Throughout President Donald Trump’s rise to fame and power, he’s proven, again and again, the terrible influence he has on his citizens. Under the Trump Administration, there has been a rise in conformity. Author David Myers explains conformity as a change in behavior or belief as the result of real or imagined group pressure. United States history shows us how extreme cults have formed out of conformity. Cults such as Manson Family, Heaven’s Gate, Peoples Temple ended many lives because they believed everything their leaders told them. It’s as if these cult leaders put their followers under a spell, mesmerizing people, whether willing or unwilling, to do harmful things to others and eventually end their lives. The followers were very compliant in that they would publicly act in accord with an implied or explicit request, all while privately disagreeing.
This football season, Trump has continued to tweet negativity about players taking a knee on the field during the national anthem. The movement was started by NFL player Colin Kaepernick to bring attention to the injustices suffered by people of color, particularly black individuals, following the unjust killings of several innocent black men by the police (#BlackLivesMatter). Trump has criticized many players who have kneeled since the movement started. A tweet by President Trump stated, “If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!” Trump has also condoned this movement during many of his speeches, stating comments such as, ’Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out. He’s fired. He’s fired!’. As President of a great country that has values and amendments, he believes that someone should be fired for peacefully protesting gross injustice. President Trump is demanding conformity by not approving of Kaepernick and other players’ actions. Trump is demanding that the citizens of the United States abandon any opinions that are not in line with his, rather than supporting freedom of expression.
As Trump continues his “trail”, many religious rights groups have begun to form and showcase the conformity that Trump is looking for. The Alt-right movement and the rebirth of the Nazis Party have been popular and very open to the media since the beginning of Trump’s presidency. They are no longer afraid to be vocal because the president supports their evil ideologies. Alt- right and Nazis joined forces and made national headlines in Charlottesville in August when they held a public “freedom” march at the University of Virginia. They chanted, “Jews will not replace us”, “Death to Antifa”, “White lives matter”, “One people, one nation, end immigration”, “blood and soil”. These “messages” immulate the president’s same hateful rhetoric. Trump encourages division, making discriminatory promises such as “building the wall”, so Mexicans can’t enter the country and “destroy it” and banning Muslims to stop “terrorist attacks”.
White Nationalists Use Tiki Torches to Light up Charlottesville March.
Trump has his ways of persuasion that leads to emersion of hate groups who believe and thrive on conformity. These groups believe in one thing and persuade others to believe in it without questioning anyone. These groups are heavily influenced by Trump and what he promised his followers.
Colin Kaepernick .thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/161208-admiral-speech-kaepernick-embed.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&strip=all.
Lind, Dara. “Nazi Slogans and Violence at a Right-Wing March in Charlottesville on Friday Night.” Vox, Vox, 12 Aug. 2017, www.vox.com/2017/8/12/16138132/charlottesville-rally-brawl-nazi.
Obeidallah, Dean. “Trump’s NFL Comments Prove He Doesn’t Get American Values.” CNN, Cable News Network, 25 Sept. 2017, www.cnn.com/2017/09/24/opinions/trump-nfl-american-values-opinion-obeidallah/index.html.
White Nationalists Use Tiki Torches to Light up Charlottesville March. cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/170812092920-03-charlottesville-white-supremacists-0811-restricted-super-tease.jpg.