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Old 04-12-2019, 05:42 PM
Walken After Midnight is offline
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Will Trump go all "Jim Jones"?


The speeches given by Donald Trump, at the rallies he regularly holds in front of his fans, are becoming more and more deranged and bizarre. I increasingly find myself being reminded of listening to the tape recordings made of Jim Jones amongst his devotees in Jonestown. Trump, too, has developed a strong, almost messianic, personality cult among his "base", and one gets the impression that his followers would follow him to the end of the Earth (perhaps literally).

While there is a possibility that Trump will become President-for-Life, the higher probability, from where we stand now, must surely be that one day he will be removed from office, through election defeat, two-term limit or impeachment. With other cults in history, there is often a friction point where the cultists' world and the real world collide and things get real messy - Jim Jones with the Jonestown Massacre and David Koresh at Waco are a couple of examples that spring to mind.

Do you think that such a point will happen with Trump? Trump is suspected to have acted with criminal conduct in many aspects of his life, both non-political and political. There are still many ongoing investigations into these areas, and he may face criminal charges when his presidency expires. If Trump feels the walls closing in - perhaps he knows he's going to jail when his presidency ends - do you think he might, to use a phrase, "go loco"? Could he hole himself up in the West Wing with his henchmen, and hold out in a Waco-style siege? Could he incite his Twitter followers into armed revolt? Could he retreat to Mar-a-Lago with his devotees? Perhaps with vats full of Diet Coke...?
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Old 04-12-2019, 05:44 PM
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Which recent speech(es) did you listen to? What did President Trump say that seemed "deranged" or "bizarre" to you?
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:11 PM
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Could he hole himself up in the West Wing with his henchmen, and hold out in a Waco-style siege? ... Could he retreat to Mar-a-Lago with his devotees? Perhaps with vats full of Diet Coke...?
Either of these would be acceptable.
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:11 PM
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Which recent speech(es) did you listen to? What did President Trump say that seemed "deranged" or "bizarre" to you?
Here's a collection of bizarre moments from his CPAC speech just a few weeks ago.
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:24 PM
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No, Trump is not going to be President-for-Life. If he started making moves like that, even the most recalcitrant Republicans would be forced to stop looking the other way and jump on the impeachment bandwagon. His thirty percent support base would become irrelevant to them if the country were going to turn into a dictatorship. Republicans are greedy, not stupid.

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Old 04-12-2019, 06:38 PM
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No, Trump is not going to be President-for-Life. If he started making moves like that, even the most recalcitrant Republicans would be forced to stop looking the other way and jump on the impeachment bandwagon. His thirty percent support base would become irrelevant to them if the country were going to turn into a dictatorship. Republicans are greedy, not stupid.
Cite?
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:45 PM
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Cite?
It's an opinion thread.
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:03 PM
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No, Trump is not going to be President-for-Life. If he started making moves like that, even the most recalcitrant Republicans would be forced to stop looking the other way and jump on the impeachment bandwagon. His thirty percent support base would become irrelevant to them if the country were going to turn into a dictatorship. Republicans are greedy, not stupid.
The republicans have convinced me that there are, literally, no depths to which they will not sink. However I also think that there's going to be at least enough of a 'blue wave' to erode their foundations of power anyway, making Trump-for-Life merely a fascist fantasy.
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:09 PM
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Which recent speech(es) did you listen to? What did President Trump say that seemed "deranged" or "bizarre" to you?
You don't follow the news much, evidently.
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:26 PM
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I'm not opposed to him and his followers moving to Guyana to do what they want. Except for the whole killing a sitting Congress member and children thing.
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:28 PM
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No, Trump is not going to be President-for-Life. If he started making moves like that, even the most recalcitrant Republicans would be forced to stop looking the other way and jump on the impeachment bandwagon. His thirty percent support base would become irrelevant to them if the country were going to turn into a dictatorship. Republicans are greedy, not stupid.
If Trump was not going to become President-for-Life, would he just walk out of the White House, albeit decrying it was "rigged", "FAKE" etc, and go back to being a normal citizen (or possibly, prison inmate)? Maybe go on nostalgia tours, where he can play his greatest hits, such as "Lock Her Up" and "Drain the Swamp", to his diehard fans in half-empty venues?

History shows that that's not what autocratic and authoritarian leaders tend to do, and the same with cult leaders.

