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Award-Winning Historian: What We Have Now Is 'A Cult Of The State'

Deja vu, all over again.

On Morning Joe today, the crew looked at how many lies Trump told yesterday in Iowa, and also noted how his supporters not only cheered the lies, but also his attacks on the media.

Historian Jon Meacham, who won the Pulitzer for his book "Andrew Jackson In The White House," responded to Mika Brzezinski's prodding to make historical comparisons. He started to compare Trump to Nixon, but that clearly wasn't where Mika wanted to go. "In foreign countries," she said.

Meacham took the hint and compared Trump’s rally to those of totalitarian regimes, like Nazi Germany or Italy under Mussolini.

“Even now, in regimes like North Korea, where the dear leader speaks and we’re all supposed to salute, that what the dear leader says has to be followed, whether it’s associated with reality or not, whether it’s grounded in reality or not,” Meacham said.

Meacham talked about how Trump's lies erode some of America’s founding principles.

“It’s a cult of the state,” Meacham said. “It’s a cult not of religion and neighborhoods and civic life and an obligation to facts as we perceive them and through common sense, which was a huge part of, really, the American experiment in the beginning.

"We weren’t supposed to just listen to kings and clerics who for a thousand years had had a monopoly on dictating the terms of reality. The point of the United States was that we all had the ability to look at reality, make our own decisions and participate in a collective enterprise to govern ourselves.”

Ah, the good old days, before Americans outsourced their critical thinking!

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