Today we can revel in the Democratic Convention of 2016. It was an inspiration and a success on many levels. So many moderate Republicans are saying the Democratic Convention reminded them of a Republican convention, (which is how they can feel safe gushing over it). In fact Hillary Clinton’s speech was so progressive it could have been given by Bernie Sanders. (We love you Bernie!) We also had the sight of the first woman presidential nominee from a major political party and she may actually win the presidency, so this was a historic moment. But today Trump was back on the campagin trail and what I heard of his utterances today reminded me of the insane charismatic religious figure Jim Jones, who died in 1978 along with 900+ of his followers. This made me wonder: Where would Donald Trump lead people in the near future if he becomes president? I think he may lead us literally to death and destruction, as Jim Jones did. Journalists have written about the similarities of Jim Jones and Trump in recent months. The Washington Post article, “Trump is close to the abyss” states,
“Let’s face it: Generally speaking, we should hope to have presidents who comport themselves more like Dwight Eisenhower and less like Jim Jones of Jonestown fame. So, quickly, who is the most Jim Jones-like, Trump or Clinton? There is no contest. Trump sounds like Jim Jones. Just add sunglasses and a little more slurred speech, and the similarities would be vivid.”
In case you are not familiar with Jim Jones, this is from wikipedia.
“James Warren “Jim” Jones (May 13, 1931 – November 18, 1978) was an American cult leader. Jones was the founder and leader of the Peoples Temple, infamous due to the mass murder-suicide in November 1978 of 918 of its members in Jonestown, Guyana, the murder of Congressman Leo Ryan, and the ordering of four additional Temple member deaths in Georgetown, the Guyanese capital. Nearly three hundred children were murdered at Jonestown, almost all of them by cyanide poisoning. Jones died from a gunshot wound to the head; it is suspected his death was a suicide.”
Could Trump kill 300 children? If his megalomania is allowed to continue, I think it’s possible, since I am in the camp that believes he is mentally ill. He also pretends to be religious, but beyond waving a Bible around, we have seen no proof of that whatsoever. Trump has even said he has never sinned (wow!) and never prays, so if he is religious, he doesn’t practice it, except inside his own head.
The Washington Post article above deserves a read and I hope all his followers especially will read it. Trump is clearly more like a cult leader than a political leader, despite any lack of real religion. In fact, the fake religion claimed by Trump is actually in line with a cult claim. Trump and Jones also have similar speaking techniques in the types of things said and how they are said. Read here about Jim Jones’s speaking style and how it evolved, ultimately leading his followers to willingly kill themselves for him! There is a similar potential in Trump, due to how “passionate” his supporters are — for him.
People have begun to talk seriously about whether Trump is mentally ill, or if he possibly has dementia (he’s elderly, after all) or is just plain old intellectually deficient. This speculation didn’t come from the lunatic fringe, but from respected journalists, and today, from former attorney general Eric Holder. We would all be smart to be very wary of Trump’s words and look for more signs of mental illness or dementia.
As Ed Rogers wrote for The Washington Post:
I feel as though Trump is close to the abyss. Perhaps he feels it too and he is cracking under the strain. He can’t filter what he says, he blurts out lies, and conspiracies fester in his mind. Will this get better? Is it reversible, or is the Trump campaign on a trajectory that can’t be altered?
We can’t let another Jonestown happen, or another WWII internment camp situation, which is something Trump has already talked about doing. People have to prevent these things from ever happening again. We have to stop Trump from being elected president, and ideally, it would be good to get him to stop his rallies too. Why? Because rallies were how Jim Jones convinced people to follow him because he had all the answers, because he was God, because he was the “only one” who could fix things. Read what a survivor of Jim Jones said was the reason people followed him: because he could identify with them and more:
How did Jones manage to lure all these people in, to the point where they would follow him anywhere?
He was very charismatic and attracted people who were feeling vulnerable or disenfranchised for whatever reason. . . . He always homed in on what you needed and managed to bring you in emotionally.
Sounds like Trump and the cult he has created, to me.