Yesterday was yet another eventful day in the news. Trump declared, by tweet, that the US will pull all our troops out of Syria, ceding the battleground to ISIS and Russia. His own military warned him against it, as well as many members of Congress, but his tweet begs the lamentable question whether pulling out of Syria is a gift to Putin and Russia at our nation’s expense, especially because it seems his motivation came from a request by Turkey rather than from our defense establishment. Military brass called the move “catastrophic.”
The Fed raised short term interest rates and the markets reacted badly, worried that the move would drain growth from GDP, while simultaneously worried that the Fed Chairman’s post-hike comments indicated that despite the rate move the economy was losing a bit of steam. This may turn out to be a high-water mark for interest rates for a while, especially if corporate earnings underperform this holiday season.
In the Mueller department, federal prosecutors made moves yesterday that imply Trump friend and acolyte Roger Stone may be indicted for lying to Congress–a development that had the Trump cult stirred up on social media.
At the same time, the NYS AG is moving forward with the dissolution of the Trump Charitable Foundation that prosecutors described this way:
“…a shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation — including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more.”
It’s clear that core Trump supporters won’t care about any of this, which is both maddening and baffling. Why is the Trump cult so impervious to facts and evidence, and what can we do about it?
Alexander Hurst answers this question in a superb and comprehensive article in The New Republic entitled “Escape from the Trump Cult”:
When it comes to helping individuals leave cult-like groups, many sociologists agree: Positive social factors are more effective than negative sanctions. Lalich using dialogue to ask questions and reinforce doubts, rather than “to harp” or criticize. Testimonials from former cult members can be particularly helpful in fueling disillusionment, she says.
Hurst concludes with this advice from a person who has lived this story in another country:
Andrés Miguel Rondón, a Venezuelan economist who fled to Spain, this of his own country’s experience of being caught up in an authoritarian’s fraudulent promises: “[W]hat can really win them over is not to prove that you are right. It is to show that you care. Only then will they believe what you say.”
Here is the link:
Please read this article if possible. We need to be thinking now about how to bring at least some of the Trumpers back into the mainstream once dear leader is out of office. Otherwise, we let them fester in resentment at our peril.
Show them you care. And keep resisting.