Editorial: A Republican warning of national political suicide

Sun Sentinel Editorial Board, South Florida Sun Sentinel on

Published in Political News

The world was shocked when more than 900 Americans who followed “People’s Temple” preacher Jim Jones to the wilderness of Guyana committed suicide or were murdered at his command in 1978 after swallowing fruit drinks laced with cyanide.

Millions wondered how something so ghastly could happen. Far from a mystery, it was another example, albeit an extreme one, of how a charismatic cult leader makes his followers forsake all else — even their own lives.

Many dictatorships and millions of wartime deaths have owed to such evil genius. The United States is up next.

Donald Trump has transformed virtually the entire Republican Party into a personality cult, rather than the responsible instrument of principles and policy that it once was.

Only he matters. He jokes about being a dictator if he’s elected again “but only on Day One.”

Trump has not only survived, but prospered from a torrent of personal, commercial and political scandals, any one of which would have destroyed anyone else’s political career. It’s a damning indictment of America.


Having tried to overthrow the 2020 election, Trump will not commit to accepting the outcome on Nov. 5.

His cascade of lies, indictments and moral outrages seems to have strengthened his hold over the cult.

The vast majority of Republican officeholders, who should set a better example, worship him outright or cower in silence.

Sen. Rick Scott went to Trump’s trial last week in a show of loyalty, but long before that, he and a dozen Florida House Republicans voted against certifying Biden’s election. (In an editorial at the time, we called them “the Sunshine State seditionists.”)


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