What once was a sensible political party has become a religious cult.
That is true, but it doesn't get at the kernal of the nut.
I think the reason that a substantial number of folks admire Trump (so weird and irrational!) is that he embodies the consummation of two instinctive impulses - greed and power. The corporatists like him because he greases the way for them to accumulate more riches and power. The Regressive Zombies like him because, in their mythical fantasies, they believe they can become like him.
In the real world, however, Trump is simply a narcissistic, cheating, lying, bullying, sociopath.
But is that any way to talk about someone's mythical hero? It's no wonder his followers are so antagonistic toward Trump Cult skeptics!