Millions of Americans are blindly devoted to their Dear Leader. What will it take for them to snap out of it?
…manipulating the media, Trump tore pages from the us-against-them playbook of the European far right and presented them to a segment of the American public already primed to receive it with religious fervor.
In with Pacific Standard, Janja Lalich, a sociologist who specializes in cults, identified four characteristics of a totalistic cult and applied them to Trumpism: an all-encompassing belief system, extreme devotion to the leader, reluctance to acknowledge criticism of the group or its leader, and a disdain for non-members. Eileen Barker, another sociologist of cults, has written that, together, cult leaders and followers create and maintain their movement by proclaiming shared beliefs and identifying themselves as a distinguishable unit; behaving in ways that reinforce the group as a social entity, like closing themselves off to conflicting information; and stoking division and fear of enemies, real or perceived.