Cult: “A misplaced, excessive admiration for a particular person or ideology”.
Trump’s Republican Party is a cult. The party needs to be rescued by a new leader that can expose Trump for the dangerous fraud that he is. However, leaving a cult and its leader is difficult. Staying beyond the time of wanting to leave the group is common for those who become dependent on the cult for every aspect of their life. Susceptibility to mind-control explains why people become indoctrinated. Even when a member becomes disillusioned, fears of being lonely, displaced, and without an identity delays their ability to leave. The impetus for leaving a cult can be the occurrence of a traumatic, unacceptable behavior occurring within the cult, the failure by the cult to fulfill its promise, feelings of failing the cult, or an encounter with a friend or family member outside the cult. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney explains in his book ” Disloyal” how difficult it was for him to extricate himself from the Trump Organization. Cohen says one of the purposes of the book is to speak as a former cult member who broke free from Trump to current members still too afraid to leave.
For four years, Trump has neutered the political ambition of any credible member of the Republican party. By branding the party the party of Trumpism, the republican electorate sees Trump as their only choice. By refusing to concede the election results and declaring another possible presidential run in 2024, Trump is maintaining his dominance over the Republican party. Out of fear and opportunism, career conservatives have cowered and handed their party over to a faux conservative and unstable, unqualified, fading celebrity. For the survival of authentic conservatism and the American version of democracy, Republicans need to choose a candidate to be the voice of exposing Trump for the dangerous, autocratic, self-serving leader he is.
Senator Ben Sasse from Nebraska could be that person or at least a model for the direction the Republican party should consider going to oppose Trump and his ideology. Sasse is 48 years old and has been a senator since 2015. He is one of few Republican elected officials who has publicly rebuked Trump. In the intelligence and education department, he obliterates Trump with degrees from Harvard and Yale. He is a pro-life Christian who attends church and lives by the morals of religious teachings. He is pro-gun, not a huge proponent of climate change, and has identified himself as the anti- Affordable Care Act candidate. He is fiscally conservative and has commented that Trump ” spends money like a drunken sailor.” However, he has voted in line with Trump’s policies as a senator 86% of the time.
There is a lot about Ben Sasse and his politics that Democrats oppose and even detest. However, despite Sasse’s ultra-conservatism, he is different from Trump, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Mark Meadows, and others in one important way; he doesn’t appear to be corrupt, dishonest, or immoral. He has written two books. ” The Vanishing American Adult” addresses the importance of raising children to be self-reliant, curious about the world beyond their own, and hard-working. He connects the importance of the younger generation being strong, moral, and well-educated with protection against political demagogues. The second book, “Them” addresses the decline of the simple, aspirational aspects of old-school, positive human relationships in the family and our local neighborhoods. He correlates this negative pattern with the divisive state of politics in Washington D.C. Sasse’s writing is thoughtful, intelligent, instructive, and intends to promote a more loving, cohesive way of co-existing. IN OTHER WORDS, THE ANTI-TRUMP HUMAN BEING.
Sasse has been an outspoken opponent of Trump as a person and a political annihilator of the Constitution since before he was nominated for president. Sasse announced he would not vote for Trump in the 2016 election and has bravely stood up to him while his colleagues have cowered. He has attacked Trump’s derogatory statements about women and his unconstitutional attack on peaceful protestors in Lafeyette Square during the Black Lives Matter demonstrations this past summer. The trait that Sasse possesses that makes him the most likely candidate to take on the fight to eradicate Trumpism is his courage to speak truth to power. He is not a fearful opportunist like the rest of the Republicans who have enabled Trump’s assault on democracy and morality.
With Trump’s plan to continue his toxic presence on the political scene after Biden takes office, Republicans should consider aligning with a true conservative who possesses a spine, heart, and soul. A new Republican voice is needed to reduce the size of the Trump cult and to return his believers to psychological independence, morality, truth-telling, and allegiance to the Constitution.