The International Cultic Studies Association lists the defining characteristics of a 'cult'. I fully agree with the 'list' and also the assertion that the GOP meets most of several atttributes, perhaps all characteristics that define the word 'cult'.
Here is the list as 'published':
- The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.
- The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).
- The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).
- The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
- The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members’ participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, [torture,] lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).
- The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.
Someone posted recently that the two parties (Dems and Gops) are indistinguisable from one another. That's just not true and, if the media had done its job, that pernicious meme might not have taken root as it most certainly has! Clearly --it was the GOP which planted it and only the GOP has benefited from it.
The occupation movement has targeted the 'ruling elite' of just one percent! That they are a 'ruling elite' and that they amount to no more than one percent of the total population is the obvious result of GOP policies favoring their base and their base is, in fact, the increasingly tiny but powerful ruling elite.
I have many issues with the Democratic party but being GOP-lite is not one of them. For all their faults, 'being as bad as the GOP' is NOT among them. I can cite three essential and defining characteristics that distinguish Democrats from the cult of GOPism:
- EVERY Dem has presided over greater GDP and JOB GROWTH than has ANY Republican Prez since 1900;
- EVERY GOP 'tax cut' has been followed by a recession/depression.
- EVERY GOP TAX CUT has resulted in the transfer of wealth UPWARD to a 'ruling elite' which is now just ONE PERCENT of the total population.