The idea of Trump going rogue, politically, and attempting to fulfil his autocratic and authoritarian impulses by becoming President-for-Life has been discussed elsewhere. In this thread, I'm more interested, not in discussing Trump as dictator, but Trump as cult leader, as well as discussing "cornered animal" psychology. Hence will Trump go all "Jim Jones", and not will Trump go all "Hafez al-Assad" etc.

The Trump-as-dictator notion would require that the Republicans support him in his power grab. So let's suppose, for discussion, that the Republicans decide to adhere to the Constitution and will not support Trump being President-for-Life. What does Donald Trump do when the end of his presidency is nigh?
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:38 PM
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“Go all Jim Jones?”

You mean all this time we’ve been able to have him clapped in iron shackles and transported to Australia? Why is this only coming out now?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_RvlpNdPqQ
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:21 PM
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No, Trump is not going to be President-for-Life. If he started making moves like that, even the most recalcitrant Republicans would be forced to stop looking the other way and jump on the impeachment bandwagon. His thirty percent support base would become irrelevant to them if the country were going to turn into a dictatorship. Republicans are greedy, not stupid.
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Cite?
Like he said, Republicans are greedy. If Trump tries to make himself President for life, he's taking the Presidency away from every other Republican who wanted their own turn.
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:27 PM
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I'm not opposed to him and his followers moving to Guyana to do what they want. Except for the whole killing a sitting Congress member and children thing.
If it's Gym Jordan or Louie Gohmert or Steve King, the kids are just going to have to suck it up!
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:51 PM
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It's an opinion thread.
It was a joke. Humorously asking for a cite that Pubbies aren't stupid.
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:59 PM
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Which recent speech(es) did you listen to? What did President Trump say that seemed "deranged" or "bizarre" to you?
You need proof that Trump says deranged and bizarre things? Do you also need proof he is a fat white man?

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/g...ently-believes

Heres a video of him getting lost walking from air force one to the presidential limo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF5TGQgQJeA

Here is a video of Trump in his early 50s. He is far more rational, coherent, cogent and in control of his emotions. His mental decline is obvious comparing now to 1999.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_IG07XhT3k
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:47 PM
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It was a joke. Humorously asking for a cite that Pubbies aren't stupid.
Ahhh. Sorry, didn't realize.
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Old 04-13-2019, 01:03 AM
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Which recent speech(es) did you listen to? What did President Trump say that seemed "deranged" or "bizarre" to you?
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You need proof that Trump says deranged and bizarre things? Do you also need proof he is a fat white man?
Just two days ago in San Antonio he rambled on incoherently, truly sounding like people I've known suffering from dementia. It was so bad even Fox News had to cut away. It seems like he's seen things in movies and thinks they're real.
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Old 04-13-2019, 01:29 AM
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In this thread, I'm more interested, not in discussing Trump as dictator, but Trump as cult leader, as well as discussing "cornered animal" psychology. Hence will Trump go all "Jim Jones", and not will Trump go all "Hafez al-Assad" etc.
Jones needed to be surrounded by his followers on a visceral level. Trump just uses his followers to prop up his public image. They're just pawns in his show---he doesn't actually want to be around them.

He'll probably just use legal machinations for as long as possible, and die of poor health or mental deterioration before getting thrown in jail or otherwise receiving punishment. All the time, however, he'll continue to tweet increasingly incoherent gibberish.
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:10 AM
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“Go all Jim Jones?”

You mean all this time we’ve been able to have him clapped in iron shackles and transported to Australia? Why is this only coming out now?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_RvlpNdPqQ
You send Trump here, and we'll send Fraser Anning, Pauline Hanson, Clive Palmer, Alan Jones (radio shock jock) and Avi Yemeni in return. All of them are Trumpist sycophants who have jumped onto the fearmongering gravy-train. Please take them.

Deal?
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:20 AM
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Which recent speech(es) did you listen to? What did President Trump say that seemed "deranged" or "bizarre" to you?
Uhhh...I dunno, everything?
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Old 04-13-2019, 08:22 AM
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Which recent speech(es) did you listen to? What did President Trump say that seemed "deranged" or "bizarre" to you?
Well, there's the one where he threatened to unleash the military, the police and biker gangs on his political opponents. The one where he made weird noises and claims about wind energy including that the noise causes cancer. The video of him in a meeting where he said "oranges" instead of "origins" three times. In the same meeting he said "we have to get rid of judges" and said his father was born in Germany. And on and on.

