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MSNBC’s Joy Reid compared former President Trump to lethal cult leader Jim Jones as well as genocidal dictators Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler in her latest attack against Republicans on Monday.
Trump appeared at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio on Saturday in support of Senate candidate J.D. Vance. A panel on Reid’s show, including columnist Will Bunch and Mother Jones Washington bureau chief David Corn, discussed what they saw as several connections to the QAnon conspiracy group, including the music playing in the background.
Bunch suggested that this is further proof that the Republican Party has fully morphed into a cult.
“There’s no escaping it, and we have to talk about this, because we’re seeing the core leadership base of one of our two political parties transubstantiate from a political party into a cult before our eyes,” Bunch said.
He explained, “[Trump]’s having a lot of problems right now with the documents probe, with the January 6th probe closing in. He is seeing some of his support peel off, so he wants to make the hardest core of supporters more rabid, more committed to him personally, and frankly, with some of these Q’s who were more than willing to commit violence on his behalf, and people need to pay attention to this and be alarmed.”
Reid jumped in by suggesting that Trump himself has become a kind of “warlord” cult leader like Jim Jones with his efforts to rally followers.
“I mean, it’s warlordism. What he’s doing is because, as Will said, he’s in trouble. He’s decided to become a warlord, and he’s gathering his people around him much the way Jim Jones when he was under fire decided to hand out the Kool-Aid, much the way the movement in the 1930s around Mussolini and the one around Hitler in Germany, let’s just be honest,” Reid said.
She also quoted from Corn’s latest book where he claims that the Republican Party has been “leaning” towards fascism for 70 years and put the blame on “millions” of Trump voters.
“‘The problem was Republicans. The voters, the people, not just those few thousand in the January 6th rage driven mob, but the millions who accepted Trump’s reality-free and irrational assertions, who look to this dissembling power mad egoist for the truth. Republican office holders devoted themselves to Trump because he owned the allegiance of these voters. He had won the Republican masses. His prejudices, his lies, his resentments were theirs. This is not just a problem of Trump but a problem of the people who follow him’,” Reid quoted.
Corn reiterated his claim that Republican leaders have been pushing more and more extremist policies and candidates as the years go by.
“They want red meat. They want the reddest meat possible. ‘I can do that.’ And he did it in 2016. It worked. It almost worked again in 2020. This is escalation that he’s now just merging MAGA with Qanon. We should call it QMAGA or something, and throw in Christian nationalism,” Corn said.
Reid has frequently attacked Trump and his supporters and compared them to controversial figures. In 2021, Reid compared Trump and his followers to Al-Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden and his terrorist organization after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.