Trump supporters are ‘stuck in a bad relationship’: columnist reveals why it’s like they’re in a ‘cult’
Trump supporters (Shutterstock)

In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times this Friday, Virginia Heffernan argues that while America has seen charlatans peddle lies to the public before in exchange for loyal followings, "at no time in history have so many Americans been drawn to what’s looking increasingly like a cult."

According to Heffernan, Trump's critics using the term "cult" to describe his following are not simply being hyperbolic.

"What the cult diagnosis may lack in scholarly rigor, it makes up for in explanatory power," Heffernan writes. "When polled, far too many Republicans come across as having abandoned their commitment to libertarianism, family values or simple logic in favor of Trump worship."

Heffernan describes the heartbreaking process when loved ones are swept up in a cult, saying that the phenomenon has a similar effect on people whose family members dive head-first into Trumpism, usually inspired by the "addictive comfort in the anger and paranoia" peddled by right-wing media.

"To see Trumpism as a cult is not to refuse to engage with its effects, the crimes committed in its name or the way it has awakened and emboldened the cruelest and most destructive beliefs and practices in the American playbook," Heffernan contends. "Instead, the cult framework should relieve the pressure many of us feel to call Trumpites back to themselves, to keep arguing with them. They are stuck in a bad relationship with a controlling figure."

Read her full piece over at The Los Angeles Times.