Plus the usual ongoing bizarre claims on needing to build the wall, its cost, its effects, and so on.

SHS rarely gives press briefings anymore because the WHPC keeps asking her for cites on all the odd claims POTUS makes.

If you haven't heard about the incredible number of out-there things Trump has said recently (even more than the usual background number), you're not paying attention at all.
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Old 04-13-2019, 08:58 AM
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When Trump leaves office, whether at the end of this term or the next, and the circle of political life goes on as always, there are going to be a lot of Lefties who will feel mercilessly cockteased. You have yourselves worked up for Götterdämmerung with all these increasingly bizarre hypotheticals and the reality is that the buffoon will just retreat to private life and make millions on the lecture circuit.
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Old 04-13-2019, 09:18 AM
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Jones needed to be surrounded by his followers on a visceral level. Trump just uses his followers to prop up his public image. They're just pawns in his show---he doesn't actually want to be around them.
While I agree that Trump views his followers as pawns, I think that he does needs them on some visceral level. Holding campaign-style rallies during one's presidency is not normal for a president. Trump clearly loves the adulation he receives during his rallies, where he can ramble on to a rapt audience hanging on his every word, and I see them as something of a comfort blanket to him.

Googling on the subject, others have also made the comparison between Trump and Jim Jones.

Here's a piece dating from before Trump's election victory by someone who has been researching the Peoples Temple for about 10 years. From the piece:
Quote:
And here’s the scary part: the more I hear Trump talk, the more he reminds me of Jim Jones. It is for this reason that I feel compelled to demonstrate how I came to this conclusion.
Here's an article with quotes from Jim Jones' own son Stephan Jones, who only survived the Jonestown Massacre because he was away from the commune that day at a basketball game. From the article:
Quote:
“I see so many parallels [between Donald Trump and Jim Jones], it’s ridiculous” Stephan Jones told me. He believes that, like his father, President Trump is a narcissist and relies on similar manipulation tactics. Mr Jones said, “My dad would meet someone, quickly read what you feared most and what you wanted most, and convince you that he was the one to save you from one and give you the other.”
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Old 04-13-2019, 09:40 AM
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When Trump leaves office, whether at the end of this term or the next, and the circle of political life goes on as always, there are going to be a lot of Lefties who will feel mercilessly cockteased.
This probably should be in its own thread, or a different, thread but I'm only on my second cuppa joe.

I'm a Leftie. I want universal, single-payer health care now. I want affordable education now. I want taxes for corporations and the wealthy to go up now so that they will have an incentive to invest their profits in the economy instead of hoarding it like Smaug -- and provide workers with a living wage so that the workers can afford to buy things they are making, which will stimulate the economy. But I'm also a realist. Remember how we complained that Republicans are The Party of 'No', and how we complained that their idea of compromise is 'We want everything we want, and we're not giving an inch'? We do the same thing. We want the things I mentioned (among others), and many of us are not willing to bend. Many of us want a Star Trek transporter to get from Point A to Point Z, when it's more practical to walk from Point A to Point B, thence to Point C and so on. It's frustrating that The United States of America can't have the things that every other Western country does, but we can't get there instantly. Slow and steady progress toward the goals is something we can do. Leaping the Snake River Canyon isn't going to work. We need to accept that we can't have everything we want now, and that we need to progress methodically. 'Slowly but surely wins the race.'

As for Crazy Uncle Don, I wish him a very long life... in an orange jumpsuit. But it's not going to happen. He's not going to be impeached, and he's not going to be removed from office despite his obvious mental disabilities. He's not going to spend any time in prison after he's out of office. He's going to go on the talk show circuit and rake in millions of dollars, he's going to face fines and penalties for his crimes, and he's going to spend his time fighting the courts until he dies. We need to forget vengeance, and just let the legal process grind him up for us -- and get on with the business of progressing toward a better America.
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Old 04-13-2019, 09:42 AM
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He'll probably just use legal machinations for as long as possible, and die of poor health or mental deterioration before getting thrown in jail or otherwise receiving punishment. All the time, however, he'll continue to tweet increasingly incoherent gibberish.
That would not be ideal but I could live with it.
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[T]he reality is that the buffoon will just retreat to private life and make millions on the lecture circuit.
This not so much. Maybe if he gets heckled.
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:07 AM
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Just two days ago in San Antonio he rambled on incoherently, truly sounding like people I've known suffering from dementia. It was so bad even Fox News had to cut away. It seems like he's seen things in movies and thinks they're real.
I think I see what he was trying to say, just very very inarticulately.* Maybe not deranged so much as a severe case of not being able to find the right words.

