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Trump’s base is a ‘cult’ that may never be deprogrammed: report

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On Saturday, The Daily Beast’s Kelly Weill posted an analysis of President Donald Trump’s base, and what their recent behavior, which “experts say resembles a cult or totalitarianism,” says about the country’s political health.

“Trump has long stoked bigoted grievances among his followers, but the Greenville rally saw him act as a more overt radicalizer than ever before,” wrote Weill. “And with a portion of Trump’s fanbase now openly clamoring for the physical removal of several prominent Democrats of color, experts are questioning whether the country can repair the damage — even if Trump loses in 2020.”

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It is an open question how many people who chanted “Send her back” about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) are true believers.

“Some people might be there because they genuinely believe in this ideology,” New York University professor Mary Beth Altier was quoted as saying. “Some may be questioning those beliefs. They’re toying with them, and they go because a friend brought them or they think it’d be cool to go. They go and get swept up. People start chanting, are you going to be the only one standing there not chanting?”

Nonetheless, it is clear that at least some of the president’s fans will defend whatever behavior he engages in reflexively, as the CNN panel of “Trumpettes” demonstrated vividly. And even worse, Trump’s behavior appears to be sparking violence.

“During a March 2016 rally, Trump asked fans to eject protesters, calling on them to ‘get ‘em out of here,'” wrote Weill. “Matt Heimbach, a neo-Nazi who was later instrumental in 2017’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlotteville, complied, assaulting a black protester. In October, a Florida man sent 16 pipe bombs to politicians, news outlets, and public figures who have been critical of Trump. The bomber had attended Trump rallies and described them as ‘like a new found drug.’ Trump’s election has coincided with a marked spike in hate crimes, and a rise in overt white supremacist action.”

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Part of the problem, noted Weill, is that in today’s media environment, it is possible to entirely filter out people with opposing political viewpoints and build more and more insular networks of like-minded supporters to reinforce one’s views.

As Altier warned, deprogramming them will be especially difficult because the very thing that appears to be radicalizing them — Trump’s rallies — might also be the only thing containing their radicalization.

“While people saying these things is awful and they may radicalize other people, if we quash their ability to say them, my research shows they may become more violent because they can’t express those grievances,” she said. “It’s a catch-22.”

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘Alarming gibberish’: Trump mocked for raging impotently against Fed chair and China

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President Donald Trump attacked his own Federal Reserve chairman as an "enemy" of the United States amid his escalating trade war with China -- and other social media users were flabbergasted.

Fed chairman Jerome Powell refused to budge on interest rates, despite heavy pressure by the president in the face of a looming recession, and China retaliated against the tariffs Trump imposed with a new round of their own.

Trump lashed out at Powell, whose name he misspelled, and compared him unfavorably to Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

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Trump snaps after ‘enemy’ Fed chairman doesn’t drop interest rates — compares him to China’s Xi

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President Donald Trump flipped out on his Federal Reserve chairman after China imposed a new round of tariffs in his ongoing trade war against the economic powerhouse.

The president lashed out at Fed chairman Jerome Powell after he refused to budge on interest rates, and referred to the official he chose as an "enemy" of the United States.

"As usual, the Fed did NOTHING!" Trump raged on Twitter. "It is incredible that they can 'speak' without knowing or asking what I am doing, which will be announced shortly. We have a very strong dollar and a very weak Fed. I will work 'brilliantly' with both, and the U.S. will do great.."

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Trump allies have been reading a bizarre fascist manifesto that encourages young men to prepare for military rule

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Political allies of President Donald Trump have been reading a bizarre fascist manifesto that encourages young right-wing men to join the military and then use the knowledge in combat they gain to prepare for military rule.

Politico reports that former Trump White House officials who have read the book do not approve of its conclusions but they do believe it presents several intriguing ideas and they think it's gained real traction among many of the disaffected young white men who voted for the president in 2016.

"It’s still a cult book,” said a former Trump White House official. "If you’re a young person, intelligent, adjacent in some way to the right, it’s very likely you would have heard of it."

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