Kevin Drum Accuses Republicans Of Being Cult

This is funny: Kevin Drum, approvingly quoting Bill Schneider and then going off on his own tangent:

“The Republicans aren’t a party, they’re a cult.”

Well, today’s GOP does seem to check most of the boxes in the International Cultic Studies Association’s “Characteristics Associated with Cultic Groups.” Except for this one: “The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.” That doesn’t seem to be much of a priority for them these days.

So I clicked his link… First characteristic:

The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.

Okay, despite the fact that the Republicans are about as internally fractured right now as Arlen Specter’s political power, maybe you can make the claim that the Republicans do this with Reagan.

But you can certainly claim that RIGHT NOW, the Democrats do this with Obama. Notice how any attack on his policies is responded to as if it’s a personal attack on Obama?

Blogging is known as a medium that allows a writer to fire off what’s in his brain right now, without the filter of an editorial board or the delay of the news cycle. Unfortunately for Kevin Drum, it allows us to see straight into the muddled contents of his mushy, mushy brain. Someone’s been watching too much hulu, I think.

  • southernjames

    What a load of horseshit. First of all I find it amusing that otherwise intelligent people flat out refuse to acknowledge the difference between conservatives and republicans. Second, exactly how many of the “characteristics” need to be met in order for a group to be considered a “Cult?”. Here are ALL 15 of those characteristics listed below. All of them? 10 of them? 13? 6? 3?

    As much Obama-worship I see taking place, anybody who thinks that even the modern democratic party is a “cult” needs to get out of their basement bunker and get some fresh air.

    As for conservatives – yes they do venerate Ronald Reagan, as the inspiration and beacon to the conservative movement. Kind of like how I suppose Liberals view FDR. However, the leader who most closely meets the characteristics of No. 1 below, for the vast majority of Reagan loving conservatives, is a Jewish preacher from Nazareth, and not Reagan.

    The Republican PARTY, on the other hand, abandoned Reaganism a while ago. The party leadership doesn’t give a shit about Reagan or what he professed to stand for.

    So there goes No. 1. We’re 0 for 1, so far. No. 2? As you mentioned, the party is completely fractured – there is nothing BUT “Questioning, doubt, and dissent” going on right now. 0 for 2. Shall we keep going.


    1. The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.

    ?2. Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.

    ?3. Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).

    ?4. The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).

    ?5. The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).

    ?6. The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.

    ?7. The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).

    ?8. The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members’ participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).

    ?9. The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.

    ?10. Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.

    ?11. The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.

    ?12. The group is preoccupied with making money.

    ?13. Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.

    ?14. Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.

    ?15. The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.