*rough translation: "If there was a well publicized wall, fewer illegal immigrants would try to make the trip, which they currently don't realize how difficult and dangerous it is."
And "truckers with clearance to enter from Mexico are sometimes ambushed by criminals who steal the trucks so they can get past the border."
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:10 AM
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Trump will not become President For Life nor will he be dragged away kicking and screaming in cuffs. What I do see possibly happening however is his not following the example of other POTUS and getting out of the way, instead insisting upon leaving office on remaining Head of the MAGA Party, holding rallies and whipping up the base and preventing any classic Movement Conservative attempt at retaking the GOP on the rebound, but rather insisting that the GOP platform be whatever he spits out on a given morning and woe to whoever fails to follow every single time.

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Old 04-13-2019, 11:13 AM
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Here's a Psychology Today article from 2012, well before Trump was running for president, by Joe Navarro, a 25-year veteran of the FBI, entitled "Dangerous Cult Leaders". Here's a quote from it:
Quote:
Having studied at length the life, teachings, and behaviors of Jim Jones (Jonestown Guyana), David Koresh (Branch Davidians), Stewart Traill (The Church of Bible Understanding), Charles Manson, Shoko Asahara (Aum Shinrikyo), Joseph Di Mambro (The Order of the Solar Temple aka Ordre du Temple Solaire), Marshall Heff Applewhit (Heaven’s Gate), Bhagwan Rajneesh (Rajneesh Movement), and Warren Jeffs (polygamist leader), what stands out about these individuals is that they were or are all pathologically narcissistic. They all have or had an over-abundant belief that they were special, that they and they alone had the answers to problems, and that they had to be revered. They demanded perfect loyalty from followers, they overvalued themselves and devalued those around them, they were intolerant of criticism, and above all they did not like being questioned or challenged. And yet, in spite of these less than charming traits, they had no trouble attracting those who were willing to overlook these features.
The article has a list, compiled by Navarro from his studies, of fifty typical traits of pathological cult leaders. By my counting, Trump displays around forty-five of the fifty traits.
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Old 04-13-2019, 12:26 PM
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I can imagine in the final days, Trump/Fox News will begin a campaign distributing MAGA Kool Aid to the faithful. The pitch will be "Are you going to let these dirty Mexican invaders rape you and your family? It is much better to drink the MAGA Kool Aid and we can all go to MAGA Heaven together! We can rest in eternal peace together behind the beautiful Golden Walls of MAGA Heaven safe from the threat of vicious Mexicans and Muslims. Amen!"
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Old 04-13-2019, 12:29 PM
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No, Trump is not going to be President-for-Life. If he started making moves like that, even the most recalcitrant Republicans would be forced to stop looking the other way and jump on the impeachment bandwagon. His thirty percent support base would become irrelevant to them if the country were going to turn into a dictatorship. Republicans are greedy, not stupid.
I've been listening to that nonsense since his name first popped up as a candidate-The Republicans aren't going to do jack shit.
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Old 04-13-2019, 01:51 PM
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When Trump claimed the other day that he didn't know what Wikileaks was, I decided that the dementia had advanced further than any (well, most) of us realized. There was no reason, not even a Trumpian reason, to lie about that. I assume that his memory is simply deteriorating.

I have no confidence that the Republican party will not follow him into the abyss. Their degradation knows no limits.
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Old 04-13-2019, 01:56 PM
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^^I've listened to nonsense like that.
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:36 PM
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Here's a Psychology Today article from 2012, well before Trump was running for president, by Joe Navarro, a 25-year veteran of the FBI, entitled "Dangerous Cult Leaders". Here's a quote from it:

The article has a list, compiled by Navarro from his studies, of fifty typical traits of pathological cult leaders. By my counting, Trump displays around forty-five of the fifty traits.
The accusation that he hits 45 out of 50 of the traits of a cult leader sounded implausible to me. So I clicked the link.

