In a blistering column for the conservative Bulwark, Playboy's White House correspondent Brian Karem recalled covering the Branch Davidian siege in Waco in 1993 and admitted that he sees disturbing similarities between followers of David Koresh and the MAGA hordes who idolize Donald Trump.
Days after militia members, reportedly incited by the president, were arrested for planning to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Widmer (D) and put her on trial for "treason," Karem warned that was the opening shot of what is to come should voters reject Trump on election day.
As Karem notes, Trump has all the characteristics of Koresh, pointing out an FBI spokesperson who said of the Branch Davidian leader, “I don’t think he was a madman. I think probably the best description of him is a master manipulator.”
"Trump is, in his own perverse way, one of the greatest mystics of the 21st century. He is a masterful manipulator who told everyone from the beginning of his political career how he could shoot someone in front of witnesses and not lose a voter. He also explained that he calls the news media liars so people won’t believe us and will believe him," Karem explained. "He is the political messiah who will right all wrongs, drain the swamp, build a wall, make the economy better, and turn life into heaven on earth... Millions of his evangelical Christian admirers act as though he is a Christian; they are unwilling or unable to see he clearly is not. In truth, he’s merely a rich, pampered insecure man who only worships himself."
Having said that, Karem then made the case that the current president of the United States exhibits many of the traits of Koresh, writing, "Every violent paramilitary group in the United States flocks to him as Branch Davidians flocked to hear their messiah in Waco. The language is nearly the same. David Koresh spoke of an apocalypse at the hands of the federal government. So does Trump. Koresh said they were out to get him. So does Trump. Koresh violated the most basic forms of civility to maintain control. So does Trump."
Karem then painted a frightening portrait should Trump lose in November.
"In the end, the Branch Davidians, assuring themselves that the apocalypse was upon them, died in a fire inside their own compound. Trump too says without his re-election, apocalypse could be upon us," he warned. "Here’s hoping Trump and his cult go a different route than the Branch Davidians should the president lose his bid for re-election."
You can read the whole piece here.