When does a following become so avid, so unquestioning, so blindly loyal that it deserves to be called a cult?
That question, and that label, have spiked in recent discourse. “We’re in a strange place. It’s becoming a cultish thing, isn’t it?” U.S. Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, mused to reporters last Wednesday. He continued: “It’s not a good place for any party to have a cult-like situation as it relates to a president that happens to be purportedly of the same party.”
No, no, no, joked Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina: “You got to be organized to be a cult. ... I don’t think we’ll ever qualify as a cult.” Or maybe Graham was deflecting; after all, in May 2016 he had tweeted: “If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed.......and we will deserve it.” What a difference 13 months make.
Happy Birthday, Mr. President!— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) June 14, 2018
You’re keeping your promise to make America safer and more prosperous.
And unfortunately for me, you’re doing all this without losing a step in your golf game!@realDonaldTrump #TrumpBirthday pic.twitter.com/PJRa54FVAP
(Alternate word of the week: toady.)
“Cult 45” – often seen as a hashtag on social media – spoofs Colt 45, the malt liquor brand. “45” is a reference to the 45th president. Colt .45 is a firearm cartridge; Colt 45 is a 1950 western starring Randolph Scott.