Yup, that list of 50 traits is pretty accurate. And while Trump hasn't physically isolated his followers, he has helped psychologically isolate them by teaching them to reject all media except propaganda that makes him look good.
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:10 PM
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I can imagine in the final days, Trump/Fox News will begin a campaign distributing MAGA Kool Aid to the faithful. The pitch will be "Are you going to let these dirty Mexican invaders rape you and your family? It is much better to drink the MAGA Kool Aid and we can all go to MAGA Heaven together! We can rest in eternal peace together behind the beautiful Golden Walls of MAGA Heaven safe from the threat of vicious Mexicans and Muslims. Amen!"

So you are an optimist?
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:38 PM
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People are reading too much into the "Trump cult." Trump is popular with Republicans for the time being only because he is a sitting incumbent GOP president. The moment he leaves the White House, he becomes instantly dispensable. There are hundreds of demagogues who are better-looking, have a better-sounding voice, smarter, more articulate and eloquent, savvier, and better at playing the game than him. Republicans won't hesitate to throw Trump under the bus the moment they have no need for him - he's already said or done things that are objectionable to them, such as saying "Confiscate guns now, due process later" (something that Obama would have been fried for saying), etc. There are many Republicans and Trumpers who are already throwing George W. Bush under the bus, even though they were fiery supporters of Bush a decade and a half ago.


The GOP will discard and move on from Trump in an instant once he's no longer POTUS, like an airline passenger at TSA screening who finds that their nail clipper isn't allowed in their carry-on.
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:47 PM
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People are reading too much into the "Trump cult." Trump is popular with Republicans for the time being only because he is a sitting incumbent GOP president. The moment he leaves the White House, he becomes instantly dispensable. There are hundreds of demagogues who are better-looking, have a better-sounding voice, smarter, more articulate and eloquent, savvier, and better at playing the game than him. Republicans won't hesitate to throw Trump under the bus the moment they have no need for him - he's already said or done things that are objectionable to them, such as saying "Confiscate guns now, due process later" (something that Obama would have been fried for saying), etc. There are many Republicans and Trumpers who are already throwing George W. Bush under the bus, even though they were fiery supporters of Bush a decade and a half ago.


The GOP will discard and move on from Trump in an instant once he's no longer POTUS, like an airline passenger at TSA screening who finds that their nail clipper isn't allowed in their carry-on.
I agree with this.

But what's to say he won't distribute the kool-aid while he's still president? Hmmm?
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:50 PM
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People are reading too much into the "Trump cult." Trump is popular with Republicans for the time being only because he is a sitting incumbent GOP president. The moment he leaves the White House, he becomes instantly dispensable. There are hundreds of demagogues who are better-looking, have a better-sounding voice, smarter, more articulate and eloquent, savvier, and better at playing the game than him. Republicans won't hesitate to throw Trump under the bus the moment they have no need for him - he's already said or done things that are objectionable to them, such as saying "Confiscate guns now, due process later" (something that Obama would have been fried for saying), etc. There are many Republicans and Trumpers who are already throwing George W. Bush under the bus, even though they were fiery supporters of Bush a decade and a half ago.


The GOP will discard and move on from Trump in an instant once he's no longer POTUS, like an airline passenger at TSA screening who finds that their nail clipper isn't allowed in their carry-on.
Of course the GOP will, but there are tons of Trump-lovers who aren't GOP but vote for them as long as Trump tells them to. They believe what Trump tells them to believe. And right now, according to the numbers as I understand them, the GOP has no chance at all to win without them.
  #39  
Old 04-13-2019, 05:02 PM
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Of course the GOP will, but there are tons of Trump-lovers who aren't GOP but vote for them as long as Trump tells them to. They believe what Trump tells them to believe. And right now, according to the numbers as I understand them, the GOP has no chance at all to win without them.
This. Let's not pretend that the GOP will revert back once Trump is gone. They now know how far they can go and what they can get away with.
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Old 04-13-2019, 05:04 PM
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The sorts of people who will support and/or enable such authoritarian behaviour as Trumps will still be around. The GOP needs to be more than defeated in an election, they need to be shunned. They need to be rendered completely irrelevant to American politics.
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  #41  
Old 04-13-2019, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
People are reading too much into the "Trump cult." Trump is popular with Republicans for the time being only because he is a sitting incumbent GOP president. The moment he leaves the White House, he becomes instantly dispensable. There are hundreds of demagogues who are better-looking, have a better-sounding voice, smarter, more articulate and eloquent, savvier, and better at playing the game than him. Republicans won't hesitate to throw Trump under the bus the moment they have no need for him - he's already said or done things that are objectionable to them, such as saying "Confiscate guns now, due process later" (something that Obama would have been fried for saying), etc. There are many Republicans and Trumpers who are already throwing George W. Bush under the bus, even though they were fiery supporters of Bush a decade and a half ago.


