Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Following

There is a television show titled The Following. The story begins when a college literature professor becomes enraptured by the works of Edgar Allan Poe. He teaches these many writings with such passion that students become as enthralled as their professor. In time, they become so consumed by their passion that they explore the dark world of murder. For these people it is not cold and ruthless, but emotional and calculated.

In time, those students grow into adults and become a part of everyday society. They are doctors, lawyers, police, and FBI agents. No matter their current lives they have this attachment to their old professor, Joe Carroll. They do his bidding without hesitation. These former students will gladly die for their leader. This former professor, simply because he had a passion for an author, unwittingly created a cult.

We often think of cults as David Koresh and the Branch Davidians where he and many members died in an assault by the ATF. There was Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple where they drank poison in mass suicide. The Manson Family might be the most infamous of them all because of their horrendous murder of actress Sharon Tate.

There are many other cults that exist in the world today. Some say Scientology is a cult, and some even apply that label to the Mormon church. But we must ask—What is a cult? We typically think of a cult as a group built around an individual and a set of beliefs. Often the center of a cult is religious in nature.

Below is one meaning.
Sociology . a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.

This brings me to another question. Can a political party become a cult? I say, most definitely. There are those who follow their favorite political party or figurehead with with great fervor. Some have likened Ron Paul followers to a cult. I can only say that a few followers act cult-like.

I'd define the political cult follower as one who defends their party or ideological stance even when it shifts to a position they previously argued against – simply because the leaders tell them they should. They will throw logic and facts out the window to defend their position. I once used a sports analogy on how it's all about pulling for your favorite team, which still applies. But I have to sometimes wonder if it runs much deeper.

As I wrote in A World of Followers, after watching the video of a police officer gun down an unarmed 70 year old man, people still supported the officer's actions. There is no part of my mind that can believe the officer didn't act in haste. This happens because people have been taught to trust the police. This elderly man wound up in the hospital simply because he trusted the officer. He might have been dead had it not been for the officer's wild, uncontrolled shooting. The wife of the elderly man is lucky she wasn't wounded in the uncontrolled gunfire.

I once heard a democratic operative say that for generations his family has always voted Democratic. This means the man's ancestry voted for the people who installed Jim Crow laws. They voted for the people that forbade blacks to eat in white establishments. His family voted for the likes of George Wallace. This same democrat will hail the party's stand in the Civil Rights movement.

The Republican Party will do the same thing. There are those who have proclaimed loyalty to the party for generations. Those same people who talk today about secession or smaller government hail Abraham Lincoln as the great savior – the man who burned much of the south and declared secession illegal. This is the same man that through his Emancipation Proclamation freed only the slaves in the Confederate States of America and those who supported them – not those in the North. He is the man that suspended habius corpus and arrested war protesters.

No party is fully innocent. Even the founders should never be put on this untouchable pedestal because they as well made many mistakes, one is allowing slavery in the beginning. Few people want to look honestly at  history. History shows us there is nothing pure and innocent about any nation or political party. If we want to build a better world we must at least look at the past with open eyes.

To create this better world we have to stop defending bad politicians and political parties that have only one agenda, power and money. Many Republicans excused Bush, while many Democrats do the same with Obama, while both men did many of the same things. These men have one thing in common, both grew government at a rate not seen since FDR.

Our political parties have become cult-like. Ronald Reagan was a prime example. Although he did do some good things, he increased government. I can list many things, but that can come another time. What's important now is there has been a cult built around him. There are people who become extremely angry if you say anything negative about the former president, or they will make excuses for his actions.

President Obama had a cult following that was astounding. This was a man who could do no wrong. He was given the Nobel Peace Prize before doing anything notable. His following came simply because people were fed up with typical politics and he promised change. We were a country that had war fatigue – he promised peace. After five years we all know that it was only empty promises. His cult is slowly falling apart. To maintain a cult you must occasionally provide a miracle or simply awe the following. The other way to maintain the following is to die and let mythology fill in the miracle blanks.

Everyone keeps hoping the country will change, but they are unwilling to participate in that change. The system has been rigged. The two parties have colluded to make the system insure those two, not only survive, but dominate the political scene. They have created their oligarchy that feeds the crony system. Corporations are blamed for being too powerful and buying political favors. Only the corrupt can be bought.

Both parties have their cult-like following. The following spends countless hours spreading party propaganda. If you keep supporting the cult, nothing will change. The only way to save the country is to get rid of the cults. Get people together who think like you. Find a candidate you like, but not one that is a member of the cult. Once you do that, write that name onto the ballot. Once enough of these people are elected, they can change the laws that support the two cult system. Doing the same thing over and over with the same results is the true definition of insanity.

If you have a family member that cannot break from the cult, take them to a detox center. Stop being a follower. Let's actually change the system. Sure, we can set term limits, but that won't stop the cults from controlling the game. As a participant of the Tea Party, I thought like many others that we could take over the GOP. I know now that won't happen. The cult will not let outsiders change the game. In that case there is only one option – end the game – shut down the political cults. Just be careful that in the end, you don't simply create new cults. If it proves impossible to prevent new cults, we must, at least, have many more parties than the current two party oligarchy.


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