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Here’s proof the GOP is a cult

Liz Cheney (R-WY) is being purged from the House GOP leadership. She’ll be replaced by Elise Stefanik (R-NY). Cheney isn’t Trumper enough. Stefanik is. Until you compare their voting records:

  • Heritage Action, an advocacy group (read about it here) affiliated with the conservative Heritage Foundation’s think tank, scored Cheney 80%, Stefanik 48%.
  • The Club for Growth (background here), a conservative group that advocates cutting taxes, excoriated Stefanik as a “liberal.”
  • Nate Silver’s 538 (described here) calculated Cheney voted with Trump 92.9% of the time, Stefanik 77.7% of the time.
     “All of which puts to lie the idea that Stefanik is an establishment or Trump conservative. She is demonstrably neither,” CNN says.
    “So, why then is she such a favorite of the former president and his allies in Congress …? Because — and this is the little secret at the heart of the modern Republican Party — the only qualification for being beloved by the former president is to loudly and publicly praise and/or defend [him]. That’s it. Trumpism has nothing to do with policy — conservative or otherwise. It is a cult of personality, plain and simple.”
    Which has been obvious to everybody for a very long time. Read story here.
    Why do people become devoted followers of demagogues and cult leaders? It’s hard to generalize, of course, because different individuals have their reasons. Painting with the broadest possible brush, Psychology Today took a run at explaining the seemingly-illogical phenomenon here and here. On a more specific level, a journalist working as a media specialist at UC Berkeley tries to explain Trump followers here.
    Whether or not these assessments are accurate, what’s clear is the GOP has transformed under Trump from political party to cult, and is burning itself down in the process. Cheney is out, and Stefanik is in, based on the only thing that counts in a cult: Loyalty to The Leader.
     Related story: Ohio GOP censures House member for voting to impeach Trump (read story here).

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