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MAGA Maoism

What could possess one of America's two main political parties to transform itself into a cult of personality in which obsequiousness trumps merit? An examination of the Communist Party of China during Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution suggests some striking parallels.

BERKELEY – How does former US President Donald Trump still command the Republican Party’s complete allegiance? Everyone knows he has terrible judgment and a vindictive, petty personality. Even Trump’s own daughter and son-in-law are reportedly distancing themselves from him.

And yet, whatever Trump says is still gospel for the overwhelming majority of Republican officeholders and commentators. For recognizing the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s election, Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming was stripped of her GOP House leadership position.

Now, the furthest any Republican will go in challenging their dear leader is former Vice President Mike Pence’s observation that he and Trump “will never see eye to eye” on the events of January 6, 2021, the day Trump incited a violent insurrection at the US Capitol. Some of the gullible Trump supporters who stormed the building, seeking to block the certification of Biden’s victory, also wanted to execute Pence by hanging.

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