What exactly are sheeple?

“Show me someone without an ego, and I’ll show you a loser.”

―Donald J. Trump

Sheeple is formed by combining the words “sheep” and “people” used mainly by politicians to describe the blissfully unaware masses. I would call them blind followers. They are not skeptical people. They are not particularly informed–or care to be. Bill Maher recently stated on his HBO: Real Time with Bill Maher show, “The zombies are in the mall.” His insinuation is that the Trump minions are mindless zombies. That’s very insulting—to zombies (rim shot).

Trump has nothing in common with the poor and uneducated; however he has convinced them that he will serve their interests and not just his own–as he has done his entire career. How does this happen? It could be many things: Hero worship, pandering, the halo effect*, gullibility–take your pick.

“I love the poorly educated.”

–Donald Trump

Religion is growing faster in impoverished, poorly-educated, and volatile countries such as Africa and South America. You don’t see a rise of religion in countries like Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. That’s why the majority of Trump’s supporters are not college educated. Trump knows his target audience.

Trump’s supporters are so loyal it’s virtually a cult. In modern times, cultists Jim Jones (Peoples Temple), David Koresh (Branch Davidians) and Marshall Applewhite (Heaven’s Gate) were able to convince 914 (1978), 82 (1993), and 39 (1997) followers, respectively, to commit suicide based on their leaders’ authoritarian, charismatic personalities–and their certainty of an afterlife. (It’s interesting how they ignored the part about suicides not going to heaven found in most religions).

The phrase “drink the Kool-Aid” refers to how Jim Jones was able to convince/coerce over 900 of his followers to commit suicide by drinking poisoned Kool-Aid. I’ve seen the phrase used at least once in reference to Trump’s followers. It means they would follow him to their own doom. And with Trump’s Old Testament, neurotic temperament–this could very well happen if he is president.

That’s the power of personality and persuasion–and Trump is the master. Another trait cults have in common is paranoia and a persecution complex. Trump routinely accuses others of “having it in for him” or being “haters.” If it was not so scary it would be funny. Sadly, it’s not.

But, you ask, what about all his conspiracy theories? Does not that prove that Trump is inquisitive and skeptical? No. It’s one thing to be skeptical about the economics of a wall between Mexico and the United States or if global warming is a plot by the Chinese–and whether Obama is a US citizen. Skepticism should be based on facts and reason. Wild conspiracy theories are another matter altogether.

“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

@realDonaldTrump twitter feed (Nov 6 2012)

Alternet.org (as of June 11, 2016) includes a list of 58 Donald Trump conspiracy theories. That has to be a record for a presidential candidate. Actually, that must be a record, period–for anyone.

*halo effect is when if you’re good at one task people assume you are good at others. If you are good-looking they think you’re smart or trustworthy. If you are rich, then you must be a good businessman.

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