Kearns and Sons RS Aesthetics

The Cult of Republicanism

By Marty Essen, Victor


A cult is a group of people that shuts out conflicting information and rejects facts in favor of an alternative reality.


It’s time to call today’s Republican Party what it is: a cult. The Republican Party hasn’t always been a cult, but you can trace its conversion to one to the late 1980s and the rise of hate-based AM talk radio shows. Commentators, such as Rush Limbaugh, not only supplied the venom, but they also delivered it with a hypnotic cadence that deep-seated their message. Fox News followed, claiming to be “fair and balanced,” while doing the opposite.


To facilitate the conversion, the GOP targeted people who were already controlled by the church and were therefore more susceptible to manipulation than those who were free thinkers. Issues used to gain and maintain followers included opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion. It didn’t matter that Jesus was never quoted in the Bible as opposing either issue, or that the Bible actually contradicts the Republican definition of life at conception (Genesis 2:7 and Job 33:4), stoking such beliefs garnered unquestioned loyalty and allowed for the manipulation to commence.


In reality, the men behind the curtain couldn’t have cared less about abortion, same-sex marriage, or the additional issue of guns. Instead, what they were really after was increasing their wealth via massive tax cuts and the freedom to cheat and pollute. Their manufactured “moral” issues were merely a brilliantly evil way to get cult members to vote against themselves.


For those who don’t believe me, I present global warming as Exhibit #1:
That global warming is real, human-caused, and deadly is not in dispute in the real world. NASA, NOAA, the US Military, peer-reviewed climate scientists, and college science departments all agree on this. The only large organization in the world that disputes anthropogenic global warming is the Republican Party. And they do so not with scientists, but with devious misinformation that cult members lap up without question. Hence children will suffer so CEOs can get richer.


Still not convinced? Let’s look at Exhibit #2:
The men behind the curtain had their biggest challenge when it came to getting Donald Trump elected. Although money was their personal lord and savior, what if their followers believed differently? Jesus preached in favor of kindness and turning the other cheek. He also preached against braggarts and the rich. Essentially, Donald Trump is the antithesis of everything Jesus stood for. Therefore, anyone voting for Trump would have to cast their Christianity aside.


A tough task? Apparently not. The Cult of Republicanism turned out to be stronger than the religious beliefs of roughly 62 million people. In fact, multitudes of Republicans wrote their local newspapers and posted on social media that Trump had actually been chosen by Jesus! Think about that for a minute. If Jesus existed as depicted in the Bible, why would he choose a man like Trump to be America’s president? The only thing more ridiculous would be choosing Dr. Hannibal Lecter to perform your liver transplant surgery.


Although there is no simple solution for deprogramming a cult, we can look behind the curtain for guidance. While influential Republicans rarely admit to being anti-education, their actions say otherwise: the right-wing comic strip Mallard Fillmore frequently rails against schools, conservative talk show hosts rant about intellectual elites, and Republican politicians slash education funding every chance they get.


Trump correctly bragged he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any voters. He also deftly proclaimed his love for the poorly educated. Cults don’t question, and education is a cult’s greatest enemy. Therefore, for the rest of us, vigorously supporting education is our best hope for eventually returning the GOP to sanity.

Marty Essen is a college speaker and award-winning author of two environmentally themed books. His third book, a science fiction political satire, called “Time is Irreverent,” will be published in 2018. His website is

