"Why does he mean more to you than us?”



I come from the buckle of the Bible belt and I stay in touch with friends from back home. Nothing here is that new to me, but even if you've heard this story before, this retelling is worth your time. 

What I want to single out here is the way that MAGA and other movements can use members' deeply held (and often reasonable) beliefs to bring them in and then, once they are completely immersed, indoctrinate them into a new worldview that often directly contradicts some of those initial beliefs. This is not a simple process. It happen slowly and stealthily and its effectiveness is not limited to the stupid or the gullible. I've seen smart, reasonable people -- the last ones you'd expect -- get sucked in.  

Of course, more often it is the first ones you'd expect, cruel and foolish people with longstanding reactionary tendencies. The closer to the door they start, the easier it is to get them in the temple, but even the most likely recruits are changed by the indoctrination, made less empathetic, more childish, more paranoid and yet more credulous.   

From the Washington Post:

Like other families with split political affiliations, they had some yelling matches after Trump took office, especially over the former president’s immigration policies. Claire was a Canadian-born Catholic drawn to the Republican Party by her fierce opposition to abortion, and Trump had won her over with promises to champion her position. Celina, Laurie and their three younger (Read more...)