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The Trump personality cult is still a threat

CPAC Showed That Trump’s Personality Cult Is Still Alive — and Still a Threat, https://truthout.org/articles/cpac-showed-that-trumps-personality-cult-is-still-alive-and-still-a-threat/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=30eb7938-c44f-478d-a80d-5562c3d8b80a, Sasha Abramsky, 1 Mar 21,

In the classic 1950 movie Sunset Boulevard, Gloria Swanson plays the has-been Hollywood diva, Norma Desmond, desperate for adoration, utterly infatuated with the spotlight. One of its most famous lines — “Alright, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close up” — captures the unseemly spectacle of someone far past their sell-by date who refuses to accept their fall from stardom.

“You see,” the has-been actress utters with undistilled terror, “This is my life. It always will be. There’s nothing else. Just us and the camera — and those wonderful people out there in the dark.”

When Donald Trump stepped up to the podium at the CPAC event in Orlando, Florida, this weekend, it was, unsurprisingly, both a ghastly and incredibly tired remake of Sunset Boulevard, a reprise of yesterday’s news, of the former president’s greatest hits, from a man who cannot imagine a world without himself at the center.

During a bizarre CPAC presentation, Trump named all the Republicans who had crossed him and threatened to destroy their careers. He asked his audience — plaintively — whether they missed him yet. He claimed he had won the last election and would, if he so chose, win again in 2024. To this last point, his cult-like audience — which had already paraded through the conference center, in imitation of strong-men idolatrous cults in locales such as North Korea, a golden bust of the disgraced ex-president — responded, on cue, and overwhelming evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, “You won! You won! You won!”

Trump, in gilded retirement at Mar-a-Lago not only refuses to accept that Joe Biden won last year’s election, but he also hasn’t even remotely begun to consider the possibility that the GOP might ever be anything other than a vehicle for the enrichment of the Trump family. He has, these past months, teased the possibility of starting a third party; at the CPAC event, however, he scotched those rumors, instead urging GOP members to donate to political action committees controlled by Trump himself, along with members of his inner circle.

That decision wasn’t exactly a surprise; after all, most of the GOP is still in lockstep with Trumpism, convinced the election was stolen, and, as January 6th fades into the past, more than willing to forgive and forget the ex-president’s incitement to deadly violence. In the past couple weeks, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy traveled to Mar-a-Lago to pay an obsequious homage to the man whom, back in January, he had screamed at during a profanity-laden phone call at the height of the Capitol siege. So, too, did GOP whip Steve Scalise, make a kiss-the-ring visit to the exiled president.

Mitch McConnell, who bared just a touch of courage after the Senate impeachment vote by saying on the Senate floor that there was no doubt that Trump was responsible for the events of January 6th, followed up with an astounding public display of gorging himself on humble pie.

That decision wasn’t exactly a surprise; after all, most of the GOP is still in lockstep with Trumpism, convinced the election was stolen, and, as January 6th fades into the past, more than willing to forgive and forget the ex-president’s incitement to deadly violence. In the past couple weeks, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy traveled to Mar-a-Lago to pay an obsequious homage to the man whom, back in January, he had screamed at during a profanity-laden phone call at the height of the Capitol siege. So, too, did GOP whip Steve Scalise, make a kiss-the-ring visit to the exiled president.

Mitch McConnell, who bared just a touch of courage after the Senate impeachment vote by saying on the Senate floor that there was no doubt that Trump was responsible for the events of January 6th, followed up with an astounding public display of gorging himself on humble pie.

Meanwhile, state GOP chapters around the country are busily censuring GOP congressmembers and senators who voted to impeach or convict Trump. And GOP-controlled legislatures are pushing through legislation aimed to prevent the sort of non-existent “fraud” that Trump still claims cost him the last election. Of course, since the fraud wasn’t real, what this means in practice is a vast effort to contract the electorate and to make it harder for people of color, the poor and students to cast ballots in coming elections.

The ungodly CPAC display this past four days made two things absolutely clear. The first is that CPAC, and by extension most of the GOP, is nothing more or less than a personality cult; the values that have traditionally animated conservative movements in the U.S. have, now, been entirely subjugated to the allure of Trumpism. The second is that Trump’s financial interests — which are all he really cares about at this point — clearly lie not in putting his own dollars on the line by building up a third party, but in milking the GOP faithful for all he can, as quickly as he can, before his myriad legal woes catch up to him.

Toward the end of Sunset Boulevard, Desmond shoots an ex-lover as he attempts to walk out on her. In a bizarre twist, the dead man then narrates his posthumous understanding of how this will all end. He imagines the headlines that will accompany the announcement of his murder. “Forgotten star, a slayer, aging actress, yesterday’s glamor queen.” Instead, as Desmond is perp-walked down her palace steps, the cameras keep clicking, and the diva remains, even in delusional disgrace, the star of her own show.

Having failed to deal Trump a political death-blow in the Senate during the impeachment trial, the GOP is now stuck with its very own Norma Desmond. Trump is always ready for his close-up, because without the sound of the adoring claque, he is nothing.

March 2, 2021 - Posted by | politics, psychology - mental health, USA

2 Comments »

  1. If trump has stayed in power 6 months, the.country would have been up in flames. There probably would have been a nuke used on Iran. The creature has no leadership skills or potential. An irrational pivot of hate, death, and destruction that rejoices in blood-tears, mayhem and murder. Biden is headed that way.
    This is what the USA calls politics and democracy . This is where the USA is going.

    Comment by Nora tatum | March 2, 2021 | Reply

  2. Biden is a pronuke rightwinger, who is doing nothing to help murica but trump and many of his bloodthirsty followers, are  like James paddock, like las Vegas mass murderer and gambler. A hateful narcissistic psycho who wanted to screw over the world because, he could not get his way. Why romanticize trump and the Republicans in any way?
    They are degenerate pronuke, prowar nihihists who hate democracy. Such pathetic nasty losers that they are willing to resort to hate , murder and criminality to get their way.

    The Germans and austrians have eliminated nuclear power and nuke weapons in their countries.

    Stephen Craig Paddock (April 9, 1953 – October 1, 2017)  was an American mass murderer who is known for being the perpetrator of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting,in which he opened fire into a crowd of approximately 22,000 concertgoers attending a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. The incident is the deadliest mass shooting by a lone shooter in United States history, with 61 fatalities (including Paddock) and 867 injuries, 411 of them by gunfire. Paddock committed suicide in his hotel room shortly after the shooting

    Comment by Ken Thomas | March 3, 2021 | Reply


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