Meet my neighbors, ctd

The Donald, and his li’l buddy Franklin, are Big Time here in North Carolina.

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Rev. Franklin Graham did not utter the word “impeachment” as he spoke to thousands of Christians here this week, the latest stop on a long-running tour he has dubbed Decision America — a title with political and religious undertones.

But evangelicals who turned out to see Graham didn’t necessarily need his warning that “our country is in trouble” in order to tap into their deep-rooted support for President Donald Trump during an intensifying political crisis hundreds of miles north in Washington.

Evangelicals are no more capable of thinking carefully about The Donald than they are capable of thinking carefully about the Genesis creation account, because both are connected to self-identity and sense of worth. They’re never going to admit they’ve been snookered, or even expose themselves to the danger of having no choice but to admit it.

Trumpism has all the elements of a cult; it is a movement centered on blind obedience of, and loyalty to, a single, charismatic individual who has all the answers, who is going to restore greatness and dignity even as he leads to ruin.

It all reminds me that the swastika remains a potent and omnipresent reminder of the evil of Adolf Hitler; it is all but a commonplace to learn of it being used to deface headstones in Jewish cemeteries.

So, occasionally, I wonder: Are we at the birth of another dangerous, anti-social, long-lived subculture? Will red baseball caps become … code, an ornamental shibboleth that says, “I belong”?

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