Saturday, February 20, 2016

"The Death-Struggle Atmosphere They Brought to Politics"

"This is the tone of fanaticism—or, perhaps, 'the fanatical style,' a variation on what Richard Hofstadter called 'the paranoid style.' Hofstadter was careful to say he was describing not a clinical condition, but a constructed outlook. Its conspiratorial themes grew out of a particular 'way of seeing the world and of expressing oneself.' So, too, with the current style of conservative discourse. It assumes the presence of concealed enemies, but also stresses, even more than the 'paranoiacs' did, the bad faith of liberals who are unwilling and possibly unable to acknowledge how dire things really are—or to call evil by its true name."

Sam Tanenhaus in The Atlantic reviews Daniel Oppenheimer's Exit Right: The People Who Left and Left and Reshaped the American Century.

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