If You Thought American Horror Story: Cult Was About Politics, You Missed the Point

TVGuide.com | 11/14/2017 | Malcolm Venable
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From the moment Ryan Murphy declared that American Horror Story: Cult would take on the 2016 election, the predominant obsession has been figuring out WHAT THIS MEANS and how exactly Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton figure into the season. With the sometimes clever, often bats--t insane season coming to a close that answer is clear: they were merely tangential.

Fans and critics alike have been divided on the season. Cult was undeniably convoluted, with dead ends and twists that were nonsensical, even by AHS standards. Regardless of the reception, the season did do what AHS does best: Tap into a primal terror, a paranoia Ryan Murphy saw becoming more concrete after the 2016 presidential election when it became clear that everyone regardless of political affiliation had lost their collective minds.

AHS - Cult - Politics - Media - Illiteracy

No, AHS: Cult was not about politics, but media illiteracy and how the frightening power of groupthink can be used and abused by savvy leaders. Admittedly, that thesis became hard to remember as the season began, especially with the Trump and Clinton masks in the intro, and Kai Anderson (Evan Peters) smearing Cheeto powder on his face. But it's all in the receipts.

"The season really is not about Trump, it's not about Clinton," Murphy said in an early interview with THR. "It's about somebody who has the wherewithal to put their finger up in the wind and see that that's what's happening and is using that to rise up and form power, and using people's vulnerabilities about how they're afraid."

Liberals - Trump-worshipper - Point - People - Minds

That the liberals were lampooned as much as the Trump-worshipper was demonized only backed the point. Once fear takes over, people lose their goddamned minds — a theory certainly not difficult to see playing out on social media feeds and news broadcasts. Murphy repeatedly brought the show back to the fact that this...
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