Joe Walsh’s “cult” comments are the new “basket of deplorables”

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Joe Walsh, the former one-term United States congressman from Illinois, and a one-time nationally syndicated radio talk show host, has ended his long-shot bid to unseat President Donald Trump in a Republican Primary.

“The reason is simple,” Walsh wrote on his campaign website, “The Republican Party is a cult. No one, no matter his or her profile, can defeat Donald Trump in a Republican Primary.”

I can agree with him on the latter point. President Trump isn’t going anywhere because he presides over one of the greatest economies in recent American history. In fact, a recent Gallup poll found that “nine in 10 Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in their personal life.”

However, Walsh’s former statement, the one about the Republican Party being a cult, is just another ad hominem attack on Trump’s supporters, on the basis of Trump’s character.

Walsh uses “cult” in a derogatory manner

When a person uses the term “cult,” it is almost always in a derogatory manner. Thus, when Walsh called the Republican Party a cult, he wasn’t paying it a compliment.

By definition, Walsh isn’t that far off when comparing Trump supporters to cult followers. defines cult as so:

“An instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers.”

Let’s break that down.

Veneration means “a feeling or expression of awe or reverence.” Yes, you can say that a lot of Trump supporters share that feeling about the president.

“Manifested by a body of admirers.” Yep, Trump has a lot of admirers and it is manifested — or, “made clear” — through red hats and raucous rallies.

But that definition, in and of itself, is not a negative thing. To express great admiration for a man is not wrong. But Walsh thinks Trump’s “cult followers” are mindless zombies expressing blind loyalty. And that’s how he’s lowered himself to the same sunken level where you can find many of the loons on the Left.

Walsh’s “cult” statement equivalent to Clinton’s “basket of deplorables”

In an op-ed in the Washington Post this week, Walsh wrote that the Republican Party “has become a cult, and [Trump]’s a cult leader. He doesn’t have supporters; he has followers. And in their eyes, he can do no wrong.”

The problem with this statement is that he has slapped a label on an entire party and has put 60 million Americans into a box — or a basket, if you will.

That’s right, a basket is probably more fitting. After all, who amongst us can forget Hillary Clinton’s disgraceful dismissal of half of Trump’s supporters as “a basket of deplorables” during her failed 2016 presidential campaign?

Clinton had little respect for those who could support a man with such a bombastic personality. Trump was persona non grata in the political scene, and now, apparently, Walsh has joined in on that chorus.

In Walsh’s opinion, Trump’s supporters are one and the same

Trying to put people into boxes as if they’re products from an assembly line is an exercise in futility. Slapping a label on a single person, let alone 60 million of them, is downright foolish and immoral.

Walsh cites in his op-ed at least three examples of how he talked with Trump supporters in various settings as he was on the campaign trail ahead of the Iowa Caucuses. Walsh claims that every one of them appeared to be in lockstep in their blind loyalty to Trump.

Among the charges leveled by Walsh about Trump’s supporters:

  • They all believe Trump has never lied.
  • They claim Trump has never golfed since becoming president.
  • They believe hundreds of miles of new wall have been built along the southern border.
  • Nary a person felt Trump’s Ukraine dealings were wrong.
  • None understood just how high our deficits were.

(And there are more universalities Walsh attributed to those he ran into.)

There are at least two problems with what Walsh is doing.

First, he’s using absolute statements when describing those Trump supporters with whom he conversed in the run-up to the Iowa Caucuses. I have a hard time believing he’s being completely truthful that every single person he met believed the exact same thing as everybody else. There had to have been at least some variance on one or two of the issues he mentioned.

Secondly, even if Walsh communicated with a few thousand Iowans and most seemed in lockstep with one another, that’s only a minuscule fraction of the 60 million Americans who voted for Trump in 2016.

It is inexplicably dishonest and unethical to assume all Trump voters can be pigeonholed together as a cult of mindless zombies who genuflect in Trump’s presence and think — in Joe’s words — “he can do no wrong.”

Labels are illogical and unethical

When you consider the complexity of human nature and the minute differences that make individuals unique, it is completely illogical to apply anything other than broad labels on groups of two or more people.

For instance, if you threw me into a room with nine other men, the only label you could definitively apply to us is “men.” (Even though Leftists will try to tell you gender is fluid, but I’m not opening that can of lunacy right now.)

Sure, maybe we’re all Christian. Maybe we’re all Trump supporters. Perhaps we all love ice cream, like to watch football, and crave the summer months. Those are all broad labels that can be applied to small groups of people, if verified. But try to use a more precise label and watch how convoluted it gets — Lutheran, libertarian, butter pecan waffle cone eating, Chicago Bears fans.

