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Good article Arizona. You have drawn parallels between the psychotic behavior of Jim Jones and Donald Trump. Indeed the followers of both actors should be described as "cult like" although most of the Trump's 62 million supporters in the 2016 election are certainly not all cult followers. Many have just been duped by a master con artist, not unlike the politicians in San Francisco who elevated Jones in prominence.
It is hard to understand the sway that authoritarian figureheads like Jones and Trump have over their rabid followers. Chris Carlsson writes in her essay on the topic: "In Julia Scheeres' well-researched book "A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown," she shows how years of Jones' authoritarian tactics had cowed most of his followers into confused and fearful obedience."
"Confused and fearful obedience" appears to be prevalent in Republican circles now as they have adopted Trumpism as their party platform and fear going against Trump. Lindsay Graham is a good example.
Psychologist Robert Altemeyer writes that "research indicates that a bed rock 20-25% of the adults in North America is highly vulnerable to a demagogue who would incite hatred of various minorities to gain power." And that 20-25 percent probably constitutes Trump's hard core base of followers who are capable of anything to protect their messiah. Matt Whitaker, our new attorney general, is likely one of them. That scares the shit out of me.
Thanks for writing and sharing your essay.