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Cult of Personality

On MSNBC, last week, former Rep. Liz Cheney said, “The party[Republican] has become seized by a cult of personality,” referring to Donald Trump, and then went on to compare Trump to dictatorial leaders in the former Soviet Union. Once again, Cheney and never-Trumpers fail to understand Donald Trump and his supporters. It is the exact opposite of a cult of personality. Most of Trump’s supporters do not love his personality; they are not enamored by him as a person. In fact, they cringe at some of his tweets and shake their heads at some of his outrageous statements. They support Donald Trump because they support his policies. Trump puts America first. He loves America as much as his voters love America. And that is the basis of his support. If every politician who is running for President put America first, the way Donald Trump does, Trump would be running in single digits. But he’s the only one. 


Barack Obama has an unbelievable public personality. He’s very articulate, charismatic, cool, gives great speeches, but his policies were disastrous for America. Higher taxes, more regulations, government control of healthcare, disastrous foreign policy, started 5 wars in the Middle East, expanded our involvement in the Afghanistan war, spied on his political opponents, weaponized the intelligence agencies against citizens, sold America out to China, race baiting, class warfare, division. If it was all about personality with Trump supporters, then Trump supporters would be Obama supporters. They aren’t because they hated what Obama was doing to America. 


It is the left that is the cult of personality. Both Obama and Bill Clinton were praised by the left for being “statesmen”, “presidential”, “articulate”, “charismatic” – all superficial personality traits.  Why do the left and never-Trumpers hate Trump? He’s not a statesman; he’s not presidential; he posts mean tweets; he calls people names. All superficial personality traits that have nothing to do with the substance of what he stands for. They call Trump a narcissist, and he is. But have we ever had a President or even a Presidential candidate who was not a narcissist on some level? Think about what they are saying just by running for President. ‘Out of the 7 billion people in the world, I am the most qualified and most capable person of running the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the history of the world.’ You must be an extreme narcissist to believe that.


Trump supporters like Trump because he was one of a few politicians in Washington who isn’t willing to sell out America to China or Ukraine or to special interests or to the big tech oligarchs. Trump’s four years as President was about putting America first. And through all of the dysfunction that his personality brings, having a President who actually puts America first was refreshing to many Americans. Trump supporters have grown tired of our politicians telling us how bad we are, how bad America is, how racist we are, how evil our founders were, how unjust our economic system is, how unfair our political system is, how America is in a decline. They’re tired of politicians tearing down statues, erasing American history, devaluing United States citizenship, devaluing the United States dollar. 


It could be argued that Donald Trump is one of the most honest politicians we’ve had in a long time. Sure, he exaggerates and overstates how good he is and how effective his policies were, but every politician does that. With Trump, the person that you see, is the real Donald Trump. Politicians like Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and George Bush are managed to such a great degree by their handlers, that the person that the American public sees, isn’t anything close to who these people are in real life. Their entire public persona is one big lie. It’s the lie that they have to tell because their voters are more interested in their personality as opposed to what they really believe and what they actually stand for.


Whether they will admit to it or not, the Democrat voters are primarily about personality; they are primarily about the superficiality of the candidate. So, it is not the Trump supporters who are caught up in the “cult of personality”, it is the Democrats and the never-Trump Republicans. They don’t like Trump’s personality, so they reject him, and they reject his policies, even though his policies make America better, safer, stronger, and they make Americans lives better. Because of Trump’s personality, they support someone who does the exact opposite, like Joe Biden, who has made America, weaker, less safe, less prosperous, and has hurt the lives of every American, except for his millionaire and billionaire campaign donors. So, Liz, which side is the cult of personality and which side is focused about policy and principles?


They would argue that Donald Trump’ personality is a reflection of his low character, and they want people of high and noble character in power. That is why they had to run George Santos out of office. Which is a fair point, but I no longer live under the delusion that our political leaders are these good, high character people. Some may be, but those are few and far between. Most of the people who we entrust with power in our country are bad people, some are outright evil. 


The incessant lying that every Washington politician engages in and the $33 trillion of debt that all of these politicians have strapped on our grandkids are signs of low character, but the one issue that screams that our leaders in Washington are outright evil is the open border and the free flow of deadly drugs into our country. Very few of our most powerful politician say a word about it. 100,000 American citizens are dying every year and that is occurring under the watch of our President, every Senator, and every congressman.


273 Americans are dying every day from drugs. And to have the power to do something to stop it, and choosing not to, is a clear sign of low or no character, or even outright evil. They do absolutely nothing to address the fact that 11 people are dying every hour from drugs. They all know it is going on, and they don’t do a damn thing about it. None of them. Regardless of how statesmanlike their personalities are, they are evil. Only an evil person sees that 273 people are dying every day, and does nothing to stop it even though they have the power to do so. They choose to let them die.  And that is the Republicans as well as the Democrats in Washington.


Donald Trump, for as bad as his personality is, wants to use his power to stop what is going on at our southern border, to prevent the senseless deaths of tens of thousands of Americans, meanwhile, the politicians with the perfect Washington personalities, sit there and do nothing, they let people die. And we vote for the evil people with the right personality as opposed to the right leader with the wrong personality. Character is more than delivering a well-written speech, character is standing up and doing the right thing regardless of the consequences, regardless of whether they call you a “racist” or a “fascist” or a “Nazi”, or even try to throw you in jail. So, we should choose character over personality because character is in short supply in American politics. 




Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.

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Judd Garrett is a former NFL player, coach and executive. He is a frequent contributer to the website Real Clear Politics, and has recently published his first novel, No Wind

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