Whoops. That suddenly opens the door for a lot of inaccuracies, doesn’t it? And that’s just for 10 men in a room. Try applying Joe Walsh’s very specific charges of blind loyalty and willful ignorance to 60 million Americans.

It’s illogical, and it’s unethical to do so. It’s carpet bombing and slandering a group of people for no other reason than they share one thing — or one man — in common whom Walsh disdains.

It’s like when Leftists call America a “racist country” just because there are, in fact, some racists in it. Or when angry feminists call men male chauvinists because they happened to encounter a few bad eggs. Or how about when malcontents rant about “white privilege” despite the numerous “variables other than race that determine individual success in America.”

Walsh has lied about — or abandoned — his emphasis on “the issues”

Walsh has been a staunch conservative for many years now, most notably when he got elected to Congress in 2010 while riding the tidal wave known as the “Tea Party movement.”

It is because he is a conservative that I took a liking to his views and would tune in daily to his radio show. One of the phrases that Walsh regularly spewed on both his radio show and via his Twitter account was this:

“It’s not about any politician, it’s about the issues.”

To Walsh, what a candidate stood for and ran on was more important than the candidate himself.

I believed in that viewpoint the first time I heard it, and I still believe in it to this day. In fact, it’s one of the leading arguments I make to anyone who wonders why I, a Christian, can support a man as deeply flawed as Donald J. Trump.

But Walsh recently said in an interview with Fox News: “I probably don’t agree with Bernie Sanders on any policy issue, but I would rather have a socialist in the White House than a dictator, a king, a man who thinks he’s above the law.”

Read that quote again slowly. And again. And once more. Let it sink in.

Walsh said, “I probably don’t agree with Bernie Sanders … on any policy issue …”

In short, Walsh either lied to us all those years about him supporting issues over politicians, or he has lost his way due to his increasing Trump Derangement Syndrome.

For a self-described Tea Party Conservative to claim that he’d rather have a socialist in the Oval Office than a man who — Walsh claims — “thinks he’s above the law” is absolutely incoherent.

Socialism would completely destroy America, just as it has every other country that has tried it in the past and present. It would unsettle the stability of the world along with it. Meanwhile, America has not enjoyed such prosperity and security in decades as it does right now under Trump.

A deeply flawed Donald Trump is still better than a choir boy Democrat

After his withdrawal from the Republican Primary race, Walsh also wrote on his website: “It’s incumbent on us as a country — and as citizens — to reject the current direction of the Republican Party and work to elect Democrats who are closest to our values.”

There’s just one — or at least one — problem with that statement: There are no Democrats running for President who are “closest to our values.” The Democrats have moved so far to the left that the party is a shadow of what it used to be.

And Walsh wants to criticize the Republican Party for changing!

If you truly believe in conservative values and principles — as Joe Walsh claims he does — there really should be no debate about who you would vote for.

Elections are about choices:

  • If the choice is between a bombastic blowhard who believes in the sanctity of every human life or a pleasant Democrat who is pro baby death, I’ll take the bombastic blowhard.
  • If the choice is between a bombastic blowhard who defends religious liberty and seeks to protect and defend Christian values, or a pleasant Democrat who wants to stifle the public proclamation of faith, I’ll take the bombastic blowhard.
  • If the choice is between a bombastic blowhard who recognizes the indisputable scientific fact that there are only two genders or a pleasant Democrat who believes in gender fluidity, thinks it’s fine for biological males to compete in female sports, doesn’t care if grown men in drag go into bathrooms with younger girls, I’ll take the bombastic blowhard.
  • If the choice is between a bombastic blowhard who rescinds crippling regulations on America’s businesses to encourage growth and job creation, or a pleasant Democrat who wants to tax the “top 1%” — which, in reality, would trickle down further than that when they realize it doesn’t bring in enough revenue to cover their ridiculously overpriced entitlement programs — I’ll take the bombastic blowhard.

I’m not going to bore you with every single “issue” for which I stand, because I’m sure you get the point.

Joe Walsh lost his way when he started caring more about the “politician” in the White House than the “issues” he holds dear.

No, Joe. The Republican Party is not a cult and not all Trump supporters are “cult followers.”

The vast majority of people who did vote — or will vote — for Donald Trump are proud Americans. They would rather have a rough-around-the-edges individual in the White House who promotes, protects, and defends the issues they deeply care about than a couth individual who is looking to destroy the foundation upon which this country was built.

Ryan Glab
Ryan Glab
A Christian, conservative man seeking an open mic and a stage in the crowded, clamorous barroom of life. Fear God, love Jesus, and always seek truth.