Do Trump voters need deprogrammed? Plus: Pelosi brushes away reporters; 'Boss' was okay

By Gary Abernathy

Do Trump voters need deprogrammed? Such thinking is usually from a country like China, but not anymore.

Consider these recent comments:

“The question is whether Trump’s followers can be ‘deprogrammed’ the same way that, say, followers of Sun Myung Moon or L. Ron Hubbard have been. – Author Steven Hassan in recent interview with Vanity Fair.  

“And the question is how are we going to really almost deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump.” – Former Today Show host Katie Couric during recent appearance on “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

Such sentiments were once just eye-rolling in their ignorance. Now, though, as they gain traction, they’re more concerning. Obviously, people who would say such things are not familiar with the latest reporting out of China. Or, even more concerning, maybe they are.

The BBC recently reported on “re-education” camps in China, noting, “According to independent estimates, more than a million men and women have been detained in the sprawling network of camps, which China says exist for the ‘re-education’ of the Uighurs and other minorities.”  The story explains that “the Uighurs are a mostly Muslim Turkic minority group that number about 11 million in Xinjiang in north-western China.”

Why are they being “re-educated?” “The policy flows from China's President, Xi Jinping, who visited Xinjiang in 2014 in the wake of a terror attack by Uighur separatists,” the story explains.

According to a former camp guard who spoke with the BBC, “re-education” included spending hours memorizing passages of a book about Xi Jinping. “Those who failed tests were forced to wear three different colours of clothing based on whether they had failed one, two, or three times, he said, and subjected to different levels of punishment accordingly, including food deprivation and beatings.”

The BBC report states that “human rights groups say the Chinese government has gradually stripped away the religious and other freedoms of the Uighurs, culminating in an oppressive system of mass surveillance, detention, indoctrination, and even forced sterilisation,” and “several former detainees and a guard have told the BBC they experienced or saw evidence of an organised system of mass rape, sexual abuse and torture.”

Right now, there’s a clamor to declare some groups associated with the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 – and, by association, with Trump -- as terrorist organizations. There are people who want to classify the Capitol insurrection as a terrorist attack. Influential people in the media are suggesting that Trump supporters are cult members in need of deprogramming.

As I’ve said many times, Trump’s refusal to accept the election results was indefensible. The assault on the Capitol was one of the most shameful days in American history, and anyone who participated in the attack should be fully prosecuted. But what we’re witnessing is a widespread effort to discredit anyone who supported Trump or has concerns about how the election was conducted, as well as lumping all Trump supporters with those who attacked the Capitol. The rhetoric being used about “deprogramming” Trump supporters is reckless, dangerous and concerning – and will only make our divisions more pronounced. What color clothing should be worn by those who fail the deprogramming test?

“Deprogramming” is a suggestion one would expect to hear from China, not the United States. People like Steven Hassan, Katie Couric and anyone else making such suggestions should consider a bit of re-education for themselves on the topics of politics, freedom and liberty.  

Pelosi brushes away reporters like lint from her shoulder

It’s amazing what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can get away with and receive almost no criticism from the mainstream media. Case in point: On Thursday, Pelosi was asked a question by a Washington Examiner reporter regarding Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) suggestion that he might call FBI agents to testify at this week’s impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

Pelosi replied, “Your question is a waste of time,” and moved on to the next reporter. After determining she didn’t like the next question either – about removing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) from committees – she gave a brusque reply, then announced, “That’s it,” and marched away.

The media’s hero worship of Pelosi was made clear during Trump’s first impeachment when she began sporting a huge brooch that was later described as the “Mace of the Republic” symbol, representing the “legislative authority of the House of Representatives.” In fact, it was so ostentatious – just so ridiculously huge – that it made Pelosi look like she was auditioning for a role in a Marvel Comics movie.

But the media’s infatuation with her continues unabashed, and their subservience to her is regularly displayed, even when she treats them so dismissively.

Bruce Springsteen’s Super Bowl spot was, well, fine

Most of the Super Bowl commercials Sunday evening were underwhelming, but one getting a lot of attention on Monday was Bruce Springsteen’s Jeep commercial, with its theme of national healing. Some are criticizing Springsteen for even doing a commercial, since he’s supposed to be one of those artists who are too “pure” for such things. Another criticism was that he was calling for national unity without insisting there be a “reckoning.” For more on such thinking, see the first item above.

As CNN reminds us, “Springsteen is a Democratic Party donor and was a sharp critic of former President Donald Trump. He voted for President Joe Biden and performed ‘Land of Hope and Dreams’ at his inauguration last month.”

The Boss’s commercial was fine, another in a long line of generic “let’s be united” pleas – designed to offend no one, forgettable by tomorrow, but certainly not worthy of condemnation.

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