Reading Time: 5 minutes (This ended being an altered version of this:
Reading Time: 5 minutes

1 Corinthians 10:14

Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

Jeremiah 10:2-5

Thus says the Lord: “Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, for the customs of the peoples are vanity. A tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move. Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good.”

Ezekiel 16:17

You also took your beautiful jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself images of men, and with them played the whore.

Romans 1:22-23

Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Take your pick; there are many more.

Trump’s back. Super-spreader events are back. Irrational idol worship is back and bigger than ever.

“This time it’s gold,” growls the trailer.

And waving a Disney wand.

And wearing flip flops.

I’m not sure that CPAC isn’t being trolled. They’re no stranger to controversy since it appears they have either been trolled by a Poe’s Law set designer or have purposefully let Nazi symbology creep back into their midst:

Remember the precedence:

Christians can be just as hypocritical as any group of people in the world, though arguably more so given the scope of what their holy book says, the number of different authors and confused theologies, and the range of moral transitions we have gone through throughout history.

There is good reason that there are 42,000 different denominations of Christianity – one for everyone, it seems – since you can pick and choose your morality depending on what day it is and what mood you are in. It’s Tuesday, I like love and hate slavery today; let’s find some defence for this in the Bible. It’s Wednesday today – my slavery support day – I’ll look for those verses in the Bible that support this moral outlook.

It seems pretty stark here (at CPAC), though. They have erected a golden idol “worship” at a cultish gathering. They are deeply religious people, apparently, hysterically praising their cult leader. The Golden Calf sits, pride of place, and no one thinks to question the religious incongruity. There’s a lot of wrong here.

His speech: It’s the same old lies. Railing against mainstream media, alternative energy, culture wars talking points and openly lying. My favourite part was this obvious lie:

“We all knew that the Biden administration was going to be bad – but none of us imagined just how bad they would be, and how far left they would go … Joe Biden has had the most disastrous first month of any president in modern history.”

Biden has contextually very good approval ratings. Indeed, compared to other Republican leaders at this point, they are over 10% better than Trump’s, and absolutely identical to Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Trump is talking absolute hogwash. He is openly lying.

Republicans don’t care about his lies. This much we know. They just happily repeat them in robotic fashion. We’ve seen it from lawmakers and supporters alike, and pro-Trump supporters on this blog.

But it also has to be said that his power is already waning:

But the annual CPAC straw poll found that only 55% of attendees want Trump to be the Republican nominee in 2024, ahead of Florida governor Ron DeSantis at 21% (the conference is taking place in Florida), South Dakota governor Kristi Noem at 4% and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley at 3%.

That said, the other competitive candidates, if that can be said to be the case, are merely mirror image attempts at Trump – DeSantis and Noem.

Noem is an interesting one. The South Dakota governor has overseen the single worst death rate in the US per capita. In August, Noem allowed and openly supported the state playing host to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, where close to half a million people gathered in a South Dakota county. One controversial study concluded that it directly led to 250,000 Covid cases over the next month.

It seems in the US that the more people you kill, the more popular you get.

It’s a financial consideration, too, as one paper states: “We conclude that the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally generated public health costs of approximately $12.2 billion.”

Look at Pence – how the great have fallen. You cross Trump, your Presidential support ratings plummet to lower than 1%…

Trump’s idol worship may be waning to some degree over the larger demographic but he’s still the only game in town. The GOP desperately need a tempered down version of Trump who can bridge a calm and rational gap between the Trumpist white-supremacist, conspiracy-theorist wing, and the fiscal conservatives who sit at a more moderate end of the Republican political spectrum.

Evan McMullin, executive director of Stand Up Republic and a former presidential candidate, tweeted in response: “It’s still ‘his party,’ but there’s a growing number ready for something new.”

Otherwise, he, or the GOP, is relying on a shrinking yet ever more fervent and frothing portion of the electorate to get back into power. And it’s simply not enough. Astute strategists surely know this, and yet lawmakers and CPAC organisers still pander to this somewhat impotent arm of the Republican base. That strategy failed in 2020, and there’s good reason to think it will fail again. It’s divisive and doesn’t persuade the centre-ground. Trump may be unbelievably popular with these people to the point that they erect golden statues of him and lay their hands on him in prayer, but there are not enough of these people. It’s a numbers game and the Trump numbers don’t add up.

In the meantime, this cult will dwindle, and the cult leader has already committed slow legal suicide.

Move over Trump, welcome in Cyrus Vance.

Stay in touch! Like A Tippling Philosopher on Facebook:

A Tippling Philosopher

You can also buy me a cuppa. Or buy some of my awesome ATP merchandise! Please… It justifies me continuing to do this!

Avatar photo

Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...