This was an interesting article and premise. It makes sense to me after seeing what Tea Partiers do at Town Hall meetings, how they will vote for one of their own even if it means a Democrat wins. They are fundamentalists. That I always knew but that it has the dynamics of a cult explains the Clyde Bundy craziness when the reality is this guy was trying to avoid paying lease fees by declaring himself not owing to the 'pharisees' but instead should go to his god-- local government under his control.
It explains something else I have argued and why it didn't work. I said Occupy had to go political if it hoped to make a real difference. It could not stay on the streets and get anything really done. But it never did. Why? Because it didn't have the fervor of religion behind it is one possibility.
When you hear someone like Ted Cruz speaking with religious zeal or you listen to a Dinesh D'Souza as he argues intellectually why Obama has destroyed our country but it can be taken back (taken back by whom you might ask... somebody knows by whom and they are backing D'Souza, I'd bet), with guys like these two, what you see and hear are either religious zealots or charlatans, snake oil salesmen. Take your pick which.
Hearing Limbaugh again last week, it's easier to see him as a charlatan. Sure he goes for the slick answers and ignores many facts on anything he's ranting about, but he barely sounds as though he believes it. He is making millions off saying it but does he believe it? I am not sure. He sure knows who keeps him on the air.
Ted Cruz though, he is a born messiah and as radical as those who lead the Caliph type cults in the Middle East. He seems to totally believe it. Likewise D'Souza . He puts together a string of facts for his books, makes them sound very intellectual and gets best sellers-- often by the right wing buying up a lot of them to start and get them ratings. True believers follow because he gives intellectual credence to what they already want to believe. Cruz provides the emotional depth as he uses the oration of an evangelist which he really comes across as being-- evangelism for a new America where Christian believers make the rules.
Do facts matter to any of these purveyors of this new religion (which often encompasses foreign wars necessary to keep unity among those believers)? Of course, but they have to be carefully chosen and used. When I was in churches, they called it the satan sandwich which suits it well, whether you believe in a real Satan or not-- string together two truths and in the middle is a lie. The lie is believed because of what surrounds it.
Americans need to be very aware that two truths in a statement with a lie doesn't make the lie have any value or even connection to the supposed conclusion. A few classes in basic logic would help.
Facts: Advanced civilizations have run on oil. Canada has oil shale that can produce oil. A pipeline can be built. Jobs can be created. Liberals don't like things that damage the environment. All can be true or false but totally unconnected to each other. To draw conclusions from two facts, they have to be related.
Ted Cruz having the ability to speak like an orator of religious powers does not mean he's spouting religion. It does not mean he's lying. It does not mean he is bad. To figure out where he fits, you have to read his words without the emotions. See what his agenda is not where his passion lies or how he emotionally inspires the listener (this is also true for Obama who is no small shakes on oratory himself).
When someone like Glenn Beck wants to do charitable work for immigrant children, the Tea Party base jumps all over him. The fact that he's always done such work is ignored by the right and left who are just looking for something to use-- looking for what they want to believe already.