4 Responses to The Cult of Republicanism
  1. Robert Padgett
    July 19, 2017 | 4:00 pm

    Marty Essen makes a clear, cogent argument about the Cult we know as the Republican Party.
    He is intelligent, and he makes valid points.
    If we look back at former Republican Presidents, most often cited is Ronald Reagan.
    Our current GOP would think of a younger Reagan as a Communist, yet the current POTUS has befriended the Russian Mobsters who loaned him Millions when he defrauded the Italian Mob at his Casinos in Atlantic City.
    His Trump Towers was a haven for Russian Oligarchs, and the inflated prices paid to Trump were none-too-well concealed money laundering. Would Richard Nixon be an acceptable choice?
    He signed into law the EPA…the famed Communist hunting lawyer on Joe McCarthy’s side would be an anathema to the Koch Brothers.
    Fox news is entertainment, not news. The Millionaire news readers have been charged with sexual harassment, including Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes. The bloviating Rush Limbaugh is a spreader of half-truths which the ignorant think are very wise perceptions. El Rushbo’s number of radio outlets are shrinking, and his syndicator is in Bankruptcy, yet the listener follows his daily hate speech and laps it up like milk in front of a kitten.
    The U.S. Constitution provides for two solutions: Impeachment or Removal from Office due to mental or physical impairment. The current GOP waves copies of that same Constitution, yet many cannot even comprehend what it says.
    Idiocracy is what the GOP White House and Congress have become. A Cult of Idiocracy. And true Patriots will still blame President Obama or “Crooked Hillary” yet the enemy of the People are members of the GOP leadership who said to “Repeal and Replace” the Affordable Care Act for seven years, and what do they do? They cannot even get 51 members of their Party to support a horrendous abortion of Public Healthcare.
    And Ivanka has no business sitting in on any meeting, except maybe with the folks who are wholesaling her failed line of handbags and shoes.

  2. Jade Beaty
    July 18, 2017 | 12:07 pm

    Deep gratitude to the editors of the Bitterroot Star. Fairly new to the Valley, I was unaware of Marty Essen and now I am a fan. We would all do well to study how mental programming works. Patriarchal religion has been used to control the masses for countless centuries, by keeping us in fear and obedience. What’s wonderful about our current era is that we can choose what we allow into our consciousness, so that we can cultivate a sense of possibility through liberation from layers of installed fear and control, and enthusiasm for creating a society that serves all. Thank you for your courage, Marty Essen.

  3. Wilma D Ellis
    July 17, 2017 | 10:16 pm

    Perhaps much of what Mr. Essen uses for fact appears vague and subjective to you, but, I suggest they do to a great many Americans. What can you say about people who will vote for someone who brags about groping women and urges his audience to attack reporters, says he could stand in middle of street, shoot someone and still get the votes? That’s not reasonable or sane. What can you say about voters who consistently vote for candidates who don’t respond to voters’ issues, rather than changing their vote, vote on hope and promise alone? That’s not sensible by any means, or, reasonable. They subject themselves and their families to continued need. Only my perspective. I do not think is belittling to consider there may be facts apparent, without being said. In fact, too many facts!

  4. Aaron Rhodes
    July 14, 2017 | 1:13 am

    I typically vote Republican – and I agree with the final statement in Marty Essen’s recent opinion article “The Cult of Republicanism”. I think the statement should be expanded to say that education is our best hope for keeping everyone sane, including the GOP. That’s all I can possibly agree with in his article.

    Much of what Mr. Essen uses for fact or proof is vague, subjective, out of context, or otherwise questionable. He uses issues in hot contention as though they were obvious foregone conclusions. Through invective language, he caricatures his targets and so tries to elevate himself.

    Can he prove enough of these claims to back up his argument? Does it make sense to his readers, having life experience and common sense to draw from, that Republicanism can be defined as a cult? Is the Republican Party comprised of duped simpletons reeled in by evil rich villains in the shadows? Are there “men behind the curtain” manipulating millions of idiots like comic book villains?

    An educated, or informed, person should actively seek out intelligent people with whom they disagree for debate and discussion. This isn’t Mr. Essen’s interest. His is a typical narrow, weak argument based on pigeonholing, belittling, and dismissing his targets. The Republican voters I’ve met, like most people, are by and large reasonable, sane people who arrived at their viewpoint due to life experience and consideration.

    Education has always been necessary to maintain sanity. A sane person is of sound mind, reasonable, and sensible. Any educated person who reads Mr. Essen’s flimsy arguments and insults will reject them in favor of debate and discussion. They will reject his narrow opinion of other viewpoints in favor of respect for people, whether they agree or not.

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