In a recent CNN interview, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sparked controversy by calling for a “formal deprogramming” of many supporters of former President Donald Trump who she likened to cult members. The conversation, which took place in the wake of the recent events on Capitol Hill, aimed to shed light on what she sees as a political base filled with bigots.
Hillary Clinton floats 'formal deprogramming' of Trump supporters, suggests GOP base is made of bigots
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Speaking with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Clinton, who ran against the former president in the 2016 presidential election and lost, drew a sharp distinction between what she referred to as the “sane” faction of the Republican party, which played a role in averting a government shutdown, and the “cult” wing that remains steadfastly loyal to Trump.
“That’s the way it used to be. I mean, we had very strong partisans in both parties in the past, and we had very bitter battles over all kinds of things… but there wasn’t this little tail of extremism, waving, you know, wagging the dog of the Republican Party as it is today,” she stated.
“And sadly, so many of those extremists, those MAGA extremists take their marching orders from Donald Trump, who has no credibility left by any measure. He’s only in it for himself. He’s now defending himself in civil actions and criminal actions. And when do they break with him?” she added.
She then went on to make her big point, saying, “Perhaps there needs to be a formal deprogramming of these cult members, but something must change.”
Amanpour’s amused reaction to Clinton’s remark was evident, highlighting the contentious nature of her claims.
Clinton also predicted that Trump would be the 2024 Republican nominee, expressing confidence that President Biden would secure victory. When asked how she processed the reality of Trump seeking the White House again amid his legal battles, she responded by characterizing Trump as an “authoritarian populist” who connects with a portion of the population on emotional and psychological levels.
Clinton argued that Trump’s divisive politics resonate with those who may harbor various grievances, such as opposition to migrants, LGBTQ+ individuals, people of color, or perceived workplace injustices.
Using that opportunity to make a case for President Joe Biden, she added, “So it is like a cult, and somebody has to break that momentum. And that’s why I believe Joe Biden will defeat them and hopefully then that will be the end and the fever will break. And then Republicans can try to get back to fighting about issues among themselves and electing people who are least, you know, responsible and accountable.”
Clinton’s disdain for MAGA supporters is not surprising as she called them a part of a “basket of deplorables” back in 2016 even though she later expressed “regret” for being “grossly generalistic.”