We seem to have arrived at that point of degeneration with what now appears to be the Trump cult capturing the GOP presidential nomination with their victory in Indiana followed by Ted Cruz's announced suspension of his campaign. I suspect, however, that John Kasich still has a plan to build a pathway to victory at the GOP convention in Cleveland in July. Good luck with that plan John, now please just go away forever. You have handed Trump the nomination with your insane plan to remain in the GOP nomination process.
I call the Trump phenomenon a cult because it so closely resembles a cult and thus may rationally be viewed as cult. The proof I offer: If it looks like a cult, sounds like a cult and responds like a cult, I'm pretty sure it's a cult.
Here are some reasons offered by The Guardian that lend credence to the thought that the Trump phenomenon may well be a cult or something closely akin to a cult.
Some groups may not fit the definition of a cult, but may pose potential risks for participants. Here are 10 warning signs of a potentially unsafe group or leader.
• Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget or expenses, such as an independently audited financial statement.
Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.
• There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.
There are records, books, news articles, or broadcast reports that document the abuses of the group/leader.
Followers feel they can never be "good enough".
The group/leader is always right.
The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.
Now, each and every example may not apply directly to the Trump phenomenon, but they should give people reason to pause and think about how the Trump campaign methodology and tactics purposely aim to destroy his opponents. This is no accident. This direction comes directly from Donald Trump
In my opinion Donald Trump is a very real danger to an open and free American society as he divides groups of people by dehumanizing them, such as Mexicans and Muslims that he has slandered with demeaning epithets. Trump employs the same tactics as the Democrats by dividing, separating and playing off groups against each other. All one has to do is look to how Trump campaigned against his Republican opponents. Trump displayed a 'take no prisoners' approach to his GOP political opponents, much like he described killing the families of terrorists in retribution for their terrorism association.
Trump has publicly said he would restrict rights on free speech. He said this in the context of his suing media outlets for things that they have said about him, which have displeased him. The First Amendment is the cornerstone to a free America. The right to criticize government and politicians is virtually sacrosanct in our republic. No one, individual or media outlet, should have to operate in fear of saying or publishing anything that may displease someone or some institution in the public light and with the power to exercise censorship through powerful retribution masked as the law.
Trump has clearly demonstrated that he is a demagogue. He has mercilessly attacked opponents with outright lies and obfuscations. He will go to any length to destroy an opponent rather than merely defeat an opponent through facts and the power of logical argumentation. Trump possesses all the characteristics of the classical authoritarian autocrat. We have seen similar leaders in many of the most notorious socialist nations of the 20th century.
In Trump's own words when speaking to a rally of his supporters and when confronted with a protester, Trump said, “You know what they used to do to guys like that in a place like this? He’d go out in a stretcher.” He added, “I’d like to punch him in the face.” These comments have become typical for Donald Trump when confronted with protesters opposing his candidacy or specific actions he supports and which have become mainstays in his populist rhetoric. It becomes problematical for any political candidate to succeed, who adversely reacts to any opposition or violence so blatantly, inappropriately and with the implied threat of open and hostile actions to suppress opposition.
Finally, Trump has clearly voiced his admiration for Vladimir Putin as a strong leader. Over the years Trump has also voiced his admiration for numerous American liberals, not the least of which is Hillary Clinton, his most likely opponent in the November general election. Trump's political donations have overwhelmingly been to liberals. Trump's glowing words of admiration for strong authoritarian leaders should be a clue that Trump likes the idea of being a strong autocrat in his own right. What is most troubling to me is that Trump does not seem to possess a political philosophy. He certainly is not a political conservative. Without ideological principles, Trump could be and most likely will be all over the board.
One of the most prominent characteristics that Trump possesses is his need to micro-manage all things before him. We've seen Jimmy Carter micro-manage the economy in the 1970's and that was a disaster.
In conclusion, Donald Trump has not demonstrated the temperament, judgement or the broad leadership and managerial ability to run the largest organization in the world. Trump would have to relinquish much of the daily management to others. I'm not certain that Trump can do this, based upon his long career in business, which he has controlled and micro-managed with an iron hand.