Upon reading and listening to a good deal of Jon Haidt in the last couple of day and his appreciating his efforts to understand conservatives and liberals and to bridge some divides, we still have to deal with the reality that a lot of conservatives are really whackadoodle (a term that Perlstein uses). So I read with great interest this piece by the historian of the right-wing, Rick Perlstein. The nuttiness is not new. I know, I was there, especially in 1964 at the Republican National Convention that nominated Barry Goldwater. (Thank goodness, my Republican parents were moderate Republicans, not conspriricy-nut Republicans that seem to have the staying power of the zombies. Dead ideas but live mouths.
Yes, we have to understand what others want, but some others are just nuts. There were communists in our government (e.g., Alger Hiss), but not very many and not enough to justify the frightening megalomania and paranoia of Joseph McCarthy and his supporters.
So how do we deal with this?
P.S. Apologies to Paul Simon