'American Horror Story:' All Politics Is Cult of Personality, Trump the Leader

November 1st, 2017 12:48 AM

The focus of American Horror Story: Cult is, as the name would imply, on cult behavior. While that has been the overarching theme, the individual episodes have focused on things like post-election hysteria, racism, and sexual assault. This week, the episode itself actually focused on cults, and cult leader Kai (Evan Peters) said that modern politics are nothing but a cult of personality. 

The show opened with Kai's voiceover as he told his followers about different cults- Heaven's Gate, the Branch Davidians, and Jim Jones, who Kai calls "the Kanye of leaders." Kai is a newly elected city councilman, a position he got by killing a member to create a vacant seat, and then stirring up fear and anger amongst the voters.

What he really wants is to run for senate in 2018, and what he needs to go from unknown citizen to senator in two years is a loyal following. To do that, he has built a cult. That's why he's telling them about these other cults which he admires. 



Kai: These were great men. All of them. Do you understand why I'm telling you about them? 
Puss Bucket: You want us to see how you're like them?
Kai: That's right, Pus Bucket. But I also want you to see that it's easy to get men to kill for you. Any asshole with enough money or a rank in the army can get men to do that. Real power is having people loyal enough to you that, if you ask them to, they will kill themselves. They will override their natural survival instinct in service of your needs and will. 
Heart Attack: Wait, are we a cult? I thought we were a political movement. 
Kai: All politics is a personality cult now
, Heart Attack.

As Kai builds his personality cult, the show tries to draw parallels to Donald Trump. He uses the term "fake news" several times, once following it up with, "I'm the only one you can trust. I'm the only one who knows the truth." He asked his followers, "Is it any wonder that the federal government, led by Democratic President Bill Clinton, had to try to take down David Koresh?" A "Republican" who hates fake news and has created a loyal following based on personality? Who could they be trying to bring to mind?

They seem to have forgotten a president who came out of nowhere to be a senator and went from first-term senator to president based on charisma, don't they? Aside from the cult of personality, what did Obama really have to recommend him? American Horror Story isn't entirely wrong about the nature of politics being largely driven by personality, but they're attributing an awful lot of it to the wrong party.