The GOP will discard and move on from Trump in an instant once he's no longer POTUS, like an airline passenger at TSA screening who finds that their nail clipper isn't allowed in their carry-on.
I disagree. Trump is very unintelligent, but he seems to be an accomplished salesman. Plus due to his narcissism he has a strong desire for praise and worship.

Plus I think his base likes how blatant he is with identity politics. He doesn't promote tolerance like W Bush did, Trump openly shows disdain for blacks, muslims, latinos, immigrants, feminists, liberals, etc. which excites his base. Plus the GOP base has a strong authoritarian streak so Trumps disdain for democracy, rule of law and his cult of personality fine fertile grounds in the GOP.

I think Trump, if he wanted to, could take the GOP base away from the GOP.
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  #42  
Old 04-13-2019, 06:04 PM
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Plus I think his base likes how blatant he is with identity politics. He doesn't promote tolerance like W Bush did, Trump openly shows disdain for blacks, muslims, latinos, immigrants, feminists, liberals, etc. which excites his base. Plus the GOP base has a strong authoritarian streak so Trumps disdain for democracy, rule of law and his cult of personality fine fertile grounds in the GOP.

I think Trump, if he wanted to, could take the GOP base away from the GOP.
Yep. The Establishment GOP pays enough lip service to American principles to equivocate a bit on its contempt for most of the American population. Trump doesn't bother. Now that they've tasted red meat, the deplorables will turn up their noses at the Establishment's pink slime.
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  #43  
Old 04-14-2019, 12:55 AM
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I don't believe that Trump will graciously retire fro the spotlight as most US Presidents do after leaving office. I think he will be even more dangerous once he's out of the White House.
  #44  
Old 04-14-2019, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
The moment he leaves the White House, he becomes instantly dispensable. There are hundreds of demagogues who are better-looking, have a better-sounding voice, smarter, more articulate and eloquent, savvier, and better at playing the game than him.
Big truth there. Dozens if not hundreds of smarter operatives are taking notes from his playbook right now (Tulsi Gabbard has an interesting centrist-oriented spin on it, and it would be unwise to ignore her).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hurricane Ditka
Which recent speech(es) did you listen to? What did President Trump say that seemed "deranged" or "bizarre" to you?
Literally tonight on Twitter he said that he denied that he ordered asylees to be dumped on sanctuary cities, then about 2 hours later he ordered (if demands on Twitter are orders) asylees to be dumped on sanctuary cities. Even by his standards, that seems nuts. Either he's an insane/brazen liar or the NYT has this bizarre apophatic power to make him do things by falsely reporting that he ordered them (which - if so, the NYT should recognize this and start using its power for good). But most likely he's stopped connecting with truth and reality simply because his supporters and enablers really prefer that he doesn't do that.

Speaking to the OP, will Trump go all Jim Jones? I dunno. I've gotten a lot wrong about Trump. Half due to failing to appreciate how wholly narcissistic a human can be, and the consequences it implies when such a person is president. Another part due to not appreciating how brazenly and cheerfully Republicans would trash all their stated principles to embrace the instrumentalist approach and lick his boots for strategic gains like tax cuts and court politicization. Another part due to overestimating how the rigors of the Presidency would intersect with age and a total disdain for exercise or healthy eating. One hopes the cholesterol is working its silent magic, but there's no way to know for sure. He's batshit on Twitter, but there's no way to be certain whether his mind is going or this is just what happens to everyone on Twitter.

So with those corrections in mind, I don't think he'd ever surrender or commit suicide. His narcissistic psyche won't permit it, and his followers will keep encouraging him. My front-runners as to his end are currently (a) the cholesterol, and (b) an eventual overreach in the interest of nihilistic self-protection.

