By Bruce Deitrick Price
Their normal human sympathies have atrophied. They live in the desert of their own inhuman politics. They are cold and apparently lack a spiritual life. Desperate to look down on other people, they take fatuity to a new level.
David Atkins, recently elected as a California member of the Democratic National Committee, mused on Twitter (Nov. 21, 2020): “How do you deprogram 75 million people who would literally die to stick it to the domestic enemies the teevee and youtube conspiracy vids told them to hate? No, seriously…how DO you deprogram 75 million people? Where do you start? Fox? Facebook? We have to start thinking in terms of post-WWII Germany or Japan. Or the failures of Reconstruction in the South.”
Bret Stephens, certified by the New York Times as a journalist, summed up the American political landscape ten weeks after the election (Jan. 18, 2021):
The larger question in my mind is whether the G.O.P. is the village that must be destroyed in order to be saved, or, alternatively, is it like a group of previously reasonable people who got taken in by a cult and now must go through some kind of deprogramming so that they can lead normal lives again? My hope is that once Republicans realize that Trump was both a moral and political disaster for them, they might recover their senses.
Katie Couric, famous TV person, reacted viscerally to this “larger question” when chatting with Bill Maher on his Real Time show (Jan. 19, 2020). Katie confided her contempt for those who don’t agree with her. She was particularly upset with GOP congressmen. “It’s really bizarre, isn’t it, when you think about how AWOL so many of these members of Congress have gotten? … And the question is, how are we going to really almost deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump?”
Bill Maher read from the same sermon: “I mean, what do you do about these people? There’s 147 Republicans in Congress who still don’t concede that Trump lost the election. What do you do about people who are in the government who don’t believe in our way of government?”
The Washington Post also has a clairvoyant, Brian Klaas:
For the past four years, the United States was governed by a conspiracy theorist in chief. Whether by retweeting QAnon from the Oval Office or painting himself as the victim of shadowy “deep state” plots at rallies, President Donald Trump injected the toxin of baseless conspiratorial thinking straight into America’s political bloodstream. On Jan 6, 2021, America saw how far that venom had spread, as a ragtag group of militias, racist extremists and flag-waving disciples of Trumpism stormed the Capitol[.]
Columnist Klaas laments the near futility of attempting to “deprogram” millions of Trump-supporters, claiming that many have “gone far enough down the rabbit hole of conspiratorial thinking.” His essay “Why is it so hard to deprogram Trumpian conspiracy theorists?” depicts millions of Trump-supporters as so devoted to “dangerous lunacy” that nearly all hope is lost of bringing them “back to reality.”
Many readers must feel that Klaas is talking about himself. Baseless conspiratorial thinking, indeed. There is little hope of bringing him back to reality.
Steven Hassan, of Salon, can probably claim to be among the first to discuss some of these items. A year before the election, he asked: “Is it possible to deprogram Trump’s political cult members and return them to normal society? Should good Americans isolate Trump supporters and refuse to interact with them?”
Hassan deals in such epiphanies as follows:
One of the most universal techniques of subverting our ability to correctly assess reality is through phobia indoctrination. This is the implantation of irrational fears against questioning the leader, the doctrine, or the organization or cult’s policies[.] … These techniques include behavior control, information control, thought control, and emotional control to keep people dependent and obedient within that group’s structure.
Who needs all this psychoanalytical jibber-jabber? Simple. People whose self-esteem is shaky — i.e., they can hardly stand themselves. So they label other people deplorable even as they probably suspect how deplorable they are.
Every time the cult member says, “I hate Trump,” the real me is preening: “I’m a genuine and superior person. And people like me!” The more evil you claim that Trump is, the more beneficent you are claiming to be.
The fascinating thing is the dead-brain, tone-deaf consciousness you need to muse in this offhand way about deprogramming and reprogramming many tens of millions of people. As if this cascade of crimes is just a walk to the drugstore. After all, what is Katie Couric demanding? Kidnapping? Torture? Human-trafficking? Involuntary servitude? At least.
Can deprogramming be done in a day? More probably weeks or months. Where will people stay? Who pays for all this? When you move them around, do you use school buses or tractor-trailers? Do you put them in straitjackets?
One perennial thread in fascism is a love affair with brutality. One can’t help feeling that some of these people would love to bring back the guillotine and have a front-row seat as heads plop into the basket. We can almost see Joy Behar grinning with anticipation.
Perhaps the basic sin is not so grotesque, merely the overestimating of one’s intelligence. The New York Times, always trying to equate Trump with Hitler, started using the word cult all the time, and before you know it, it’s a fact as solid as the Rocky Mountains.
“Normal”, for liberals, is accepting left wing propaganda as fact, ignoring corruption and supporting the circumventing of the Constitution and rule of law, as long as your ideology benefits. Disputing any of that is grounds for re-programming.
For years we believed (programed) the people we elected represented us. We believed that while there were occasional outbursts of personal bias, the media dealt with events equitably. We believed the Constitution protected citizens. Not Trump himself, but the left’s reaction to Trump, showed us this wasn’t reality. We were DE-programmed by Trump’s administration, as the left pulled out all the stops to destroy him because he was putting the nation (and the citizens) before all else.
So now the left believes we need to be RE-programmed to believe the lie that they themselves proved was a lie. People that go around acting like they are free to believe what their eyes and ears show them are a danger to the submission of the lemmings; liberty is contagious and, like the lockdowns, that contagion has to be restricted and eradicated.
“The New York Times, always trying to equate Trump with Hitler, started using the word cult all the time, and before you know it, it’s a fact as solid as the Rocky Mountains. ”
Some of our local dimwits do this as well. Yet, who ARE the cultists? Who worshiped Obama? Who experienced the thrill up the leg? Who refused to hold that administration accountable? Who accepted illegal spying, gun running to cartels, open borders, IRS targeting, a sacked consulate and dead ambassador? Who believed, without question, every word from disreputable propagandists and corrupt politicians, even when the words were PROVEN false? Who accepted widespread election fraud to insert a complete and obvious idiot into office without question? Even just last week, who praised a stammering, meandering, rife with lies and omissions speech as an outstanding example of oratory excellence? The actual cultists want to be in charge of the reeducation camps.
I never believed any liberal Bush REPRESENTED ME! I knew they represent the “Limo Libs” and were against me!
The last 32 years have proved me right!
liberals OF BOTH PARTIES, have hated conservatives for 61years. Liberals will hate conservatives until every last conservative is killed!
Before 2001 this was just a dream. But in the last 20 it has become a terrible possibility!
“How do I like the thought of being deprogrammed?” Don’t fancy it just a whole hell of a lot. Nope! I do not fancy it even a.little bit! Of course that won’t stop a left with the bit firmly in its teeth from DOING it . . .
Reckon they’ll let us take a.couple of small personal possessions when they round us up to board the busses? (Nobody takes the train any more.)
Steven Hassan had better hope that the Good Americans don’t isolate leftists and refuse to interact with them. It will be a hot, hungry and thirsty summer in their enclaves without energy, food, and water.