much like that of members of a doomsday cult when they announce a date for the apocalypse and the fervently expected advent fails to occur:

    “We don’t understand!

    “There has to be some mistake!

    “I guess we just miscalculated the date…

    “Somebody was wearing metal!

    “No, no, we still believe, we just weren’t worthy, come again, give us another chance!….”

    Well–As for me and my house, we never want to hear from Citizen B. Hasbeen  Omega again.

    Not a single tweet.

    • #2
  3. Addiction Is A Choice Member
    Addiction Is A Choice
    @AddictionIsAChoice

    Who’s reading Ricochet? This post is linked at Powerline

    • #3
  4. harrisventures Coolidge
    harrisventures
    @harrisventures

    Addiction Is A Choice (View Comment):
    Who’s reading Ricochet? This post is linked at Powerline

    Yep, that’s who sent me looking for this post.

    • #4
  5. Herbert E. Meyer Contributor
    Herbert E. Meyer
    @HerbertEMeyer

    Once again, Marv nails it.  This isn’t normal politics, because the people we dealing with aren’t, well, normal….

    • #5
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.