The latter is what worries me, because Trump knows the minute he stops being President, he and his shitty empire are finished. Just the in-flight federal investigations alone are enough to take him down if he can't pardon himself. Which he absolutely will pardon himself, yet still this can't touch the very serious in-flight state investigations. I think he absolutely would start a war to distract his opponents, rally his base, or starve the political organs of oversight of money and/or political capital. The only question is how big he'd go, and we all know he's a fan of big gestures.

Last edited by HMS Irruncible; 04-14-2019 at 01:24 AM. Reason: dual sovereignty
  #45  
Old 04-14-2019, 03:03 AM
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This. Let's not pretend that the GOP will revert back once Trump is gone. They now know how far they can go and what they can get away with.
Ding Ding Ding! You win the internet today.

That was my first instinctive thought when I first read this thread: He dragged the overton window so far to the right it went off a cliff. We'd be naive to believe that his successors won't run with this and make hay while the sun shines.

Last edited by BrickBat; 04-14-2019 at 03:03 AM.
  #46  
Old 04-14-2019, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
People are reading too much into the "Trump cult." Trump is popular with Republicans for the time being only because he is a sitting incumbent GOP president.
He's popular because he's a "superstimulus" for the Republican base; he's everything they have been trained to desire in a leader turned up to pathological levels. He's practically the modern Republican party incarnated into physical form; all of his flaws are things they've been trained for decades to regard as virtues.

When he's gone they will demand somebody as bad or worse. And the party leadership will probably give it to them; out of fear if nothing else.
  #47  
Old 04-14-2019, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by The Tooth View Post
The sorts of people who will support and/or enable such authoritarian behaviour as Trumps will still be around. The GOP needs to be more than defeated in an election, they need to be shunned. They need to be rendered completely irrelevant to American politics.
Would that they are tossed into the dustbin of history as was the party they displaced, the Whigs.
  #48  
Old 04-14-2019, 04:05 PM
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There are hundreds of demagogues who are better-looking, have a better-sounding voice, smarter, more articulate and eloquent, savvier, and better at playing the game than him.
I agree, except for the "better at playing the game" part, as Trump clearly hits the sweet spot for a lot of people in a way that I'm not sure many would find it easy to emulate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
I think Trump, if he wanted to, could take the GOP base away from the GOP.
This would be a very interesting poll question to find out the answer to for Trump's "base" supporters: who do you have greater confidence/trust in, Donald Trump or the GOP?
Quote:
Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
My front-runners as to his end are currently (a) the cholesterol, and (b) an eventual overreach in the interest of nihilistic self-protection.
Yes, option (b) is clearly the worrying one, and from what we know of Trump and his personality, I think it's certainly on the table as something that could potentially happen. I'm sure there are many things that Trump would do within his power as President, such as starting a war, for the sole purpose of distracting attention away from his own malfeasances, or to further some other agenda.

Thinking about what he might do without the power of presidency, probably the most alarming idea would be that he could incite his supporters to violence. If he were to unambiguously do so, he would probably only be able to rattle off one partial televised address or a few tweets before being shut down, either by the cutting of the live TV feed or the suspension of his Twitter account. Then he would effectively be silenced and have no way of communicating with his followers. If he was a bit more ambiguous - "who will RID me of this TROUBLESOME priest!" etc - then he might be able to muddy the water enough to get away with it a bit longer, and potentially even retain Republican support. He would probably not even have to ramp things up that much from his current "ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE" rhetoric. Trump's hardcore base may number fifty million people or more, and it would only take a minute percentage of that number to cause problems, although I'm not sure if they could achieve much, other than cause chaos.

Republican political strategist Rick Wilson, author of the book Everything Trump Touches Dies (!), produces some good quotes and said this week that "the moral corruption of Donald Trump is his superpower", in that he seems to have this ability to morally corrupt everyone in his orbit. I think this a pretty on-the-ball analysis, and an ominous one when thinks of the various prisms through which Trump can be viewed, such as wannabe-dictator, organized crime boss and cult leader.

In ancient times, it was common for servants and retainers to be sacrificed or forced to commit ritual suicide at royal tombs in order that they be able to continue to serve their king in the afterlife. Several cults in modern times, such as the Peoples Temple, Solar Temple, and Heaven's Gate, ended in mass-suicides instigated by the cult leader. Narcissism has also been linked to mass shooters, and murderers often talk about the feeling of taking the power from those they take the lives of, which would seem to fit in with the same psychology. If there's anyone in our current times that would be Pharoah, one day to rest for eternity in a gold-capped pyramid surrounded by skeletonized servants, it is surely Donald Trump.

