In mid-June, a number of media sources reported on a cult in Kenya that advised members to starve themselves to meet Jesus. At the time of the reports, some 318 people had died, and another 65 taken into custody were still refusing to eat.
The cult leader–one Paul Nthenge Mackenzie– was a taxi driver before he founded Good News international church, promoted the Shakahola Forest as a refuge and ordered his followers to starve so they could go to heaven before his predicted end of the world date. He also urged children not to attend school, saying that education was not encouraged by the Bible, and he had a YouTube channel where he encouraged his followers to reject modern aspects of life (You Tube isn’t modern??), like wearing wigs or using digital payment services.
It’s unclear what grievances led Kenyans to join that cult.
Many Americans reading about this undoubtedly felt superior, assuming a degree of sophistication that would prevent acceptance of obviously lunatic ideas.
Let me share with you just a few positions from the official Republican platform of the State of Georgia.
A section on “election Integrity” demands English-only ballots, an end to early voting, an end to automatic voter registration when getting a driver’s license, and an explicit county right to ban “Dominion” voting machines–the usual political power play.
Then it got mean. And weird.
The official position of Georgia schools shall be that there are only two sexes, biological males and biological females,” and, “We oppose transgender normalizing curriculum and pronoun use.” It’s not just “Critical Race Theory” that makes an appearance, but “The 1619 Project,” “DIE (Diversity, Inclusion, Equity,” “Social Emotional Learning,” and “Drag Queen Story Hour” come up, too, all of which are pretty much shorthand for “right-wing propaganda hack Christopher Rufo is my guiding light and I will promote whatever he says in whatever words he says it because I, as a lowly Georgia Republican, have no brain for doing brain-thinking on my own.”
There’s a specific section banning state funds from being used to “enable participation with, or show support for” what they call “Globalist Organizations,” like the World Health Organization or the United Nations. These are paranoias from the decaying John Birch Society but filtered back through thinly veiled “globalist” rhetoric to make it even more clear that Georgia Republicans mean it in an antisemitic way.
There is also opposition to the “Great Reset” (whatever that is) and to attention to “Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG)”.
There’s a very evasive section opposing the removal of “any” monuments or other honors honoring “veterans of any conflict,” which would almost pass as a phrase not specifically intended to protect traitors of the Confederacy if they didn’t tack on a reference to racist traitor monument Stone Mountain at the end of it.
And of course there’s support for a total abortion ban.
There is also support for a ban on prescribing puberty blockers, and a call to “Protect Georgia Food from Vaccines.”
The Georgian who posted this description noted that the state’s governor, Brian Kemp, and its Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, hadn’t attended their party’s state convention, despite the fact that
This isn’t the riffraff of the base; these people are at least committed enough to Republicanism to pretend to be “delegates,” at least until Saturday afternoon rolls around and they’ve had enough pretending at civics for the day. And there’s nothing they can think of that needs fixing in the nation, nothing at all, except to make sure that “Drag Queen Story Hour” and “CRT” and “Globalist Organizations” get what’s coming to them. The party is for nothing; it’s only against whatever the last non-Republican said, anywhere, ever.
The poster’s rant–and it was a rant, albeit an informative one–made me think of the videos of the January 6th insurrection: the QAnon guy with the horns, the large number of confederate flags and flags purporting to represent Christianity–the sheer insanity of it all.
Kenyans followed the lunatic ravings of Paul Nthenge Mackenzie. The January 6th rioters and (as of April, 2023) seventy percent of self-identified Republicans still support the equally insane ravings of Donald Trump.
The bottom line: if they want to win their primary elections, even rational Republican candidates running for municipal and state offices have no choice but to pander to the majority of truly deranged members of what is no longer a political party but a racist, anti-Semitic, misogynist “grievance” cult.
That reality is what has led so many former Republicans to become”Never Trumpers.”
Until and unless the GOP returns to sanity or is replaced by a genuine political party, those of us who haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid need to vote straight Blue.