I've never been somebody to pretend that the connection we feel in a parasocial relationship isn't real: of course it is, and in some ways it's both the foundation and the curse of human society. Loyalty to a language, loyalty to an ethos, to a culture, to a land—the sense of home—loyalty to a leader: these are all parasocial relationships. And that can be good or bad. Because that leader, inspiring that loyalty, might be Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., or they might be Josef Stalin. That ethos might be utilitarianism or it might be the prosperity gospel.