Anyway, I don't want anyone to feel I'm being alarmist in this thread. Since the Trump presidency navigates in unknown waters, there's really a whole range of potential scenarios that could play out over coming months or years, from Trump leaving the office in a normal fashion like other presidents, to full-blown doomsday Armageddon. Just remember that Trump "going loco" Jim Jones-style is just one of several ways things could play out!

I'll end with this tweet from the past week I found while googling:
Quote:
House Intel member SPEIER on Barr’s “spying” comments: “Hes drinking the Kool-Aid.”
While the phrase "drinking the Kool-Aid" has entered common parlance, meaning "a person who believes in a possibly doomed or dangerous idea because of perceived potential high rewards", many people may not be aware of its origins, from what happened at Jonestown. U.S. Representative and House Intel member Jackie Speier will know better than most, since she was shot five times on Port Kaituma airstrip, along with U.S. Representative Leo Ryan, during the shootings there that immediately preceded the Jonestown massacre.
  #49  
Old 04-14-2019, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
Big truth there. Dozens if not hundreds of smarter operatives are taking notes from his playbook right now (Tulsi Gabbard has an interesting centrist-oriented spin on it, and it would be unwise to ignore her).


Literally tonight on Twitter he said that he denied that he ordered asylees to be dumped on sanctuary cities, then about 2 hours later he ordered (if demands on Twitter are orders) asylees to be dumped on sanctuary cities. Even by his standards, that seems nuts. Either he's an insane/brazen liar or the NYT has this bizarre apophatic power to make him do things by falsely reporting that he ordered them (which - if so, the NYT should recognize this and start using its power for good). But most likely he's stopped connecting with truth and reality simply because his supporters and enablers really prefer that he doesn't do that.

Speaking to the OP, will Trump go all Jim Jones? I dunno. I've gotten a lot wrong about Trump. Half due to failing to appreciate how wholly narcissistic a human can be, and the consequences it implies when such a person is president. Another part due to not appreciating how brazenly and cheerfully Republicans would trash all their stated principles to embrace the instrumentalist approach and lick his boots for strategic gains like tax cuts and court politicization. Another part due to overestimating how the rigors of the Presidency would intersect with age and a total disdain for exercise or healthy eating. One hopes the cholesterol is working its silent magic, but there's no way to know for sure. He's batshit on Twitter, but there's no way to be certain whether his mind is going or this is just what happens to everyone on Twitter.

So with those corrections in mind, I don't think he'd ever surrender or commit suicide. His narcissistic psyche won't permit it, and his followers will keep encouraging him. My front-runners as to his end are currently (a) the cholesterol, and (b) an eventual overreach in the interest of nihilistic self-protection.

The latter is what worries me, because Trump knows the minute he stops being President, he and his shitty empire are finished. Just the in-flight federal investigations alone are enough to take him down if he can't pardon himself. Which he absolutely will pardon himself, yet still this can't touch the very serious in-flight state investigations. I think he absolutely would start a war to distract his opponents, rally his base, or starve the political organs of oversight of money and/or political capital. The only question is how big he'd go, and we all know he's a fan of big gestures.
What an absolutely on-the-money post. You said it all so well. Nothing to add except admiration.
  #50  
Old 04-14-2019, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by JRDelirious View Post
Trump will not become President For Life nor will he be dragged away kicking and screaming in cuffs. What I do see possibly happening however is his not following the example of other POTUS and getting out of the way
Quote:
Originally Posted by TruCelt
I don't believe that Trump will graciously retire fro the spotlight as most US Presidents do after leaving office.
I find it hard to think of past Presidents who just faded away and never made public pronouncements to enhance their "legacy", bash their successors etc. Trump of course is an excellent bet to do this in a more flamboyant and mendacious way than his predecessors.

The idea that Trump and his followers are going to go out in a blaze of murderous and suicidal glory a la Jim Jones is just another depressingly bizarre manifestation of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

C'mon, we can have more realistic fun speculating on who he'll get to run the Trump Presidential Library. My money's on Ted Nugent and Michele Bachmann (between them, they should be able to organize and shelve both books).
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