Many people here speak openly about the cult of Trump. In fact, there is a book about it by a noted cult expert: The Cult of Trump by Steven Hassan.
Other democracies are working more proactively to protect their populations from foreign and/or malign actors on social media who are engaging in coordinated campaigns to pit civilians against each other and undermine democracy. Law enforcement and cyber defense efforts here have been hamstrung these past 4 years, because the Trump Administration perceived these activities to be a benefit to him, and he has used the power of the Presidency to limit, defund, and redirect our national defense to other priorities (specifically Black Lives Matter). I expect to see this change, and change dramatically, in a Biden Administration.
A second recommendation for The Cult of Trump by Steven Hassan, https://www.amazon.com/Cult-Trump-Leading-Explains-President-ebook/dp/B07MGS7LZS .
No one wakes up one morning and decides to join a cult. Most people who do are “normal” people who come across a cult at a vulnerable moment in their lives. By any objective analysis, Trump has (1) converted what remains of the GOP in addition to (2) numerous alt-right groups and now (3) opportunistically added QAnon to what is obviously a “cult of personality” Definition.
Not surprisingly, V-Dem, the Swedish think tank which tracks the balance between autocracy and democracy world wide, reports in 2020 that autocracy is on the rise, and that the Republican Party in the US has become an authoritarian party V-Dem 2020 Report. It is no exaggeration to say this election represents a choice between democracy and authoritarianism.
Think this sounds alarmist? Read this article from December 2017 and see just how much of it has come true, just as predicted “A 15-Point Guide to Fighting Authoritarianism”.
QAnon is a cult. No question. If you know how to recognize cult control, it’s plain as day. It’s also a front for an authoritarian political movement right here in the USA - where we allowed ourselves to believe it could never happen.
I was raised in a High Demand religion some call a cult. I have studied cult mind control techniques and Bill Maher is right in making a comparison here.
Some will hold on to belief no matter how much evidence is presented. Something has to "break their shelf" for them to wake up.
Steven Hassan's books might help.
My perspective is different than many, although I certainly understand why observers might draw the conclusions voiced by OP.
First: I don’t think ACB is or seems “great” other than at the most superficial level. I have spent the last few years studying cult psychology in detail, and there is no doubt whatsoever she belongs to a cult, “The People of Praise.” Yes, it’s nominally Catholic, and no, I am not saying Catholicism is a cult. POP absolutely do not practice their Catholicism the same way traditional Catholics do (Biden, Pelosi). They practice the way high-demand, high-control cults do.
For more information about this, you can look at Dr. Steven Hassan’s BITE Model of Authoritarian Control. Hassan, an international expert on cults, and has also written a book about The Cult of Trump, which sheds light on why Trump’s base is impossible to dislodge, even as he pursues a strategy of herd immunity (aka mass murder).
TL:DR Some religions are cults. Some cults are religions. Cults often align themselves with traditional religions for legitimacy, but position themselves as reform branches of those faiths. What distinguishes a cult is the degree of its authoritarian control over its adherents, specifically control over Behavior, Emotion, Information, and Thought (BITE). I do not think it is even remotely advisable to add a religious cult member to the Court.
Second: I see the hearings as purely performative, which, I think, the OP is describing. However, I don’t attribute fault for that to the Senators or to ACB. The hearings are performative because the decisions have all already been made. When R’s decided to put forth a nominee in these circumstances, they were already committed to confirm. D’s cannot vote to confirm after Garland, so they are committed to reject.
The entire proceeding then becomes political theater, waged by Senators against Senators and ACB is merely a prop. Whatever consequences there will be for rushing this nomination against the will of the voters and in contradiction to Garland will be political. And the sound bites for those ads are being created in the hearings.
His base has been called a cult by a well known cult expert. Their ability to think critically is being intentionally compromised.
Trump and his minions are a cult.