ebook How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America

By John Avlon

cover image of Wingnuts

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A bad craziness is snaking through America in the first years of the Obama administration: THE WINGNUTS ARE ON THE ATTACK WHAT’S A WINGNUT? A wingnut is someone on the far-right or far-left wing of the political spectrum—professional partisans, unhinged activists and paranoid conspiracy theorists. Campaigning as the antidote to polarized politics, Barack Obama promised to transcend the old divides of left and right, black and white, red states and blue states. But during his first year in office, he presided over an eruption of hate and hyper-partisanship that mocks the pledge upon which millions ushered him into office. From Revolutionary War-inspired “Tea Party” protests to the health-care town hall hijackings, principled policy opposition to government spending has taken a sharp right into Crazytown. Not to mention death threats to elected leaders and Sarah Palin’s ranting about administration “death panels.” For those with a vested interest in stirring the crazypot, all of this has been good for business—hate is a cheap and easy recruiting tool. But it can be murder on a democracy... As creator of CNN’s hit segment, “Wingnuts of the Week,” Daily Beast senior political columnist John Avlon has unique insight into how far-left and far-right political extremists came to dominate the country’s political dialogue and, with this book, he shows the way back to a saner, smarter national conversation. “Extreme partisanship has never looked so preposterous. [Wingnuts] reads almost like a satire—too absurd to be true. But the damage being done to our democracy is very real, and all of us should be joining John Avlon in manning the barricades.” —New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg John Avlon is a senior political columnist for The Daily Beast. He served as chief speechwriter for New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and is the author of Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics.