Trump’s Cult of Personality

By January 27, 2016 January 10th, 2019 No Comments

Last weekend, Donald Trump made yet another statement that would have effectively disqualified anyone else from a presidential nomination.

“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?,” he said. “It’s like, incredible.”

It was vintage Trump: Crass, cringe-worthy, and reckless. And yet of course for Trump, this latest jib-jab won’t leave even a dent. Instead, it earned him another day or so of what candidates like to call “earned” (i.e., free) media. More headlines, and less coverage for his opponents.

Trump was obviously trying to be funny, but he’s right to imply that a lot of his support is becoming sycophantic. Trump’s become a classic “cult of personality”: to many of his supporters, his beliefs and any governing principles matter a lot less than his charisma. Trump can say or do just about anything, and to a lot of people, it won’t matter. It’s, like, incredible.