When I was in college from 1968-72 there was a guy I knew who was incredibly smart. Probably the most intelligent person I ever met, aside, of course, from yours truly. I forgot his name so let’s call him Rex.
Rex had a scientific, analytical mind. A good sense of humor. An all around swell fellow. He liked to talk and debate and discuss. Issues. Not the latest American idol. (Thank god we had no American idols back then). No, he liked to discuss politics and history and philosophy.And he was always open to see things in a new way. If you could show him some evidence.
Then, something changed. One day he showed up with his head shaven. And in robes. He has joined the Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon. He was a “Moonie”. He walked around and collected money from people. Like most churches. And like most churches, the bulk of the money collected found a route to the top. No trickle down economics in this group.
But Rex was no longer Rex. He could not articulate any views other than the approved teachings of the Great Reverend, the second coming of Christ.He could spout the exact dogmas and doctrines of his church, but could not defend any of them using logic or evidence. He never even tried. It was not necessary. He had found a coherent system of beliefs and no external evidence that challenged that system was going to be heard. He never argued. He never explained. He simply told us the truth. And asked for money.
Which brings me to Trump’s Moonies.
They have a leader who can do no wrong. Even though factchecks show him to be wrong 65% of the time, it matters not. The Trump Moonies have closed ears and closed minds. If he says there was a terror attack in Sweden, it must be true. If he says his inauguration attendance was the greatest ever, any photographic evidence to the contrary is ignored. If he says that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey were cheering the downfall of the WTC on 9/11. Then it happened. If he says the borders are porous, even though under President Obama the USA deported more people than ever before, then the borders are porous. The facts are not important. He is correct. That is all a Moonie needs to know.
The Trump Moonies are blind to any evidence or facts that contradict their leader. They do not argue. They do not demonstrate with evidence. They select a false reality. They create an alternate set of “facts”. They are beyond evidence. Facts are a fungible commodity. Facts do not exist as a thing apart. Facts, in fact, do not exist at all. All news is “fake news”. Any story that does not fit the religion is a lie. Period. The earth IS flat.
That is why it is a fool’s errand to wait for Trump’s Moonies to “come around”. It is inconceivable that they will abandon their religious dogma in the face of facts or evidence. No matter how badly Trump performs or how he lies or makes a mess of the nation, the Moonies will be blind.
Like my friend Rex they simply will not look. They choose willful ignorance and blind obedience. They have a religion which provides for them a clear vision of the world. Blacks are thugs. Immigrants are rapists. Refugees are terrorists. Welfare is wrong. Abortion is murder. Liberals are evil. Taxes are bad. Climate change is an Al Gore plot. The list goes on. It cannot be debated. It cannot even be considered. There is only one true religion, and they have found it in Trumpism. There is only one savior.
So, don’t expect any changes or compromises. Don’t expect anything other than what you have seen. The magnificent delusion of Trumpism. Now, all join hands and repeat after me, five times a day, on your knees facing Trump Towers: There is no god but Trump, and Bannon is the messenger of Trump.
(I have argued in the past that the Tea Party Republicans are not a political entity, but are in fact a fundamentalist religion. A post from 3 years ago: The Most Holy Church of the Republican Party ).